Time to Love, A
China 2004
Directed by Huo Jianqi.

Two weepy, over-melodramatic lovers, Qu Ran (Vicki Zhao Wei) and Hou Jia (Lu Yi) grow up in angst because their fanatically embittered parents hate each other, just like Shakespeare's ROMEO AND JULIET, which becomes what they consider to be "their story," even up to the attempted suicide. Even in college and after, their parents keep them apart, which is hard for an American audience to really fathom. At one point, Hou Jia's mom asks him to choose -- pick her or me. I am grateful my own mother never made me choose between herself and Vicki Zhao Wei, as that would have been the last time I ever saw mom. The parents (Song Xiaoying and Zhang Qian) are feuding because of something her dad said about his to some officials, something about a rape, that led him to commit suicide, leaving Hou Jia alone with his mother. The parents fanatical attempts to keep the two lovers apart made me suspect perhaps the rape had occurred, and Qu Ran was the offspring, making them blood relatives and therefore justifying the separation at least somewhat, it turns out this was just my overactive imagination and the parents are just ruining their children's lives for the hell of it. By the end, misery becomes a habit, near impossible to break even when there is no reason to be so any longer. Nearly two hours of moping, accompanied by somber keyboard music, is a bit much to bear, but as consolation the movie gives us a lot of time to admire Zhao Wei's beautiful face.

Rating: Marginally Recommended (Marginally Recommended)

Posted by Peter Nepstad on June 03, 2005.

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