If you’re looking for a holiday movie to watch this New Year’s weekend, Adoring might be a good contender. It came out on 31 December 2019, just in time for New Year’s – so we’re only about a year late? 😁
Show is simple, easy, and it focuses on bringing the feels. And! There’re pets!! What’s not to love, right? 🤩
Psst! Links to watch are at the end of the post!
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
An omnibus sort of story featuring six different little narrative arcs, all about the love and care between people, as well as between those people and their pets.
MANAGING EXPECTATIONS / THE VIEWING LENS
Here are a couple of things that I think might be useful to keep in mind, to maximize your enjoyment of your watch:
1. The stories lean simple, because there are 6 of them, and we only have 1 hour 47 minutes of screen time to cover them all.
2. The humor tends to lean broad, which might take a bit of getting used to.
3. Some of the acting can be a little stiff. But the animal actors are great, and more than make up for it. 🤩
4. There are some bittersweet, poignant feels in here. Show had me legit reaching for tissues at one point.
5. But! Overall, Show is feel-good. So don’t let the presence of the bittersweet turn you off from this one.
STUFF I LIKED
1. The animals.
They were consistently the highlight for me, across every single story. 🤩 Can you tell that I love animals? 😍
2. The themes.
Even when the execution sometimes gave me pause, I liked the wholesome themes that Show serves up. Like being brave to face the world; being loyal to the ones whom you love; overcoming your own fears and limitations; opening up to the ones whom you love. I liked these very well.
3. The different types of love featured.
I like that romantic love isn’t the only focus in this show. We also have platonic love, familial love, and of course, the love between pet-owners and their fur-babies.
THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING [SPOILERS]
The arc with Reluctant Cat Dad (Gao Ming) and his efforts to connect with his daughter, and keep the cat from going to the US with her, is pretty cute, and the arc with blind boy Chen Le Yun (Leo Wu) coming to terms with his blindness, and embracing his future, is rather poignant.
I thought the kitten couple was cute too, and I found the pig arc rather endearing as well, but I have to admit, it was the newlywed couple’s experience with their rottweiler Seven, that had me crying big fat tears.
At first, this arc had just felt like a running gag, with Seven being so jealously protective of his mom Fang Xin (Elaine Zhong), that he keeps getting in the way of the newlywed couple’s sexytimes. I found this mildly amusing, but I wasn’t too into it, because the execution leaned a bit OTT for my taste.
BUT THEN. Once we learn that Seven’s got heart failure, and isn’t likely to make it, that changed everything.
It was hard watching Fang Xin tearfully give the ok over the phone for Seven to be put down, because her flight was delayed, and she didn’t want to make him suffer longer than absolutely necessary. I was completely convinced that Seven was waiting for her, sob. 😭
And then, the way New Dog Dad Zhao Yue (William Chan) soothes and comforts Seven, and promises Seven that he’ll protect Mom always, and the way Seven then finally licks Dad in a gesture of acceptance, made me ugly cry in a big way. Wahhhh. 😭😭😭
It’s so, so touching though, to see that Seven had always just wanted to protect his mom, and it’s also so touching, that New Dog Dad, who’s never managed to get close to Seven until this critical moment, holds his paw and kisses it so tenderly. Aw, man. It’s so heartbreaking, but it’s also so beautiful. 😭💔
I’m glad that we end the movie on a more hopeful, uplifting note, with delivery man Ah De (Guo Qi Lin) finding the fur-love of his life, after striking up an unlikely friendship with the resident stray at an apartment complex.
That scene, where the dog gets the blessings of his dead owner, to go with his new Dad, is poignant and bittersweet, but also, full of hope for a happier future.
Ultimately, that seems to be the overarching message of this entire movie; that whoever you are, and wherever you are in life, there’s a positive hope and a bright future to be had, with the people – and the fur babies! – in your life.
That’s a pretty uplifting way to start the year, I do think. ❤️
THE FINAL VERDICT:
A little silly at times, but generally heartfelt, with lashings of poignance and bittersweet.
FINAL GRADE: B+
WHERE TO WATCH:
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