Can Yang Mi and Ke Zhen Dong sizzle onscreen for “Tiny Times”?
Yang Mi has the looks and some acting talent, but I hope she’s ready for lots of bashing if the rabid fans of Tiny Times don’t see her convincing enough to be university grad, Lin Xiao, our heroine. More importantly, the fans of the popular book will probably be scrutinizing the chemistry between the leading female and male, which for now, seems to be down to zero. They are both gorgeous people by themselves, no doubt. And Yang Mi is only about 5 years older than her male co-star, Ke Zhen Dong (which to compare, is offsetted by the drama adaption where Ivy is younger than Peter by 7 years) Despite the small gap in age, as a longtime member of China’s entertainment circle, Yang appears to be many years mature for a 26 year old, whereas Ke looks like some high school kid caught fresh off the streets to be Yang Mi’s love interest. Ke Zhen Dong was instantly boosted to celebrity-status when he starred in last year’s hit movie You Are the Apple of My Eye, so maybe it is natural that Ke still appears reserved in front of press. However, in the recently-held press conference with the cast crew, Ke Zhen Dong reminded me more of a lost puppy than Yang Mi’s love interest, which might say something about their chemistry so far (or lack of):
Don’t get me wrong. When I found out about the movie version of Tiny Times, I was more than elated. Among the Chinese youth, the Tiny Times book series can rival Twilight in popularity. Guo Jingming wrote this story about four university friends and their love lives in modern day Shanghai. Guo’s book was very well-recieved among his prodominantly young female readers, thus a television series and movie adaption was concieved. Immediately after the leads for Tiny Times TV drama were revealed, many netizens complained a miscast for Peter Ho as the male lead. Frankly, I’ve never been a fan of Peter Ho, so I had to agree with that sentiment. Not sure how I feel about the tv series. When I heard Guo Jingming was personally going to direct this movie, I turned to the movie adaption for a better casting and directing. I mean, at least the story will be more faithful to the book right? At least, Guo’s involvement shall give his movie adaption some credibility points. Yang Mi was invited to portray the female lead, which I was initially very happy to hear. Yang Mi’s memorable performance as a fox demon who sacrifices herself for love in Liao Zhai (oh so long ago.. how long has it been? like 2005ish?) have been firmly etched in my mind. Although her recent movies and tv series have been disappointing, I wouldn’t say I was bothered by the fact that Yang Mi was cast. In fact, Yang Mi might actually be able to prove herself on the big screen – considering she does metropolitican roles well (seen Beijing Fairytale?). Her naturally blunt and spunky Beijing personality is another potential of hers she could use to her advantage to give Tiny Times a more authentic rather than ‘idol drama’ feel.
BUT… Yang Mi and Ke Zhen Dong need to work on their chemistry to make things work. When the trailer comes out, we shall see if these two can somehow sizzle onscreen. Right now, I’m just not feeling it.
What do you think of this pairing? Like it or no?