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Aspirin

A young entertainment reporter in Beijing reflects on the past and present men in her life in "Aspirin," a beautifully lensed showcase for actress-producer Mei Ting that's sometimes let down by its own hipness. Similar in tone to Zhang Yibai's 2001 "Spring Subway," in portraying a modernistic, 21st-century China with all the hangups once thought the sole preserve of the West, indie pic financed by Mei herself and directed by husband-painter Yan Po should slide into Asia-friendly showcases.

A young entertainment reporter in Beijing reflects on the past and present men in her life in “Aspirin,” a beautifully lensed showcase for actress-producer Mei Ting that’s sometimes let down by its own hipness. Similar in tone to Zhang Yibai’s 2001 “Spring Subway,” in portraying a modernistic, 21st-century China with all the hangups once thought the sole preserve of the West, indie pic financed by Mei herself and directed by husband-painter Yan Po should slide into Asia-friendly showcases. Local release was in February.

After seeing off b.f. Xiaobai (Song Ning) at the airport, dreadlocked Wenjing (Mei) recalls their earlier days together, as well as those with previous b.f. Gaole (Wang Jinpeng). By chance, she bumps into a wealthy older man, Li Wenqing (property tycoon Pan Shiyi, debuting), who’s been abandoned by three previous girlfriends, and slowly a friendship forms — with him eventually proposing they both move to the United States. Copious amounts of voiceover by Wenjing lose their freshness after a while, and the gatherings by Beijing’s fashionable set (complete with cameos) are overdone. But with its saturated color palette and laidback central perf by Mei, pic is always watchable.

Aspirin

China

  • Production: A Prime Pictures production. (International sales: Prime, Beijing.) Produced by Mei Ting. Executive producer, Mei. Directed by Yan Po. Screenplay, Yan, Fu Yixuan.
  • Crew: Camera (color), Xu Bin; editor, Yan; music, Liu Sijun; art director, Di Kun. Reviewed at Shanghai Film Festival (Panorama), June 20, 2006. Original title: <I>Asipilin</I>. Running time: 96 MIN.
  • With: <b>With:</b> Mei Ting, Pan Shiyi, Song Ning, Cao Jun, Li Juan, Wang Jinpeng, Su Ke, Zheng Ye, Xiao Xue, Yang Xiaoping, Chu Meng, Qin Hailu, Tao Hong, Wang Bin.