HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Killer Party
Holmes & Watson
Monster in the Closet
Sand, The
Glass
My Brilliant Career
Knife for the Ladies, A
Man in the Attic
Destroyer
Fillmore
Bumblebee
No Kidding
Honkytonk Man
Woman in the Window, The
Shed of the Dead
Dead Easy
Tucked
Widows
Last Movie Star, The
Death Game
Juliet, Naked
November
Arcadia
Sugar Hill
House with the Clock in Its Walls, The
Devil Thumbs a Ride, The
Suspiria
Secret People
Spy Who Dumped Me, The
Beautiful Stranger
House That Jack Built, The
Undercover
White Chamber
R.P.M.
Summer of 84
On Secret Service
Survive!
My Sister Eileen
Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween
Last Picture Show, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
Oh, What Happened to You? The Likely Lads on Blu-ray
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
How 1970s Can You Get? Cliff Richard in Take Me High vs Never Too Young to Rock
A Perfect Engine, An Eating Machine: The Jaws Series
Phwoar, Missus! Sexytime for Hollywood
   
 
  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 1221 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 star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Paul Shrimpton
Darren Jones
George White
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: