Writer: Peter ChaiWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Sleepless In Seattle” and “Crossing Hennessy”
It is not the first time a film has been made about a Chinese couple who fall in love in a foreign country but "Finding Mr. Right" has somehow modified the classic idea by utilizing a warm yet surprisingly entertaining never-before-used approach about a pregnant woman's relationship with a helpful stranger in America.
Since her tear-jerking directorial debut "Ocean Heaven" in 2010, Xue Xiaolu returns with her second attempt in directing with "Finding Mr. Right", a romantic comedy about Wen Jia Jia (Tang Wei), a money-minded city girl who leaves Beijing for Seattle to spend months at an illegal pregnancy care center before giving birth to child she has with Zhong, a rich married man in Mainland China. There, she met the kind driver named Frank (Wu Xiu Bo), who is later discovered to be a former famous doctor in his homeland. When Zhong does not turn up on Christmas Day as he has promised, Jia Jia celebrates with Frank instead and gets the chance to know more about this mysterious man, including being introduced to his little daughter Julie. Although Frank tries to hide his feelings towards Jia Jia, things started to change between the two when the latter gives birth in a critical condition.
First of all, Xue already got the Asian audience's attention when she provides us stunning shot of nighttime in Seattle together paired with Vonda Shepard's mesmerizing "Ally McBeal" soundtrack at the beginning of the film. Furthermore, the culture shock for a Beijing lady like Jia Jia makes it easy for the audience to relate to her and take interest in the development of the story.
As you enter the middle part of the film, you will notice that Xue is actually paying a great tribute to the unforgettable 1993 classic "Sleepless In Seattle", when Jia Jia starts to talk about her ambitious dreams of realizing the romantic cliches of Hollywood films in her own life and the moment she cries in the cinema while watching the Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan movie with little Julie. Plus, her wish to meet her loved one at the Empire State Building in New York signals a reminiscence of the ending of the English film.
"Finding Mr. Right" will not be a perfect picture without Tang Wei's brilliant and natural portrayal of materialistic girl like Jia Jia and Wu Xiu Bo's role as a bitter father. Speaking of Tang Wei, her naughty and sarcastic attitude towards the other pregnant women she stays with and Frank is an extension to her award-nominated tricky performance in Ivy Ho's "Crossing Hennessy" alongside Jacky Cheung. The actress charms us into laughing whenever she demonstrates her naïve understanding of Americans despite not knowing much English. Another example is the scene where the police officer questions her in the police office after she is arrested at the long queue in front of the New York landmark in Manhattan.
Meanwhile, Wu Xiu Bo's character is heartbroken enough to gain some sympathy from us - his dilemma on being a divorced man and someone who still wants to be certified as a licensed doctor again does not stop him from being a truly responsible parent to Julie for every single day in his life. In addition, Frank's selfless concern for Jia Jia before and after giving birth will create a brief moment for the audience to wipe their tears away to the beautiful lyrics of Sarah McLachlan's "Angel".
If you are looking for a second chance in love, make "Finding Mr. Right" your option and you will not regret for spending two hours witnessing an extremely satisfying cross-country love tale.Cinema Online, 22 March 2013