Movie Review: Finding Mr. Right

Article by Candace Lee

Loosely based on the American romantic comedy “Sleepless in Seattle”, which in many ways embodies every fateful-encounter-based romance one could only dare to dream for, Finding Mr. Right provides a new take on the concept, where JiaJia (Wei Tang), young, spoiled and impregnated by her married, wealthy boyfriend, travels alone, friendless, sleepless and with a false impression of the setting of her favorite movie, to Seattle to safely give birth to her child.

Bringing to light the contemporary issue of Asian mothers unable to find the medical support needed for childbirth, Finding Mr. Right focuses its narrative on a down-to-earth picture of a woman lost overseas—physically in some instances, but also mentally and emotionally—shouldering her own burdens of motherhood and all the concerns and uncertainties that entails, especially without the presence or emotional support of the father, who JiaJia readily tries to substitute with an excessive show of her boyfriend’s wealth.

At the airport, she makes a snap judgment of her taxi driver, Frank, eyeing his scraggly, grey-flecked beard and humble demeanor, and dismisses him, as she does for almost everyone she initially meets. From this point, she takes the audience unwittingly down a road of personal growth, moving past her selfish fixations and unraveling who the people around her really are, taking with her someone she never would have suspected: the one and the same driver, Frank, is a father trying to do right by his young daughter, caught between two emotionally separated parents, whom he would sacrifice everything for.

Through little behaviors and nuances of the characters, this story of simply-stated—yet refined in their subtlety—circumstances and opportunities born from chance and little doses of everyday courage constructs a lasting narrative tethered to reality yet floating somewhere between the ground and clouds, relying on the wonder of quiet strength and coincidence to bring about hope in the audience’s hearts. A clever retelling of love in unexpected places, Finding Mr. Right’s brilliance lies in its ability to avoid character portrayal in a heavy-handed manner, presenting daily interactions in a witty light yet keeping the characters approachable and realistically bogged down with their own private struggles to endure and overcome.

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