If You Are the One Love and Marriage
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IF YOU ARE THE ONE: LOVE & MARRIAGE follows the comedic courtship saga of wealthy, middle-aged retiree Qin Fen (Ge You, To Live) and serious-minded young air hostess Xiaoxiao (Shu Qi, The Transporter). After an amusing prelude in which Qin presides over a lavish divorce ceremony for an amicably splitting married couple, he and Xiaoxiao decide to address their own relationship barriers by entering into a “trial marriage” and living together full-time in a secluded, tropical villa.
On the island of Hainan, Qin and Xiaoxiao begin their daily life together, learning more about each other, themselves and what it takes to make romance blossom. He’s captivated by her beauty and youth and is hopeful that his dream of marriage will become a reality. But Xiaoxiao still has reservations about Qin’s cynical and childish sense of humor and uses their “trial marriage” getaway to determine what’s needed in life and love.
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As "Love and Marriage" begins (after an elaborate introduction), You and Qi are about to embark on a trial honeymoon to see if they are compatible for marriage. You is an older man, recently retired, who is smitten with the younger lady. Qi likes the man and the potential stability of his offer, but has no real passion for the coupling. The film has a lightness in tone and the two banter and bicker like close friends. And I really liked the movie, at first. There is never any particular spark, however, so the piece gets increasingly preposterous as they start to manipulate one another with childish games. What was once fun soon becomes tiresome (to them and to this viewer) and it seems unlikely that they'd make a good match. As the film progresses, we start to advance through time and we see You and Qi as they evolve. When the film takes a decidedly maudlin turn, you know exactly what the film is steering you to hope about the principle couple. I just never felt it. I don't think the film establishes their bond convincingly. I'm being purposefully vague so as not to spoil any surprises, but the heart of this realistic romance was somewhat absent for me.
Still, both Qi and You are appealing actors and I did genuinely like the performances. The two played off one another well, especially as antagonistic friends. The film's sad second act plays on a beat too long for my taste--but again, it is extremely well acted by everyone involved. If you are a fan of either or both of the leads, I'd recommend checking this out. But be wary of any description that labels this as a romantic comedy. It is sporadically amusing at the beginning, but it doesn't really fit into the genre the marketing campaign would have you believe. The film does boast many gorgeous locales and is spectacular to look at from a technical standpoint. It's so impressive! The opening ceremony is beautiful and terrific, I wanted the rest of the picture to follow in equally unexpected ways. I wanted to love this one, but I ended up somewhat ambivalent despite its numerous good points. KGHarris, 12/11.
It is a bland movie without much witty dialogues as in the earlier one. One will not miss anything without seeing the sequel, imho. They got married and live happily after even though to reach that point, they experienced some challenges.