LA Review of Books: “Material Girls”

Advertisement for Tiny Times at a Shanghai subway station.

My monthly column at the LA Review of Books China Blog just went live; this month, I review Tiny Times, the hit movie of the summer here. It is, to put it briefly, a terrible film:

Tiny Times (Xiao shidai), a Chinese summer blockbuster based on a book of the same name, ranks as far and away the worst movie I’ve ever seen—and I sat through all of Sex and the City 2, because I’ll watch almost anything to distract me on the Detroit-Shanghai flight. Even allowing for the fact that the target audience of Tiny Times is teenage Chinese girls, and I am decidedly neither a teenager nor Chinese, it’s still a terrible movie, an hour and fifty-five minutes of meandering plot and cringeworthy moments, occasionally interrupted by musical montages. The nicest thing I can say about it is that some of the songs are rather catchy.

Read more of my thoughts here. Tiny Times 2 hits theaters tomorrow, though I’m not sure I can stomach the thought of enduring the sequel, even in the name of research.

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