2011’s Don’t Go Breaking My Heart/單身男女 was Johnnie To and Wai Ka Fai’s official entry (entree?) into the Mainland film market. Yes, the same people who brought us Election are now trying to suck up to the Big Red Box Office.
Ooooh, how exciting!
It’s a breezy romantic comedy (without sex), so no violence, or political overtones, or anything else that might offend… you know… It’s about a young woman from Suzhou who comes to Hong Kong and gets dumped by Terence Yin.
She’s too stupid to realize this is a good thing.
But seriously (?), she is wooed by two men: Louis Koo, a habitual womanizer who lacks the moral fortitude to take responsibility for allowing his d*ck to lead him through life.
Daniel Wu plays an alcoholic who drinks 2 quarts of whiskey a day but doesn’t need rehab. All he needs is to go on a date with this woman, who is apparently the Chinese Betty Ford.
Because China solves all problems.
Or just makes them disappear, which Daniel’s alcoholism, dysfunction, malaise, and beard all do, seemingly overnight.
China up, ho’s down!!!
Daniel starts the film off as a bearded, irresponsible artistic type, but that character disappears after he gains architectural recognition.
This film isn’t really bad. It’s no more vacuous, puerile and saccharine than most any other romantic comedy, including the ones that Johnnie To and Wai Ka Fai used to make with Andy Lau and Sammi Cheng. Maybe its just my own prejudice that sees this one as especially dumbed-down for its intended audience.
But why on earth is the female protagonist’s mother cackling hysterically at 2 Become One, the breast cancer movie, as she watches it on TV? There’s nothing that funny about that film.
And maybe the materialist subtext has always been there, but it struck me as especially apparent/transparent here; Daniel Wu only becomes attractive after he shaves and gets a job.
The film isn’t put together badly, and its acted pretty well. I just didn’t care about anyone in it. Then again, I’m not a young, professional, female from the Mainland.
Though I have rented a few.
So in fairness I’m not the demographic. Which is one of the reasons I had less than no interest in the sequel.
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 2 stars three of the same people from part one; Louis Koo, Daniel Wu, and Gao Yuanyuan. Added into the cast are Miriam Yeung and Vic Chou. I didn’t want to watch this movie because I knew that I didn’t care about the characters, the story, or the intended audience.
Because I had seen the trailer.
But for whatever reasons, I decided to subject myself to this movie. Hey, at the very least, I’m told that I’m very entertaining when I dislike something or someone.
Speaking of Barbara Wong…
The product placement whoring in Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 2 makes her look like a paragon of anti-capitalist virtue. It has all the subtlety of a seizure-prone sperm whale. The watches and the yogurt drink show up enough that they could have been on the posters as cast members.
Then again, I should shut the f@#$ up because I wouldn’t doubt they tried it.
And if the yogurt and the watches were part of the cast, maybe there would have been someone in this movie I could have liked. I hated all these people. Not because they’re all filthy rich, as evidenced by the Ferraris and Maseratis and yachts. I hated them because they’re all too stupid to have achieved what their material wealth signifies. They’re smart enough to become millionaires, but apparently no one is smart enough to ask “Who’s that?” If they did that, half the movie would have been unnecessary.
Not that the whole godd@mn movie isn’t unnecessary, I’m just saying.
How am I supposed to have any sympathy for these shallow idiots and their 1% (never mind first world) problems? You can’t drive your Ferrari. I feel so bad for you. Especially when you say “I wish a cute guy would come to my rescue.”
Yeah, that’s what a powerful female executive would say.
She’d let a stranger drive her car, let him get her drunk, let him drive drunk, let him stay over, and leave him in the house the next day. I’m sick of Chinese movies insulting women so f@#$ing thoroughly.
I hope all of that character’s ancestors get ass-raped by the ghost of Jiang Qing 江青.
Because that woman had a c*ck and she wasn’t afraid to use it.
I hated these characters for allowing a bunch of their business and personal decisions to be made by a sentient CGI octopus.
What a bunch of f@#$wits.
We’re apparently supposed to feel bad for people who are dumb enough to be victimized by other people whose shittiness is already known to them?
F@#$ you too.
I hated these people because they were selfish, ignorant, and completely unconcerned about anyone but themselves: “As long as I’m happy, f@#$ everyone else.” Which is par for the course for banker types.
What’s in the suitcase, fat boy?
These dullards’ utter lack of self-reflexivity would be hilarious if it wasn’t so full of hubris: “Somehow I ended up outside her apartment…”
It’s called stalking, you psycho f@#$.
By the end of the movie, lives are destroyed because of these people’s selfish bullshit.
I’ve heard people say that the movie may be sending up materialism and making a sly commentary about Mainland consumption, but I doubt it.
The filmmaking is too witless, facile and pedestrian for that.
Besides, the audience for this movie subscribes to materialism as a religion. I’ve heard this movie, and Barbara Wong’s recent output described as ‘OL porn.’
Not the Japanese version, the Chinese version.
These movies are made to appeal to single women in China of a certain age, education, and class. What single Chinese woman in her 20s or early 30s wouldn’t want to have Louis Koo and Daniel Woo fighting over her in an environment full of luxury cars, clothes, and watches?
So maybe we can say that Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 2 has a lot in common with the Tiny Times series. We know how popular those movies were.
And how good.
After watching Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 2, all I can think is “Election 3 ought to be a hoot…”
Let me at least try to say something nice about this movie. It was nice to see Lo Hoi Pang as a desk clerk. And Connie Man Hoi Ling was the only air hostess in the movie who didn’t look like she fell out of the ugly tree and hit every godd@mned branch on the way down.
See? I said something nice.