If You Are the One 2 (Film)
Barry C Chung
Director Feng Xiaogang's sequel to his 2008 hit If You Are the One falls a little flat with its empty dialogue and lifeless wry humour.
Xiaoxiao (Shu Qi) and Qinfen (Ge You) enter a trial marriage to test their compatibility before plunging into the real deal. Meanwhile, their best friends, Xiangshan (Sun Honglei) and Mango (Yao Chen), have just divorced. Oddly enough, they serve as Xiaoxiao and Qinfen's confidantes, providing relationship advice to the newly 'married' couple.
Xiangshan finds out his days are numbered - he has cancer - and begins to contemplate his past follies. His predicament begins to influence Xiaoxiao and Qinfen's outlook on marriage.
The deeper issues of pragmatism in love are only dealt with on the surface. Ironically, the most interesting parts of the film are when the spotlight is not on Xiaoxiao and Qinfen.
The final 'farewell ceremony' is bizarre but works in the context of a film that evokes every emotion imaginable.
This is one of the more dialogue-heavy films out there. Even with Ge You and his iconic Beijing accent, deadpan sarcasm and philosophical musings, a lot of the humour gets lost in translation. You almost get the sense that there's a slight yet deliberate pause after some of the punchlines in order to give the audience time to catch up.