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Finding Mr. Right
Finding Mr. Right

Wu Xiubo and Tang Wei meet in Finding Mr. Right.
Chinese: 北京遇上西雅圖
Year: 2013
Director: Xue Xiaolu
Producer:

Bill Kong, Matthew Tang Hon-Keung, Lu Hongshi

Writer: Xue Xiaolu
Cast: Tang Wei, Wu Xiubo, Hai Qing, Mai Hongmei, Elaine Kam Yin-Ling, Theresa Lee Yi-Hung, Casey Mandersen
  The Skinny: Well-mounted romantic comedy is a cut above its contemporaries despite conventional plotting and some cloying elements. Tang Wei's abundant screen charm is a big help, and Wu Xiubo is her equal in a low-key, easily-overlooked performance.
A classy and solid commercial work.
 
Review
by Kozo:
Lame title, good movie. Finding Mr. Right has the tangled trappings of your typical commercial romcom, but writer-director Xue Xiaolu (Ocean Heaven) offers a few tweaks that make the film better than most in its overcrowded genre. Tang Wei stars as Wen Jiajia, a pregnant 26 year-old mistress who travels from Beijing to Seattle to illegally give birth. She checks into a maternity center run by Mrs. Huang (Elaine Kam), where she immediately makes an impression by throwing money around and bullying the residents (Hai Qing and Mai Hongmei). Meanwhile, she waits for her sugar daddy to finally visit her in the States, but he’s busy being a rich guy back in Beijing. Jiajia’s sole friend in Seattle may be the maternity center’s driver, Frank (Wu Xiu-Bo), though that’s more due to his decent and reticent nature than out-and-out friendship. As Jiajia’s Seattle stay lengthens, her relationships evolve and a plot turn occurs that forces her to re-evaluate, well, everything.

The English-language title of Finding Mr. Right indicates a search for the right guy, but that’s not what happens (the Chinese title translates as “Beijing Meets Seattle”). This is a film about Jiajia’s metamorphosis from materialistic to earthy, from obnoxious to caring and from detestable to admirable. It’s a character arc that few actresses could handle without straining, but Tang Wei is not just another actress. Tang neatly fits whatever version of Jiajia she’s required to play; through her abundant charm and delightful expressions, Tang makes her character’s growth convincing. There’s room for some cheesy B-plot, e.g., Jiajia struggling for greater respect or entering a partners dance contest, but Finding Mr. Right stays relatively low-key, sticking with Jiajia and her relationships as they slowly change. Solid production design and costuming also help; Tang is glammed up in gold digger mode, but when she slips on more comfortable clothes, she instantly becomes more approachable. Sometimes movie magic is just a costume change away.

The silent MVP of the piece is Wu Xiubo. Seen recently as the remarkably casual villain in The Four, Wu plays a seemingly dull and passive doormat of a man, who is far too giving to people who don’t deserve his kindness. Frank is a “best man ever” archetype that seemingly lacks edge, but Wu makes his integrity and decency believable and consistent. If Tang Wei is Finding Mr. Right’s guiding light then Wu Xiubo is its anchor, and the chemistry between the two helps to offset the film’s more conventional aspects, like character monologues or plot-required lapses of logic. Some portions, like the cloying English-language song choices or the occasional stereotyped minor character, test patience. But those details, like Xue’s choice of the climactic setting and her referencing of a certain Hollywood romantic comedy, only show an affection for the film’s oh-so-familiar genre. Little in Finding Mr. Right is special or new, but the slick packaging, solid storytelling and winning performances allow it to shine. (Kozo, 3/2013)

 
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 3 NTSC
Edko Films Ltd. (HK)
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese and Original Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
*Also Available on Blu-ray Disc
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Image credit: Edko Films
   
   
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