Xue Xiaolu’s Chinese romantic comedy Finding Mr. Right wants to be an American romantic comedy so badly!
It begins with the Supremes’ “Someday We’ll Be Together,” ends with Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” and sets a montage to Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” along the way, all without a hint of irony. None of this is a spoiler; remember that the title is Finding Mr. Right, which manages to be both generic and misleading.
The Finder in question is Wen (Tang Wei), a ditzy, rich Chinese woman sent by her sugar daddy to Seattle (portrayed by Vancouver) to give birth, thus circumventing China’s one-child policy.
She’s not seeking Mr. Right at first, but could it be Frank (Wu Xiubo), the scruffy driver who picks her up at the airport? And as Wen learns what’s most important in life — and we’re frequently reminded that it is not money — will she experience hilarious culture clash, including but not limited to tattooed punks straight out of Central Casting?
Finding Mr. Right would be banal if it were indeed an American film, but since it’s in Chinese and has a mild political edge regarding overseas birthing, it’s not without interest, and is a pleasant enough way to spend two hours if you’re not looking to be surprised.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 6, 2013