Xiao Lu Xue’s film Finding Mr. Right is said to be this year’s biggest box office hit in China after it grossed nearly $83 million dollars. After viewing it at the Milwaukee Film Festival, I cannot understand how that happened. If I could, I would rename the film Finding Mr. Wrong then remove the Finding Mr. part to just have the film simply named Wrong. The film was two hours long; two hours of my life I will never get back.
Finding Mr. Right tells the story of Wen Jiajia (Wei Tang), a pregnant mistress to a wealthy businessman. Jiajia gains a travel visa and relocates to the United States to give birth to her child due to needing consent to give birth in China. She selects Seattle as her birthing destination based on her infatuation with Nora Ephron’s 1993 film Sleepless in Seattle. When she arrives to Seattle, Jiajia meets Frank, a gentleman whose job it is to drive the pregnant Asian women from the airport to their home and to help them get around the city. Frank takes Jiajia to her birthing home, a place where women can stay so they are able to give birth to their children in the United States. Throughout the film, she attempts to hide her emotions behind her expensive clothing and careless credit card swiping, all of which is made possible by the businessman who impregnated her.
When her source of dubious income is cut off, her baby’s father never shows up to support her as he mentions he would. Jiajia realizes she needs to focus more on being a mother and at least make an attempt to make her life better. During this time, she becomes more comfortable with Frank. She learns that he has a daughter and that he hopes to be a doctor again after taking a hiatus. Much like in the film Sleepless in Seattle, there’s a scene that does involve the Empire State Building and Jiajia’s urge to go to the top of it. Sadly, she never is able to get there due to a series of unfortunate events that serve as an annoyance to not only the character but also to us who are suffering and anticipating the film’s conclusion.
I’m just going to spoil the film here so you’ll never have to watch it. Jiajia falls in love with Frank but then her baby’s father sends for her to be taken back to China (I know, I was disappointed as well). Jiajia moves back but then realizes she’s unhappy so she becomes independent and moves back to the United States. In a very “coincidental” way, Jiajia and Frank end up visiting the Empire State Building on the exact same day (hooray for smart writing!) Once they reunite, they realize that they have loved each other all along. It’s a scene that, much like scenes that came before it, caused my eyes to roll.
For a film that regards itself as a romantic comedy, there actually isn’t much romance. There isn’t a single scene that made me believe that these two characters were actually in love because they never kiss. I kept waiting and waiting for something romantic to happen but I was left disappointed. I was strung along for two hours only to find out that Jiajia never actually found Mr. Right, but rather a man whom she’s apparently afraid to be intimate with.
On the surface, the general plot of Finding Mr. Right does not seem to be that bad. However, watching it is far different. Consider me highly unimpressed.