As we head into Valentine’s Day weekend, I thought it would be a good idea to watch at least one romantic flick this week, so I decided to watch The Last Woman Standing.
Starring Chinese superstars Shu Qi (The Assassin, If You are the One) and Eddie Peng (Hear Me, Jump A Shin!), The Last Women Standing is a Chinese film about a thirty-year-old single woman Shen Ru Xi (Shu Qi), who is still waiting for her true love to come. Pressured by her mother to go on blind dates and to stop being a hopeless romantic, Shen Ru Xi still insists on waiting for her ideal man. So when a new colleague, the handsome, kind, and single Ma Sai (Eddie Peng), shows up at work, she begins to wonder if he’s the one she’s been waiting for.
I chose to watch The Last Woman Standing because I remember seeing the promos and posters for the film last year, which were all very well done. The fact that two of China’s biggest stars are in the movie also got me interested, and I also thought the pun in the Chinese title was quite clever. The Chinese title for the film is 剩者為王, and its literal translation is the “leftovers” are king, but it’s a wordplay on the phrase 勝者為王, which has the same phonetic sounds but means those who win are the kings. The title is suggesting that those who are the “leftovers” in the romantic market (i.e. those who are no longer in their youth, but are still single) are the ultimate winners. Basically, the title gives away the fact that this movie has a happy ending and Shen Ru Xi does not wait for true love in vain.
Unfortunately, the actual movie did not live up to the greatness of its promos. A huge problem with the film was pacing. Sometimes things were too slow, making me wonder if there was even a plot because nothing was happening. Other times, the movie went too quickly, especially in terms of character development and relationships, making any relationships in the film, especially romantic ones, seem very superficial and unbelievable.
The film was also quite cliche and predictable. A lot of romantic comedies are typically predictable, but good romantic comedies are able to deliver formulaic plot lines in an entertaining way. For example, the Cinderella formula is one we’re all familiar with and have seen recycled in countless movies, but there are some versions of the Cinderella story we like more than others. The Last Women Standing was the typical hopeless-romantic-still-believing-someday-her-prince-will-come storyline, but its execution was dull and its character development shallow.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Title: The Last Women Standing
Director: Luo Luo
Writer: Luo Luo
Cast: Shu Qi, Eddie Peng, Pan Hong, Hao Lei, Lynn Hung
Run time: 1 hr 40 min