Daily News header

Sophie's Revenge Chinese Film Review

By     get stories by email

Jilted Bride-to-Be Schemes to Get Groom Back in Wacky Romantic Comedy

Sophie (Ziyi Zhang) is eagerly anticipating tying the knot with the man of her dreams, Dr. Jeff Li (Ji-sub So), a handsome surgeon with a flourishing medical practice. After all, in settling on this eligible bachelor, the dutiful daughter had merely heeded the sage advice of her domineering mother (Ji Wang) that "Men must choose the right career and women must marry the right guy."

So, with an engagement ring already on her finger, Sophie has been carefully planning the perfect wedding with the help of her intermeddling mom. And with the big day a couple of months away, they've already completed most of the arrangements by now, including purchasing a wedding gown and sending out the invites

But then, the beautiful bride-to-be's blossoming fairytale turns into a neverending nightmare when Jeff decides to dump her for one of his patients, and not just any patient, but one who happens to be a very famous actress. Adding insult to injury, suffering Sophie suddenly sees Joanna's (Bingbing Fan) face everywhere, whether on TV, at the theater or splashed across billboards all over town.

This predicament makes the poor girl feel so humiliated that she can't even bring herself to inform her mother of the embarrassing development. Furthermore, she's not inclined to let her fickle fiancÚ off the hook easily, especially when another one of her mom's many sayings comes to mind, namely, "A woman in love is foolish, but a woman rejected is crazy." Accordingly, Sophie starts stalking her ex with hopes not only of winning him back, but in time that the impending nuptials might still go off without a hitch.

That is the straightforward premise of Sophie's Revenge, a rollicking romantic comedy evocative of the age-old adage "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." But if you think this picture simply revolves around your typical, old-fashioned love triangle, think again, for its deceptively-pretzled plot proves far more intricate than you ever expected.

First of all, the play-by-play of this flashback flick is narrated in elliptical fashion by the title character, a creative artist with a vivid imagination. She informs the audience at the outset that she made a stupid mistake a couple years ago. Today, in order to help other women avoid committing the same blunder, she's publishing "Handbook of Love," an illustrated comic book chronicling a presumably foolproof method to win your man back, employing everything from forgiveness to nostalgic reminders to extreme makeovers to jealousy to befriending the enemy.

Sophie enlists the assistance of several confederates in her endeavor to win Jeff's heart again, starting with a Greek chorus comprised of her two best friends, Lucy (Ruby Lin) and Lily (Chen Yao). But because the former is a carefree bohemian while the latter's a happily-married career woman, their competing inclinations are often at odds.

Far more effective is Sophie's alliance with Joanna's just-jilted boyfriend, Gorden (Peter Ho), a forlorn photographer who's quite the hunk in his own right. The two enter a pact to even the score with their exes, by executing a series of strategic stunts designed to sabotage the budding relationship. Of course, as Robert Burns said, "The best laid plans often go awry," so don't be surprised to see this scheme frequently frustrated en route.

Written and directed by Yimeng Jin, Sophie's Revenge is a delightful romantic romp which deliberately winds its way to a cleverly-concealed resolution which this critic never anticipated. Shot on location in Beijing and Tianjin, the film feels ever so fresh, between its novel employment of a gaudy, citrus color scheme and its intermittent resort to animated diversions during the protagonist's mind-wandering dream sequences.

Zany and hilarious, yet simultaneously touching and thought-provoking, Sophie serves up revenge as a thoroughly-satisfying cinematic dish not to be missed.

Excellent (4 stars)
Unrated
In Mandarin and English with subtitles.
Running time: 107 Minutes
Studio: EDKO Film

To see a trailer for Sophie's Revenge, visit:

Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the African-American Film Critics Association, and the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee. Contact him through NewsBlaze.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Directed by Pat O'Connor (Sweet November), the screen version is an intriguing romance drama which takes a sharp turn about midway through when Tommo and Charlie enlist in the army and ship off to serve their country in Flanders' fields.
Before the month of October ends, here are the must-see movies to give viewers thrills and chills on the Halloween weekends.
Kam Williams interviews Haley Joel Osment, who played Cole, in The Sixth Sense, as the boy with the iconic line, I see dead people. Now in Sex Ed.
Seemingly a satire in some ways, of Keaton's ambivalent transformation into Tim Burton's Batman a quarter of a century ago, Birdman appears to be Keaton's venture into unprecedented extreme acting.
For movie fanatics and couch potatoes, are you ready to relax and indulge in a stress-free weekend? Well, here are top 10 DVD releases for the week!
It's a movie marathon, and here are some must-see movies to shoo away the boredom and be on trend on what's new and hot flicks for this month!

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month



Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site