HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Wild Card
America 3000
Raze
Black Beauty
Taken 3
Miss Meadows
Force Majeure
Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Black Sea
Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, A
Green for Danger
Falling, The
American Ninja 4: The Annihilation
Chappie
Big Game
   
 
Newest Articles
Green Screen: Ecological Horror of the 1970s
What in the Weird? Arthur C. Clarke’s World of Strange Powers
Public Info Ltd: The Essential Richard Massingham
Who Ordered a Seqwolf? Howling II and American Werewolf in Paris
Animania 2000: Halas and Batchelor Cartoons
   
 
  Call for Love Dial-a-dateBuy this film here.
Year: 2007
Director: Zhang Jian-Ya
Stars: Xu Zheng, Jiang Hong-Bo, Liu Yi-Wei, Song Jia, Fan Bing Bing, Eva Huang Sheng-Yi, Annie Shizuka Inoh, Ning Jing, Qu Ying, Qin Hailu, Bai Bing, Cong Shan, Gong Bei-Bi, Che Yong-Li, Shen Xing, Yu Daiqin
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Fantasy
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Xu Lang (Xu Zheng) is bored with his wife (Jiang Hong-Bo) and over dinner, casually suggests they get divorced. When his wife asks why, after seven years of marriage, Xu can’t think of a single reason. Quite understandably, Xu’s wife throws him out onto the street with a broken cell-phone. Whereupon Xu visits a mysterious repairman (Liu Yi-Wei) who turns out to be an angel and is given a magic cell-phone. Each button puts Xu in touch with a different beautiful woman who falls instantly in love with him. He now has ten chances for love, but this dream quickly turns into a comical nightmare.

Call for Love is more or less the kind of high-concept rom-com one would typically expect to hail from Hollywood. Instead this frothy flight of fancy unfolds amidst ultra-chic, pre-Olympics Beijing combining images of sleek shopping malls, neon-lit nightclubs and fancy restaurants with a Mandarin rap soundtrack for maximum hipness. Fans of glamorous Chinese starlets will find themselves faced with a veritable sweetshop of eye-candy, only the plot leaves viewers with a strangely sour aftertaste. Within minutes of receiving his magic phone, Xu Lang finds himself sharing a cab with comely Luo Yanyan (Song Jia). She promptly invites him back to her place for a candlelit dinner and some heavy petting, till he discovers she is pregnant.

And so it goes, as the love phone connects hapless Xu with tough policewoman Chen Xiaoyu (Fan Bing Bing) whom he idiotically persuades to handcuff herself to him before she takes off in pursuit of a terrorist. Club-hopping teenager Long Xiaoxia (Eva Huang Sheng-Yi, star of Kung Fu Hustle (2004)) proves too hyper and modern for his tastes. Xin (Bai Bing) interrogates Xu as part of a reality television dating show, but turns out to be seeking a man for her mum (Cong Shan). Xu’s desire to find a girl just like his mother (Yu Daiqin) leads her to introduce him to Pan Wenlin (Ning Jing), who turns out to be a pushy, controlling, passive-aggressive shrew. Career woman Liang Huijun (Annie Shizuka Inoh) pampers Xu as her personal assistant but after testing his fidelity with a call girl, ends up in bed with her previous p.a. Dog-lover Li Miao (Qu Ying) treats her pet pooch better than her prospective boyfriends. Paranoid psychologist Gao Fei (Qin Hailu) is an outright man-hater who confounds with him with endless mind games.

Surprisingly, given the film is otherwise laden with heavy-handed moralising about the importance of traditional values and how divorce, abortion and dog-lovers are all very bad things, it still Xu lets to sleep with an array of women then ditch them without looking like the bad guy. A reoccurring gag has Xu repeatedly return to the hospital with a new injury treated by friendly Doctor Qian (Gong Bei-Bi) who seems set up for a more important role in the plot than eventually proves the case. Bald, mild-mannered Xu is a most unlikely love object, which is admittedly part of the joke but comes across as infantile and annoying, ditching one woman after another whenever things get complicated.

“Every woman is a double-edged sword. Their most lovable trait might also be their most annoying”, remarks the angelic repairman as he advises Xu to try to understand them better. Despite delivering a syrupy speech towards the end, we see little evidence Xu has learned anything from his experience. While the film avoids the expected conclusion, after Xu returns home to find his wife has remarried, it cops out with a convoluted and rather abrupt conclusion as he runs into an old flame (Shen Xing) at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, who happens to have her own magic cell-phone. Call for Love would like to think its core message is men should learn to empathize with the fairer sex, but in fact its sexist subtext implies modern women are crazy, controlling bitches who have collectively emasculated the male species. And what the hell is romantic about that?

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 448 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme music?
Superman: The Movie
The Dark Knight
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three ('74)
Star Wars
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
The Great Escape
Halloween
The Ipcress File
The Magnificent Seven
Back to the Future
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Lee Trathan
Enoch Sneed
  Yvonne Jarman
Artur Lara
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: