Tiny Times 2.0: Overall Review
I have no idea what made me go ‘gee let’s watch Tiny Times 2.0 today even though I haven’t seen Tiny Times 1’ but..for some reason I did. I haven’t read the original novel that Tiny Times is based off of, nor have I seen the first movie. O___O”” Even so, I decided to just go ahead and watch the sequel–Tiny Times 2.0. Beforehand I associated the movie with eye candy, a sorta big name cast (Yang Mi, Amber, etc.), and lots of pretty clothes. And yup, the movie has all of the above.
Although I haven’t seen Tiny Times 1, it was rather easy for me to jump into Tiny Times 2. It follows the story of 4 rich elite best friends after they graduate from college. They used to be close friends in high school and college but later encounter problems with their friendship, family, and romantic relationships.
From left to right we have:
Ruby–The tomboy of the group that does some crazy things and makes funny jokes. Despite her very refreshing presence, she is always on the sidelines. I guess you could say she is overshadowed by the others.
Lin Xiao–Played by Yang Mi. Main heroine #2. She is perhaps the gentlest of the group that always supports Lily and decides to forgive her cheating boyfriend. No matter how mad she gets at Lily, in the end she knows she can never stop being friends with her.
Lily–Played by Amber Kuo. More like an anti-heroine…but I guess you could call her the main heroine #1. She is closest with Lin Xiao and is kinda the leader of the group. She is the most refined and sophisticated but also has a sharp tongue and ends up causing lots of drama.
Nan Xiang–The artistic quiet one of the group. Her role in this movie is basically nonexistent after she quickly has a falling out with Lily.
This is an idol movie after all, so of course its big draw is its cast. Out of the cast members I only recognize Yang Mi and Amber and surprise surprise, they just so happen to be the two ‘main characters’ of the movie. Yang Mi’s character Lin Xiao is nice and all………but there’s a problem. Lin Xiao has lots of screentime and a lot of that screentime is devoted to her crying. Yang Mi is not a very good crier. T____T””” Whenever she cries it feels like she is trying to force herself to make crying sounds while pushing tears out of her eyes. It’s not natural at all. Yang Mi’s acting in this movie is mediocre and she lacks the screen presence to make me invested in her character. Whenever she’s on screen she just feels meh. Even when she walks in on her boyfriend with another woman and explodes at them I was all “…………..”.
As for the supporting characters, both Ruby and Nan Xiang feel like those stereotypical characters that are usually a part of a group of 4 besties. They’re there, but they’re not there to make much of an impact on the plot. Nan Xiang has one big scene and then she is nonexistent for the rest of the episode.
Of course there’s also the male cast but their acting chops are even worse so………… =___=
What really surprises me is Amber. Omg, Amber. SHE ACTUALLY DOES WELL IN THIS MOVIE. HER CHARACTER IS ACTUALLY INTERESTING. THANK GOODNESS. Amber’s acting isn’t amazing but in comparison to her prior performances in say, Love Forward (omg I hated her character in Love Forward) and Invincible Shan Bao Mei (her first breakthrough drama) she has improved a lot. SERIOUSLY. I feel like I’ve seen Amber grow up from the girl in Shan Bao Mei to the teen in Love Forward to the young woman in Tiny Times. Overall Amber has done very well with all of the little nuances of her character. But she still lacks some of the ‘punch’ that I’d like to see from her heavier more emotional scenes.
Lily is a hoot to watch and offers more complexity than the other characters. Lily is ‘top class’, materialistic, prideful, and also quite vulnerable. She cares about her friends but also hurts them when she fails to consider their feelings. There is something about her that draws people to her but those people also get caught up in her drama. It’s interesting seeing Lily’s unwavering pride that she maintains even though she herself knows that she isn’t perfect.
Enough with the cast, let’s talk about the movie as a whole. So…….the movie starts out kinda interesting with lots of shiny expensive stuff, hot actors everywhere, sweeping views of the city, and cinematography that makes you feel like the characters are always in a music video. The opening narration makes it sound like it’ll be about these rich young adults who have everything in the world but are actually very unhappy. About old-time friends who have a huge falling out because of their secrets and lies. Well, it’s SORTA about that but……..not really?? Eventually the movie just falls apart and I have no idea what the point of the super long plot is at all. After I finished watching it I STILL didn’t really get what its purpose was. I don’t even know what to think about it.
The entire plot is packed with lots of relationship twists, obstacles to the main characters’ friendship, a company buy-out story, etc. but none of it comes together into a coherent storyline. Instead it feels like the movie is trying to cover a whole laundry list of random plot points without giving much thought to its flow or meaning. Even when it attempts a moving emotional scene where character A finds out that character B is cheating, or that character A wanted character B to bribe character C for money, the reaction I have isn’t “OOOOOOOOOOOO OMG!!!!!!” instead it’s more like, “Huh……”.
The only thing I can take away from this movie is the vague message that friends will always be there for you and that being rich doesn’t equal happiness. Ermkay. T_T” Unfortunately Tiny Times 2.0 is a miss for me. It was nice seeing Amber take on a more challenging role and all but overall, the movie is draggy and lacks direction.