Review: ‘Stand in Love’

An enchanting set-up charms in the appealing but excessively padded China/Taiwan co-pro romcom "Stand In Love." Following "Catch," pic reps second feature this year by helmer DJ Chen, whose feature bow "Formula 17" did socko biz in Taiwan in 2004. While original premise is clever, yarn loses its way after dabbling with a "Notting Hill" scenario.

An enchanting set-up charms in the appealing but excessively padded China/Taiwan co-pro romcom “Stand In Love.” Following “Catch,” pic reps second feature this year by helmer DJ Chen, whose feature bow “Formula 17” did socko biz in Taiwan in 2004. While original premise is clever, yarn loses its way after dabbling with a “Notting Hill” scenario. Capitalizing on Beijing locations, pic is skedded to be released in China next year, with Taiwan dates uncertain. Asian-themed fests or those looking for quality digital work should investigate.

When conceited thesp Sean (Chow Cheng-yu) leaves a Beijing film set early, helmer To (Jeff Chang) needs a stand in to kiss winsome starlet Gin (Shi Ke). Prop boy Summer (Tsuyoshi Abe) gets shanghaied into the job and in a cute twist, the starlet falls for him. Romance tenderly develops, but story stalls as montage padding detracts from momentum. A last ditch attempt to add depth and darkness to this lightweight pic is an awkward fit. Chen’s helming is astute, but flimsy script makes her reliant on pleasing thesps. DV lensing is excellent and 35mm transfer is top notch. Other tech credits are also strong.

Stand in Love

China-Taiwan

Production

A China Movie Channel, Beijing New Music Entertainment Co. presentation of an AAM Artiste Manager Co. (China)/Three Dots Entertainment (Taiwan) production. (International sales: Three Dots Entertainment, Taipei, Taiwan.) Produced by Aileen Li, Juana Tsai. Executive producer, Jeff Chang. Directed by DJ Chen. Screenplay, Chen, Lu Hung.

Crew

Camera (color, DV-to-35mm), Wang Ze-zhen; editor, Manson Chen; music, Jeff Chang; production designer, Zac Gu. Reviewed at Tokyo Film Festival (Winds of Asia), Oct. 22, 2006. Mandarin dialogue. Running time: 100 MIN.

With

Tsuyoshi Abe, Shi Ke, Jeff Chang, Sun I-ming, Chow Cheng-yu.

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