Because I lost a bet, that’s effing why.
So take it from me. Don’t gamble. It’s not like throwing money into the sea. It’s like throwing away six excruciating hours of your life on a trilogy of movies so bad, so insulting, and so moronic that I literally felt like I was getting teabagged by a stroke.
But enough of that nonsense.
Let’s get this over with.
I watched this three-pronged mess in a little over 36 hours while battling a head cold. But that’s not why I can’t really keep the three movies separate. It has more to do with the absolute worthlessness of the narrative. It’s conception and execution are both execrable.
A quartet of besties go to school in Shanghai. They live in a palatial dorm apartment with a balcony overlooking the central campus. Because some animals are more equal than others. They’re best friends forever. Which is why they argue every 10 goddamned minutes and then tearfully make up again.
Only to resume their bitchiness ad nauseum.
They never seem to go to class, what with all the parties, fashion shows and dating they do.
Then the movies start to lose this sheen of verisimilitude.
These women spend all their time wondering about their lives, their future, and their men. Just like the book. Which was written by a man. More on that later.
And yes, I said moron.
I’m sure it’s plausible for a 22 year old to become a CFO.
She may not be old enough, but we can at least say the actress looks old enough.
The only reason Mini Yang doesn’t look laugh-out-loud ridiculous trying to play a teenager is because I’ve seen Charlene Choi do it so often I just can’t be as offended/amused as I should be.
After graduation, they all move into a villa that Lily, the rich one, pays for. Because rich people are always generous. Especially to three freeloading wastes of oxygen.
If Lily is so business savvy, why do I never hear her say “Get a job, you fat slag”?
But even the people with jobs don’t seem to ever have to work. In part 3, Mini Yang’s character works for a total of three minutes at the start of the film. She seems to have an inordinate amount of time off.
Or maybe the movie is just sh*t.
Mini’s character is the dumbest of the bunch. She gets a job at ME magazine.
Their star columnist gets such care, attention, and indulgence (both in the story and in the movie) that Hunter Thompson would have wept with envy. This may be the way the book is written or it may be because the actor playing the journalist is the director’s boyfriend.
Well, rumored boyfriend. Because the director’s only rumored to be gay.
Just like I’m rumored to do movie reviews. But never mind.
Supposedly writer/director Guo Mingjing is a closeted homosexual. But the closet’s made of glass, because the men in these movies are the subject of slow-motion, surreal shots of fancy.
That’s not a euphemism.
While the women are treated like blank slates upon which clothing is draped. I guess their blank stares that substitute for acting are just par for the course.
What we can say about Guo Jingming is that he’s short and from Sichuan, and so probably has the same big-city fantasies and aspirations that millions of young Chinese women have. To be young, rich, beautiful and in love with a young, rich, beautiful man.
I’m not trying to be funny. Hinting at gay love is the only vaguely interesting emotional event in these movies, if only because they are the only times the films take anything resembling a risk. The heterosexual ‘relationships’ are so trite, clichéd and unbelievable that they inadvertently function as humor for anyone with any emotional maturity whatsoever.
I think the gay subtext is unfair to gay people, because no one deserves to be seen as such shallow, materialistic irredeemable swine like everyone in these movies. Gay men deserve better than to be depicted as a bunch of manorexic plastic surgery addicts with no visible emotional affect or facial expressions.
I don’t mean the characters, I mean the actors.
I’d blame the director, but that line’s already snaking out the door. So let’s pretend there’s no gay subtext in the movie. Because in this case at least, exclusion is a very big favor.
Speaking of big. Or not… Guo Jingming is short. 150cm short. A joke in China is “Here’s a photo of Guo Jingming meeting Yao Ming.”
Even if you don’t think that’s funny, it’ s funnier than anything in these movies.
There are lots of split screen shots of the four women beset by life, anguish and having to wear last year’s shoes.
You know, end-of-the-world stuff.
There’s a ton of ridiculously overstated framing and lighting. There’s more slow motion running than every episode of The Six Million Dollar Man combined.
Fat girls are funny. If they weren’t fat, they wouldn’t be funny. And they might have a man. But they don’t, so they’ll just have more cake.
Ha ha funny fatty.
At the end of the second movie, the arty one is an ignored phone call while the other three laugh and play. In the third movie, she’s back. No reasons why.
I don’t think this is what Deng Xiaoping meant when he said getting rich is glorious. Unless by glorious you mean shallow, banal, and lacking even a scintilla of any redeeming characteristic whatsoever. Tiny Times is indefensible garbage. If this is what the young people of China think is good, or cool, or worthwhile… Mao was right.
But wait. There’s four. Tiny Times 4 was already in the can.
That’s not a euphemism.
But the actor who plays Lily’s boyfriend/fiance/enemy/boyfriend/whatever the f*ck was busted on a drugs charge. So they’re re-shooting all of his scenes.
There are several lessons from this.
One: Never say that drugs don’t have tangible benefits.
Two: Don’t smoke weed at J.C Chan’s house.
Three: I’m calling this an act of God, and therefore I am excused of any obligation or liability to watch the fourth film.
With any luck, #4 will never see the light of day. Because like the rest of these movies, I’m sure it’s #2.