Tiny Times making big waves


Is Tiny Times just another teen flick, or is it really an icon of “the individualistic/materialistic view of the new generation” and  a new era in Chinese films?”

Was it the best of times or the worst of times? Despite sharply divided opinions on its quality, movie Tiny Times 1.0,  with its controversial author/writer/director Guo Jingming and leads Yang Mi, Kai Ko, Amber Kuo, etc., was a commercial success.  Most recently, Part 2 was moved up to air on the Qixi holiday on August 7th, while plans to adapt Tiny Times 2.0 has been approved by SARFT’s reviewing comittee.

As the film that broke the single day screening share rate (almost 50%)  and opening day record for a 2D film, breaking 300 million RMB in four days, Tiny Times was viewed as an opening commercial success.   Yet its viewers ratings varied from 8.6 on Gewara  to  4.9 on Mtime  on opening day.   People Daily wrote three articles on Tiny Times.  Meanwhile China Daily film critic Raymond Zhao  smashed it and its readers, comparing it to the Twilight series in the U.S.   Too materialistic, too flashy, not deep enough, were all attacks of China’s young generation discussed in criticisms on of the film. Similarly,  the success of such  commercial films, just like the successes of Guo Jingming’s very commercial books, were viewed as almost an affront to the film industry, which has historically prided itself on nuanced arthouse works.

Tiny Times cast goofs off in the ending extras MV

To me, like idol dramas that broke away realistic depictions of the working class, Tiny Times represents recent films such as Sophie’s Revenge and Du Lala’s Promotions that glamorize the world of the protagonists. These productions, no longer documentaries of real people, instead embody worlds that many audiences wish to live in. Are they a reflection of our material pursuits? I don’t really know, but I think that like Guo himself said, they’re only the backdrops to the stories. In the end, the first Tiny Times is really just a funny, sweet, and exciting tale of the importance of friendship with a lot of eyecandy.

7 thoughts on “Tiny Times making big waves

  1. It’s materialistic, it’s unrealistic, it’s flashy, it’s lacks moral lesson…. isn’t that entertainment? We go to the movies (watch TV) to escape from our mundane lives. Tiny Times is a commercial film. It wasn’t made to win art festival awards, it was made to entertain. I think it did it’s job.

    • I think the main issue that a lot reviewers got confused (although I have no idea what was up with Raymond Zhao who just threw a hissy fit and went so far as saying that Guo’s fans can only buy luxury goods with their sugar daddy’s money…)with is that there’s a difference between a story that promotes materialism and one with material goods. It’s like how even though The Little Mermaid has fancy ball gowns and luxurious lives, the story is about love and sacrifice and not material goods. Similarly, just because this is the only one of Guo’s stories with luxury goods doesn’t mean it promotes materialism. At the most, it reflects the new thought that material comfort is not a sin as long as it’s earned correctly.

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