Sunday, May 13, 2012

Shanghai Calling (2012): LA Asian Film Festival

This movie is absolutely AMAZING!!!

I can definitely understand why this movie was chosen to open the LA Asian Film Festival. I managed to attend the second sold out screening of this movie. I had to stand on my worn out feet for about 40 minutes in the rush line but I did it! And damn am I glad that I did!

"Shanghai Calling" starts off with the success of Sam (played by the scrumptious Daniel Henney), a New York attorney on the brink of being named partner of his prestigious firm. Flushed with success of winning a major case, he believes that he will be named, until the partner firm drops a doozie: they will be sending him to China, to lead their firm. Why? Sam is not only a very successful attorney but he is Chinese. Not to let an opportunity slip by, he takes it even though he speaks no lick of chinese. None. Doesn't even know how to drink tea.
With the help of a pretty relocation specialist (played by Eliza Coupe), a fantastic assistant (played by Zhu Zhu), an ex-pat Mayor of Americatown (played by Bill Paxton), and a quirky english teacher (played by Sean Gallagher), Sam discovers not only his own identity but his own principle.

Where can I begin to explain how awesome this movie was? It has been a long time since I've seen a decent rom-com. This movie is so much than a rom-com. It has a great story, great characters, and stunningly beautiful scenery. 

What really gives the movie a depth are definitely the characters. Zhu Zhu was stunning as the assistant. She was phenomenal and her hair is amazing. Seriously, I wish my hair could stay like that. I absolutely adored the comedy antics of the love interest of Zhu Zhu. There were so many cute scenes of the poor IT guy trying to capture the attention of Zhu Zhu. He even brought epinadas to her family house to impress them.

I have no shame in admitting that I have developed a major crush on Gang Le and Daniel Henney. Geng Le played Awesome Wang, an amazing journalist who is able to snoop out any details on anyone. He was so damn adorable in his quiet confidence and intelligence. I am absolutely serious! I adored him.

Oh...and...oh Daniel Henney. Oh my gosh DANIEL HENNEY. He is unbelievably, mockingly HOT. He is tall, asian, built, and has a deep voice. And he's funny...omigosh he is so funny! There is this adorable scene where he's bouncing on the edge of the bed with a goofy grin on his face. Just so. damn. adorable. And there is this beautiful (thank you director!) glimpse of his hiney. Oh beautiful...

There I have now stopped drooling and calmed down.

This movie will definitely speak to the young mixed races growing up this country. Especially the asian americans who do not speak their own cultural languages. Many of us have grown up without knowing the guidelines and rules of our other culture.How many of us have been embarrassed on making a cultural snafu? Oh look at the sea of hands.

Not only is Sam HOT (wiping mouth now), his character arc is great. He starts off as this bloated head of a prick and ends up centered. The journey to get to that point was fun and clever. I seriously thought I figured out who the villain would be. I was wrong. Pleasantly wrong.

There are very few movies where I can completely forget where I was, what I was doing before, or what I doing tomorrow. I just simply enjoyed and loved being in the moment. I have not felt that for a very long time.

On a random note, I thought the intro to the film reminded me of the promo of "10th Kingdom" with the upside down view of China and New York.

Love this movie. If your able to catch it at a film festival do so. Watch it. And watch for that hiney.

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