Recently I’ve spotted a trend developing in many Mainland/Hong Kong romantic comedies. This trend has been nagging at me for awhile now but it was only after watching Johnnie To/Wai Kar-Fai’s Don’t Go Breaking My Heart that it became too apparent to ignore. Is it me or are movies like All About Women (2008), If You Are The One (2008), If You Are The One II (2011), What Women Want (2011) and Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (2011) all share the same the plot characteristics? The story generally takes place in some super cosmopolitan part of China populated by characters that are supremely successful and are usually very very well-off. There’s this off-putting veneer that glosses over bigger social/political issues. It’s as if working class characters have all been replaced by young entrepreneurs in shiny glass offices. With each major production the focus seems to be more and more on creating this simulacrum of China as this financial haven filled with wealthy people moaning about the possibility of never finding love.
I don’t know why this shift makes me nervous but it does. Perhaps I’m just a little tired of all these romantic comedies looking like lavish condo commercials.