Meet Miss Anxiety: Chinese movie of the month

Chinese movies don’t even have a good reputation in China, much less the rest of the world. The positive side of this situation is that you will probably go into the cinema with absolutely no expectations, and if that’s the case you might be plesantly surprised by this offering from director Guo Zairong.

The adverts for this movie say gèng zǎo hè sùi “celebrate the (Chinese) new year early”. Chinese hè sùi piàn (new year movies) are typically upbeat, and this romantic comedy hits the spot.

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更早贺岁 geng zao he sui, celebrate Chinese new year

The title wǒ de zǎo gèng nǚ yǒu translates as “my early menopause girlfriend” and refers to the main character, Qi Jia, who has gone through early menopause. There seems to be some confusion between the syptoms of the menopause and alzheimer’s and at several points in the movie the female protagonist (apparently as a result of menopause) competely forgets who her best friend and flatmate are.

The plot is therefore a simple one. Qi Jia’s boyfriend breaks up with her on graduation day, she finds out she going through an early menopause and subsequently goes off the rails, turning into an alcoholic. All the while her her best male friend, Yuan Xiao Ou, is secretly in love (ān liàn) whith her.

How Qi Jia is unable to see Yuan Xiao Ou is completely in love with her, and her menopause induced mood swings, are either a source of amusement or frustration, depending on how much you emotionally invest in this movie.

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Admittely this is a girly movie but it is certainly ammusing enough to keep your boyfriend interested if you drag him to see it. Unfortunately for the blokes it might also be moving enough to make your girlfriend cry if she succeeds in dragging you to see it (assuming she is the emotional type.)

Despite the stupidity it is far less farcical than most Chinese comedies and would probably appeal to fans of movies such as Bridget Jones’ Diary. More importantly for the Chinese learner this movie is not difficult to follow and there is no reason why an upper intermediate student would need English subtitles.

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