Crappy Date is one of our seasonal Periodicals, temporarily standing in for Tuesday Terribles, created because of our love for Asian cinema and the fact that it’s February and March – the months of Valentine’s Day and White Day.
What we’ll do with Happy Date is recommend romantic films to NOT watch for your date. After all, we want to warn you what movies will make her not want to call you back.
Crappy Date will be slightly different from Tuesday Terribles, in that we will have fun with it and tell you why each film is a bad idea to watch for your date, and what you can expect out of making each selection.
So without further adieu, let’s get going! Have a Happy Valentine’s Day and White Day, everyone!
This week’s Crappy Date: Repeat I Love You
Repeat I Love You
Alternate Title: Shadows of Love
Original Title: 影子爱人
Ying zi ai ren
Countries:China, Hong Kong
Main Cast:Cecilia Cheung
- This is director Poon Yuen-Leung’s third feature length film…looks like he needs a bit more practice.
- Director Poon also helped write the screenplay…looks like he needs a bit more practice with that, too.
- This is Korean actor Kwon Sang-woo’s first Chinese language film. Whether he actually spoke in the language is beyond me, as the version I watched made it look like his voice was dubbed over.
Paris (Cecilia Cheung)is the princess-like chairman of the board of a high profile company. An accident happens during an overseas business trip to Korea, leaving her condition and whereabouts unknown. Upon hearing the urgent news, her boyfriend Kwon (Kwon Sang-woo), and CEO of the same company, rushes out of the office ready to board the first plane to Korea.
On his way speeding down the road, he spots a car being driven by Paris!
He follows her to her destination, only to find out in a brilliant moment of awkwardness that he isn’t Paris, but a girl who looks dead on like her. This girl, Qin Xin (also played by Cecilia Cheung in a dual role) works at a modest flower shop run by her financially struggling family.
Kwon finds himself in a pickle, as his company is only a few days away from making a huge business deal, and they need Paris present in order for the deal to go through smoothly. Also, Paris’s father is deathly ill in the hospital, and the doctors say that if Paris comes and visits, his health will improve.
So, in an act of desperation, he asks Qin Xin she would be willing to become Paris for a few days, long enough to trick everyone, visit her ill father, and to help make sure that her scheming uncle won’t get his way with the company decisions.
Qin Xin takes up his offer, as Kwon offers to reward her with money that could help out her struggling family. But, as Qin Xin trains to become Paris in every way, from her mannerisms to her cold-hearted conduct, things start to develop between her and Kwon.
Oh boy, if Paris were to find out…
This is a different take on the old The Prince and The Pauper tale.
Cecilia Cheung and Kwon Sang-woo, two of the hottest eye candy to ever walk on the Asian continent, headline this film, with support by even more hotness in the form of Jing Tian and Sphinx Ting. Holy moly do we have a scorching cast. However, the heat can only distract you so much from the story.
Before we dive into that, I will admit that every actor played their parts excellently; no complaints there. Cecilia Cheung did great with her two characters, distinguishing her performance as the kind, down-to-earth Qin Xin with that of Paris, a princess so unbelievably bitchy it makes one wonder how she hooked up with a dude like Kwon.
Well, actually, since she’s played by Cecilia Cheung, I’d definitely hook up with her too, especially if my name was Edison Chen.
Anyways, getting past the likable cast and performances, the biggest problem was that the film was made to please rather than challenge. In other words, the audience is spoon fed the romance as if it were baby food. The film goes through the whole shabang, from Cinderella-ing the struggling girl to even marriage proposals. It’s like if a Disney film was unnecessarily Disney-fied even further.
Now, if you and your date are looking for that kind of spoon-fed romance, more power to you; you’ll be more than happy with this film. However, don’t be surprised if you find yourself feeling empty at the lack of real character development between the two leads (and even the supporting cast). It’s as if director Poon created the film with the intent of catering to an audience in love with trashy romance novels and super happy endings.
We don’t really get to have enough time between the two leads to really believe their blossoming as a couple – not enough awkward moments, not enough glossy-eye gazes, and definitely not enough flirting or teasing (although their sex appeal definitely teases the audience). Because we don’t get to see them really develop, we have a hard time really getting attached to them as a couple. So, in the end, we won’t cry when Cecilia cries, or have our hearts melt at Sang-woo Oppa’s confession of love.
Instead, the audience gets distracted with two more side-story romances: the (quick) budding of love between Jing Tian and Sphinx (awesome name by the way), and a series of flashback sequences of Qin Xin’s grandmother in her younger years (played by the just as delicious Angela Chang).
While the romance between Jing Tian and Sphinx is in the film to…well…just be there, young grandmother’s romantic story had some importance in the film as it mirrored the relationship between Kwon and Qin Xin – two souls from totally different worlds meeting by chance and falling in love. As a matter of fact, there was so much of a focus behind it, that I found it to be more interesting than the Queen Bitch and The Peasant story that the film was supposed to be focused on. Can we have a movie about young grandma, director Poon?
Speaking of side stories, it’s kind of strange how the one involving Paris’s bed-ridden father is no longer revisited or mentioned again after Qin Xin pays him a single visit. And here I thought it was a major part of the story.
As much as rom-com lovers will probably eat up this (read: empty) romance, I’m sure heads will be tilted in confusion and faces will be palmed at the ending – when (sorry, I’m going to spoil this for you right now) everyone gets hitched.
Sorry, but at the rate you were being spoon-fed, did you really think it was going to end any other way?
Watch this film…
…you want a romantic film in which you can check your brain at the door and just sit back and enjoy the easy story, like as if you were watching a Michael Bay film, but with “I love you”s instead of explosions.