My inflight adventures continue, my friends, and today I met a movie that I wanted to tell you guys about, coz it’s cute, and there’s enough heart in here to bring on a nice case of the feels.
On a personal tangent, I’m kinda extra chuffed, because I basically decided on this movie today, because I recognized our leads’ names in the description.
If you’ve been around here for a bit, you’d probably know that I only really started watching Chinese shows (mostly dramas) a couple of years ago, mostly as an addition to my main diet of Korean dramas.
Which means that I often approach a Chinese show without having seen at least one of the leads before.
And today, I recognized both leads’ names and where I’d last enjoyed their work (I saw Lei Jiayin in The First Half Of My Life and Tong Liya in Nirvana In Fire 2). Woot! Achievement unlocked! 😀
Ok, but seriously, this movie is a sweet lil one, which I hope you guys will like.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
A man and a woman (Lei Jiayin and Tong Liya), living in the same apartment 19 years apart, suddenly find their timelines – and their apartments – mashed together.
Cue close proximity and fish out of water hijinks, amidst a growing bond between our surprised flatmates, and the big question of how they are going to deal with it all.
STUFF I LIKED
1. Our leads are great together, and the growing bond between our OTP feels real.
Lei Jiayin and Tong Liya have very good chemistry, and I enjoyed watching them together on my screen.
From the minute their characters Lu Ming and Xiaojiao set incredulous eyes on each other, all the way to the end, through every evolving stage of their relationship, I found their connection easy to believe in.
Yes, it’s a stretch that Lei Jiayin is playing a 25-year-old, but his bashful dorky earnestness more than makes up for it. <3
2. The shared housing hijinks are funny.
I just found it very amusing, to see their apartments literally mashing together, while they figured out this new weird shared space.
Show’s brand of funny sat quite well with me, overall, which I count as a big plus.
3. Show is generally well-executed.
From the way Show presents parallel timelines and how they intersect and interact, to how Show presents an entire 1999 world, alongside its 2018 world, I thought it was all quite well done.
What I appreciate is that all of this solid execution isn’t so loud or distracting that it detracts from the story or our characters and their growing bond.
STUFF THAT COULD’VE BEEN BETTER
Generally speaking, I thought the rules within this fantasy construct weren’t super fleshed-out. Yes, there are some things which are made quite clear to us, but in particular, towards the end, I felt like I wasn’t so clear anymore, on how certain things were possible.
For example, Show makes it clear that Lu Ming and Xiaojiao can’t open each others’ apartment doors, and that they can’t cheat the system by profiting in 2018, from their knowledge of 1999. They’re also not supposed to get too close to their other-timeline selves.
Any of this rule-breaking will trigger tremors, a further-mashed apartment, and other strong weather conditions.
But towards the end of the movie, we see Xiaojiao apparently near her younger self, and the world around her stays peaceful. I didn’t quite understand that.
Also, it’s not super clear how Lu Ming and Xiaojiao share that moment in time at the very end of the movie, though I get that it has something to do with the spinning top.
I mean, I enjoyed the story; I just didn’t quite understand how we were slicing through space and time.
THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING [SPOILERS]
I had a sense that Lu Ming wouldn’t allow himself to choose the dark side and become a tycoon through dubious means.
I also had a sense that Xiaojiao wouldn’t stay with 2018 Lu Ming (now known as Lu Shiyi), because it was clear that she’d moved out in order to save Lu Ming, rather than to live the high life that Lu Shiyi promised.
So I wasn’t surprised when they made the choices they did, but it was still gratifying to watch, all the same.
I love that Xiaojiao could tell that the person visiting her in her new home, was Lu Ming and not Lu Shiyi, even though he’d taken the trouble to dress the part.
There was just so much care and emotion between these two, in that charged “final” meeting, and so much pathos, as Lu Ming went home and closed the door to 2018 for good. Augh.
Yes, it’s a little contrived that Lu Ming decides to save his boss the moment he realizes that his boss is Xiaojiao’s father whom she’d lost as a child, but I liked it anyway.
I liked seeing Lu Ming make choices that freed his conscience, even though it meant that he would be giving up his realty dreams. And I liked that it was his love for and loyalty to Xiaojiao which gave him the strength to fight to make that choice.
I didn’t quite understand the workings of that final meeting at the corner (screenshot above), but I appreciated the sentiment that Lu Ming and Xiaojiao are so tuned in to each other, that they’d pick each other out of a crowd – and across timelines too.
That final moment that they have, face to face, felt so poignant and bittersweet, and my heart lurched a little, when the top stopped spinning, and Xiaojiao vanishes before Lu Ming’s eyes, just before the credits started rolling.
What a bittersweet end to the movie, I thought.
BUT THEN. The credits pause, and we get a scene of Xiaojiao meeting Lu Ming in the same timeline. Eee!
Presumably, this is the version of Xiaojiao who was 12 years old in 1999, and has now grown up, because she doesn’t seem to recognize Lu Ming. Even so, things look like they will likely end well for this couple, as they get into a bickery space right away – just like they did before. Aw.
And YET, Show’s not done. Show has even more bonus goodies to serve up, as I get deeper into the credits.
We get an extended scene of Lu Ming and Xiaojiao sitting together as a couple, dressed in matchy couple colors, teasing each other and generally just being cute and loving while telling each other lame jokes, like:
Her: Why is it so cold today?
Him: Do you know where the coldest place on earth is?
Her: The North Pole? South Pole?
Him: No. It’s the place that doesn’t have you in it. *kisses her forehead*
Hur. I mean, that’s so lame, but so cute, right?
It’s true that in my head, I still have some questions for Show in terms of just how we got here, but the sight of these two together like this, makes me so happy and gives me so many of the warm fuzzy feels, that I’m willing to withhold the questions and just bask in the happy cute of it all. <3
You win, Show. You win.
THE FINAL VERDICT:
Warm, sweet and funny, with lashings of heart-grabby poignance. PS: Make sure you sit through the credits!
FINAL GRADE: B+
WHERE TO WATCH:
You can check out the show on Tubi.
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I just come here after finishing The Longest Day in Chang’An.
The only reason is because Lei Jiayin haha.
Your review surely make the different and help clearing my curiousity in many things of the movie, the climax before the end and of course, the end credit.
I love when you said it is Lu Ming and the 12 years growing up Xiaojioa that see each others at the end of the moive. That’s why she scolds him and calls him as a pervert haha. And it’s even more relief to know that they finally end up as a couple.
The chemistry between Lei Jiayin and Tong Liya is amazing, and somehow feels so real for me (I think I kinda jealous haha), this means both actors have a good relationship.
I’m not sure whether you’ve watched ‘Old Boy’ (C-Drama in 2018) yet? because I did (I’m trying to keep up with all of Lei’s works…but it’s difficult for someone who not in China and don’t understand Chinese…).
In that series, he is a lead supporting role as the main character’s best friend, and again, fall for a girl so easily.
This is just my personal notification based on only 3 of his works (starts from the first to the latest that I watched: TLDC > HLWILU > Old Boy), but it seems his character must be the first who fall for the girls and try hard (or even desperately?) to win their attention (hearts). Well, I would say all three attempts were successful and some of it was really meaningful and life-changing act beyond simply romance too (Xiaojing and Tan Qi is my OTP for life now). It’s good for hardcore fan and shipper like me through, but I also wanna know whether he will have a simple and easygoing, feel good and smoothly romance on TV or screen?
So, that’s it. This is too long for comment and seems like an essay instead, haha. Sorry for that.
Thanks for sharing your thought. I read this one and the one with TLDC, both are wonderful with enrich details.
Ahhh I saw this movie on the plane too! But it was a night flight and despite my best efforts, I fell asleep. Not that it was boring but I just didn’t have the stamina that day and I’m so sad. Gonna have to find other means of seeing it now.
Wow, hi5 Simeon, that we both saw this inflight! 😀 I don’t blame you at all, for falling asleep, especially on a night flight! I often doze off on flights as well. Last week I picked Detective Dee to watch inflight coz of Mark Chao, and promptly fell asleep for a good half of the movie, before I woke up to watch the second half! 😆
If you don’t mind a walk on the darker side, you could watch or download the movie here. I hope that helps! 🙂
HAHA I wished I didn’t though. Would’ve been able to watch more films. Glad I managed to catch One Cut Of The Dead though!
Oh did you enjoy Detective Dee? And thanks for the link!!
Hm, I’d have to say, Detective Dee isn’t quite my thing. I finished it partly for Mark Chao, and partly out of curiosity, but it really was too much C-fantasy for my taste, and it was served up in what felt like a rough package, if that makes sense. Like, there was so much CGI, and not all of it was great, and there was a fair bit of shouting and fighting, and I wasn’t really into it, to be brutally honest. 😛😅
Ohh haha was about to say, since you mentioned that you fell asleep halfway through the film 😂😂😂
I actually fell asleep soon after I started the movie, HAHA! 😆 I slept through the first half, then woke up to watch the second half. It was just ok, I think. Not worth searching for, in my opinion. Unless you’re just desperate for some Mark Chao on your screen, and don’t care what it is..! 🤣
HAHA oh no. I’d give it a miss then. Our tastes in dramas seem pretty similar so if you didn’t like it, chances are I’d probably hate it too 😂
I don’t know.. depends on how magicky your tastes lean? It’s more like a very magicky xianxia adventure, so if you like that kind of thing, it might work for you even though it didn’t rock my world. 😛
Hmm…haven’t had very good impressions of magicky xianxia types. Unless its as good as Ten Miles HAHAH even the magicky elements of NIF 2 was abit off-putting for me
I didn’t like the magicky elements of NIF2 either.. and after attempting Ashes of Love and not managing to love it like everyone else, I’m really starting to be more wary of xianxia shows. 😛 But.. Liu Haoran’s Novoland is on the horizon, and I did love him in NIF2, so I might check it out for him. Although, 70 eps does really intimidate me! 😅
I stopped Ashes Of Love after the first ep but mainly because I’m not a fan of idol dramas and Ashes Of Love is clearly one of those. Haven’t seen anything about Novoland yet but hopefully it looks good! I tend to drop dramas very quicky within the first ten episodes HAHA
Ah, the thing about Novoland: Eagle’s Flag, is that it got pulled from the air just minutes before it was supposed to premiere. 😱 No word on when it will air, and no reason given either. How perplexing for the fans who were eagerly anticipating it! ☹
Oh no 😕 how odd. Hopefully it comes back soon though!
Ikr?!? It’s really odd. Apparently promos were in full force, and then the show was pulled just 30 minutes before its scheduled air time! 😱 Too surreal. I really hope they’ll bring it back soon.. I’m curious to see Liu Haoran being badass!
Hmm…well it IS China. So I’m not surprised to be honest, haha. But wow 30 minutes…must have been rough. I’m sure it’ll come back soon!
Just saw the trailer. Liu Haoran’s character seems intriguing. Much more interesting than when he was in NIF2. 😲
That’s true.. unfortunately, you never can tell when it comes to China and dramas.. the sudden bans have been hard on fans. 😛 Crossing my fingers that Eagle’s Flag gets a new air date, because YES, Liu Haoran’s character does seem very intriguing! So fierce and badass. <3
It’s part of a series right? Novoland. I’ve seen it around but never got around to watching it cuz of all the magicky stuff that I don’t like hahah but I might start watching them now before Eagle Flag premieres
Ah, that’s what I thought too, at first, that it’s all part of the same series. But it’s not. Apparently Novoland is a fictional world that a bunch of authors created, called 九州, which has been translated to Novoland. All the stories aren’t sequels of one another, they just take place in the same fictional world. So the Novoland series which I attempted to watch (probably the same one you’re thinking of) has nothing to do with Eagle’s Flag, except for sharing the same world. So.. don’t feel pressured to watch the magicky thing. I gave up quite quickly because everyone looked ridiculous in the blue robes which looked like old prom dresses to my eyes. 😆😆
Btw, wondering if you’ve seen Sky Castle? Not sure if I’ve seen a post about it on your blog. But I just finished it and I was soooo addicted HAHA
Oh, YAY that you loved SKY Castle, Simeon! 😀 Yes, I did write a review for that, you can check it out here, if you have time! 🙂
Yes! I was sure I saw your post on it HAHA. Glad that we’re both enjoying the same shows 😂
We DO seem to like similar shows! 😀 Hi5! <3
I saw this movie about eight months ago. I just looked up notes a moment ago and note where I said:
What a nice movie. It delivers on all its elements. It’s one of the few stories that actually invests “time” in a relationship (I really enjoyed the amount of time given to the ending). Make sure you watch through the credits.
For me, it was 8.5/10. I thought they were great together.
Oh yes, the credits make a huge difference! I feel like if I’d clicked out of the movie once the credits started rolling, I would’ve come away with a much different set of emotions! 😱😅 I’m so glad I decided to stick around for a bit, coz that’s when the extra scenes started rolling, and all the feels started surging – on top of the bittersweet pathos that my heart was already grappling with. It was just an overload of feels, but in the best way, coz it made me feel so happy and fuzzy! ❤😍😄
And yes, I very much agree with the attention that Show gives to developing the relationship. I found it all quite organic, even though we had to experience some of it in a highlight reel sort of manner. That’s something that I’ve always thought dramas are positioned to do better, since dramas have more screen time to play with, so I’m always extra impressed when I can walk away from a movie and feel that the relationships were well developed and well portrayed. 😀
I always watch the credits! You never know what might be in there. Sometimes it will be those extra scenes, outtakes or some very funny comments.
That’s a great practice! My film studies professor made it mandatory for us to sit through credits, because he said it was the least we could do, for all the people whose names appear in the credits; they worked so hard to make the film. I did keep that up for a while, but I’ve become lax and impatient in recent years. You’re so right though – you never know what extras will be squirreled away in the credits! 😀