Oh, “Finding Mr. Right.” You had so much going for you, except the most essential ingredient: good writing.
“Finding Mr. Right” may have been a hit in China, but some of its standards may not be up to par in order for American audiences to enjoy it. Like any romcom, it revolves around a heroine who is rather unlikable at the start, but eventually learns from the people around her and becomes a better person.
The aforementioned heroine is JiaJia (Wei Tang) a rich man's pampered mistress who has come to Seattle, ostensibly due to her fondness for the movie “Sleepless In Seattle,” but in reality to give birth to her married lover's child. She has unlimited access to its access to his funds, spends it quickly and thoughtlessly, and expects everyone else to cater to her every whim. Other times, she's of course both adorable and rather sympathetic, but even that backfires, since she teeters from despicable to cutsie without ever mixing those qualities, making her more like a condescending caricature rather than an actual character.
There is also an almost impossibly perfect man (played by Xiubo Wu) and his preteen daughter that she wins over. And as her child grows, so does her character and her conscience, which is exacerbated when she is inevitably cut off from her lover's funds.
In another movie, this would be a by-the-numbers story that could be bolstered by the skills and chemistry of its two leads, but that feels like an impossible task here. The bad writing means that the characters' lines feel unnatural, the scenes feel like they're abruptly rushing from one situation to the next, and the maudlin music whenever there's a hint of sentiment is a constant reminder that “Finding Mr. Right” doesn't trust its audience to know when they should be feeling an emotion. Furthermore, if all the film's unnecessary scenes were cut, it probably could have ended about 45 minutes earlier.
JiaJia's choices may also require a moral flexibility that could be beyond American audiences. You could maybe excuse her for wearing a white wedding dress to someone else's wedding, but that pales to early in the movie when she goes to a club and drinks until she throws up (and yes, she knew she was pregnant).
And while the leads can't rescue “Finding Mr. Right,” they are its only saving grace, especially the compulsively watchable and charismatic Wei Tang. The movie may even be sneakily subversive in how it seems to associate happiness and hard work with America and materialism and shallowness with China. But nothing can save this overblown mess.