China Insight Series: Chinese Movies 4-2

The Insight Series from 2014 continues into 2015! This series introduces excellent Chinese movies and encourages movie appreciation with focused themes.

Our series consists of four themes: Chinese History, Chinese Kung Fu, Chinese Cartoons, and China Today. For each theme, three movies will be introduced.

Finding Mr. Right

Finding Mr. Right is a 2013 romantic comedy film written and directed by Xue Xiaolu. The film was a box-office hit, grossed nearly US$85 million in China. The title translates literally as "Beijing Meets Seattle".

Wen Jiajia is pregnant with the child of her boyfriend, a tycoon in Beijing who is already married and is under criminal investigation. She flies to Seattle so she can have her child in an illegal maternity center as a way of avoiding scandal. At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport she is picked up by Frank, a taxi driver who was a doctor in China before coming to the United States. Frank came to Seattle because his divorced wife took a job in the city's pharmaceutical industry; Frank moved for the sake of their daughter, Julie. Jiajia recognizes Frank because he once treated her father. Frank tells her that he has divorced his wife.

In the beginning of the film Jiajia tells a customs officer that she likes Sleepless in Seattle. At the end of the film, Jiajia and Frank go to the Empire State Building in Manhattan in a manner similar to what the characters do in Sleepless in Seattle.

Jeff Shannon of the Seattle Times gave the film two stars out of four. Shannon wrote that the film is "blandly generic and predictable from the get-go", has a "boring" English title and that it has a "never less than obvious" setup. Shannon added that the film is "a tolerably cute showcase for Tang Wei". According to Shannon, Seattle "gets the rainy-glossy, picture-postcard treatment" and that the film "does touch upon the notion of Seattle (and the U.S.) as a sensible escape from the garish materialism of Beijing and Hong Kong."

Derek Elley of Film Business Asia gave the film a six out of ten rating, referring to it as an "Okay but unspecial rom-com is driven more by technique than its script or lead chemistry."

The film's release caused an increase in Chinese tourism to Seattle. Janet Christopher, the vice president of the tourism department of "Visit Seattle," stated "The phones started ringing and it hasn't stopped. We have been amazed at the response. This is bigger than 'Sleepless in Seattle.'"[6] Due to the response, CCTV did a New Years' Eve live broadcast from Seattle in 2013, occurring in Kerry Park. The film caused an increase in romantic comedy films made in China.

Main Character:

  • Wen Jiajia: This Young girl is pregnant with the child of her boyfriend, a tycoon in Beijing who is already married and is under criminal investigation. She flies to Seattle so she can have her child in an illegal maternity center as a way of avoiding scandal. In the film, Jiajia's boyfriend does not leave his wife, leaving Jiajia on her own. Jiajia eventually begins a romance with Frank.
  • Frank: A taxi driver who was a doctor in China before coming to the United States. Frank came to Seattle because his divorced wife took a job in the city's pharmaceutical industry.
  • Julie: A little cute girl with a strong personality. Frank's Daughter. Frank moved to US for the sake of Julie. She has been supporting Frank and Jiajia's relationship.

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