Director: Van Han
Cast: Greg Hsu, Zhang Ruo Nan, Kevin Yan, Ding Guan Sen, Wang Sha Sha, Caesar Guo
Runtime: 1 hr 55 mins
Rating: PG13 (Some Sexual References)
Released By: Golden Village Pictures
Opening Day: 6 May 2021
Synopsis: MY LOVE is a heart-warming film about a 15-year love story between Zhou Xiao Qi (Greg Hsu), a swimming student and You Yong Ci (Zhang Ruo Nan), a transfer student. In high school, Zhou Xiao Qi fell in love with You Yong Ci at first sight, only for her to leave suddenly without saying goodbye. 15 years later, they meet again. Will love be the same?
It is easy to see why this romantic comedy topped China’s Labour Day opening weekend box office, beating Zhang Yimou’s spy thriller Cliff Walkers starring Zhang Yi and Leste Chen’s mystery drama Home Sweet Home starring Aaron Kwok.
Adapted from the Korean flick On Your Wedding Day, this Chinese production tells a story which takes place over 15 years. It probably speaks to many of us – our first time falling in love, the silly but laughable things we did to spend time with our crushes, the naïve promises we made to be with someone forever, and the seemingly harmless words which might have hurt our loved ones.
Well, except that in our real life versions, we are not as perfect looking as Greg Hsu and Zhang Ruo Nan.
When we first meet the protagonists, they are in high school. The guy Zhou Xiao Qi (Hsu) is a happy go lucky dude who finds more joy getting into fights than studying for exams. The girl You Yong Ci (Zhang) is a new student on campus, and it was love at first sight for Xiao Qi, who happened to be in the midst of being beaten up – how’s that for a memorable and romantic way to fall in love.
The movie then progresses to develop the relationship between Xiao Qi and Yong Ci. There are saccharine sweet moments that you might have experienced yourself, bittersweet sequences that may trigger the heartaches from previous break ups, and that eventual closure from letting go and accepting the fact that some things aren’t meant to be.
The 115 minute movie is an easy watch, but everything is predictable and may bore viewers who are looking out for something special. It feels like sitting through a two hour idol drama featuring relatable life episodes, some comedic scenes (Xiao Qi’s decision to join the cheerleading team to be near Yong Ci is chuckle worthy), some dramatic sequences (watch out for a scene where Xiao Qi sets off fireworks to comfort the sick Yong Ci, which got the whole campus waving their mobile phones and singing along to Michael Wong’s radio friendly hit “Fairy Tale”), and some tear jerking moments (are Xiao Qi and Yong Ci not meant to be, after their on and off relationships over the years?).
Most importantly, the film is a breeze to sit through because the leads are eye candy. Xiao Qi is on the school swim team, which gives Hsu plenty of opportunities to show off his lean bod. Yong Ci is perfectly personified by Zhang, whose sweet demeanour is impossible to fault. Supporting characters played by Mainland Chinese actors Kevin Yan, Ding Guan Sen and Wang Sha Sha are forgettable, although the cast deliver memorable performances.
This is a movie that will appeal to the younger couples who are basking in love. They may walk out of the theatre cherishing each other more. For the older viewers, it is simply a fairy tale with incredibly good looking movie stars.
(No surprises here: this formulaic romantic comedy unfolds like a teen idol drama with its good-looking leads)
Review by John Li