Yao Chen plays the lead role in Color Me Love. Provided to China Daily
While brand-name goods are expensive two tickets for Color Me Love cost just 100 yuan ($15) and could be the best romantic investment of the year.
Ben Ji, the film's producer, who has 20 years of experience in film, television and the Internet, and was with Warner Brothers' international distribution and Walt Disney Studios in China, is determined to bring some fresh elements to China's big screens.
His recipe is romance plus fashion and the main course is a date movie.
"There are too many kungfu flicks and too few other options at our cinemas," he says. "A date movie is fresh. Girls will make their boyfriends go with them. We will have lots of viewers."
With his experience of Hollywood and the Chinese market, the Beijinger insists on two things: The film should have a quality production, while also being accessible to local audiences.
Director Alexi Tan, who was formerly based in New York as a photographer and commercial director for designer brands, has made good use of his connections in the fashion industry to convince many luxury brands to get involved. Cartier, Hermes and Versace show off their latest goods to create a dazzling fashion world.
"I chose Tan because of his sharp nose for fashion," Ji says. "He knows how to shoot a film about fashion in the most appealing way."
Singer Li Jian composes a theme song for the film, while the award-winning Cao Yu is cinematographer.
Scriptwriter Ning Caishen is one of the best storytellers in China. Ning is popular for his 80-episode smash hit TV series My Own Swordsmen, in which he deconstructs the martial arts genre with hilarious lines and lively characters.
The plot is vaguely reminiscent of The Devil Wears Prada. The heroine is a new fashion editor who has to deal with her female boss and boyfriend, an arrogant young painter who has a chaotic past with other girls.
Ji casts Yao Chen, who has a "girl next door" look, as the leading actress.
Yao rose to fame in 2006 by playing a funny kungfu girl in My Own Swordsmen and is married to her university sweetheart. Her signature big mouth and carefree laugh are amply displayed in the film.
Yao acts opposite Liu Ye, also known for his clean image. The handsome Liu has a 12-year acting career and his wife has just given birth to their first son.
The Prada-wearing devil is played by Joan Chen, a star in the 1970s. Other familiar faces include the fashion "devil" Hung Hong, publisher of fashion magazine iLook and a famous TV host. In the film she plays herself and has a skirmish with Joan Chen - the two fashion queens tease each other ruthlessly at a party. Su Mang, chief editor of Bazaar China, is also offered a cameo.
The film will premiere on Nov 9.
(China Daily 11/05/2010 page18)