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"If you are the one:" A much-anticipated Christmas Eve opening for a Chinese film

While many Alhambra families will gather under the Christmas tree anticipating opening presents, some will be heading to the movie theater for the one of the most anticipated openings of the year.

The Chinese romantic comedy, If You Are the One (非誠無擾), was a runaway sensation in China, earning $53.7 million making it one of the country's top grossing films in 2008. The sales were rare for a romantic comedy, in a field predominantly made up of martial art films. The sequel will hit theaters on Christmas Eve in North America, two days after the opening in China. At the Monterey Park AMC branch, dozens of tickets have already been purchased.

Gui Hao Lim, 57, said she and her daughters watched If You Are the One after announcements on the Chinese entertainment channel, TVB, that the movie was one of the highest grossing movies in the Chinese box offices.

“My daughters can learn Mandarin while watching a movie about love,” Lim said in Cantonese.

The China Lion film, directed by Beijing film director Xiaogang Feng, continues the on-and-off romance of acclaimed actor Qin Fen (You Ge) and actress Xiaoxiao (Shu Qi). The first installment tells of Qin Fen going on several blind dates in attempts to look for a wife after gaining a large return from selling his invention to an angel investor. He eventually meets a stewardess named Xiaoxiao, or Smiley, and they go on a trip to Hokkaido, Japan. In If You Are the One 2, Xiaoxiao finds it hard to fall in love with Qin Fen, though he has the intention of proposing to her at the Great Wall.

Shao Xiong Li, 49, said he heard of the first installment of the film by way of his high school daughter.

“She watched the movie on her computer,” he said. “I think she will go with friends to watch the second one since there is no school now.”

Several other Alhambra residents are not as familiar with the movie or screenings of Chinese movies that are not martial arts oriented.

“There are Chinese films in the theater?” asked David Li in Mandarin, A resident of Alhambra for 15 years. The Internet provides the movie content that Li is looking for and often, at a cheaper price.

Jessica Tang, another resident, said that though she is not familiar with the movie, she hopes it does well because it would be good for the Chinese entertainment industry.

If You Are the One 2 is the second Chinese movie that AMC showed this year. Aftershock, also directed by Xiaogang Feng, was the first and lasted about two weeks at the AMC in Monterey Park.

Though trailers and posters for If You Are the One 2 have only been recently marketed at the AMC Atlantic Times Squares in Monterey Park, the manager said that the number of advance tickets is promising for the film, especially since the construction of the theatre and business in the plaza have only begun to open for business.

The Mandarin-language film will feature English and Chinese subtitles and is scheduled to screen at AMC theaters in Atlantic Times Square in Monterey Park, AMC Santa Anita 16 in Arcadia, AMC Puente Hills 20 in Industry City and AMC Tustin 14.

Photo courtesy of If You Are the One 2 Official Website: http://www.chinalionentertainment.com/ifyouaretheone2/posters

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