Tiny Times 2.0: Overall Review

Chinese MoviesMovie Reviews

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.

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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.

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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…………  =___=

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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.

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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.

heisui

I'm heisui, an Asian drama blogger and the creator of My Drama Tea. I love stories and writing, so I watch dramas and blog. I especially have a penchant for Japanese and Chinese dramas, and those hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered. Oh, and I'm Legend of Zhen Huan-obsessed!
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  • That’s an apt description of the movie, I watched both, I have no idea why I went on to watch the second even though I didn’t like the first, it was really~ mediocre. Even the vague message at the end of the movie was somewhat hard to take seriously since Nan Xiang was thrown out as, soon as she decided she wasn’t going to adhere to Lily’s domineering presence. This has kind of made me sceptical about the drama now, I was sort of looking forward to it, I hope it’s not another Sex and the City sans the Sex>.<

    • Yup, I had no emotional investment in this movie. T__T I will take your word for it and not watch the first one.
      I think Nan Xiang could’ve been one of the more interesting characters. Too bad she was out for the rest of the movie. T_T”

  • I think the second movie only sorta works if you’ve seen the first one. Not that I’m saying either one is a great movie (they aren’t, though they are passably entertaining), but their friendship is slightly more believable. And it actually makes it even sadder that Nan Xiang is absent for so much of the second film, especially that last scene when she’s calling them while they’re having fun in the snow. :/

    Amber was definitely one of the best parts of the film — she was the only character I actually felt really really bad for when everything fell apart. She and Kai Ko were probably the movie’s only redeeming factors… and Rhydian Vaughan, I guess, but I am biased. xP

    • Ok thanks. Maybe I should’ve watched the first one instead of the second one. T__T” I’m glad Nan Xiang was present for most of the first movie.

      Yeah Amber is the only one I really felt bad for. Good thing she was the main character!

  • If you think the second movie was vague…you haven’t seen the first one. Literally nothing happens in the first movie. Absolutely nothing. But there were a lot of MV shots of a lot of pretty people. I thought the second had marginally more story than the first movie. I watched the second movie for Gu Li, to be honest. I sort of don’t understand the huge commercial success of the Tiny Times franchise, to be honest. I read parts of the first novel and just couldn’t continue because it felt like random plot points strung together on a string. And the plot points weren’t even that entertaining. And just like in the movie, there was an extraordinary amount of attention to attire in the novel as well, especially the mens’ attire. It was…strange. I thought these two movies were unintentionally hilarious, and that is after walking in knowing that they would be a hot mess. I’m sure I howled all the way through both movies but not because it was trying to be funny.

    • O_____O I don’t see how it could get any more vague than this!! Hmm it sounds like the problem of the weak plot is just not in the movies but also in the original novels. And omg, I totally get what you mean about laughing at the movie when it tries to be all dramatic (and fails). One particular scene I started laughing is when there is a shot from behind as Lily dramatically runs in her billowing long black dress. The dramatic music along with the super long dress made me laugh for some reason.

  • I’m probably late to the party, but I’ll comment anyeways. I first found out of this movie because of the the song “I Miss You” by Sodagreen and when I saw the mv, I spotted Amber. It’s so refreshing to see Amber as this sophisticated yet complicated lady. So, I went and watched both of the movies and I am disappointed. Mediocre storyline and medicore acting. The only interesting thing that made me watch the whole movies were Amber and Kai Ko: Their characters and love relationship. Yang Mi seriously sucks at crying. Her emotional scenes were terrible and I didn’t even feel sorry for her. And I didn’t understand why Nan Xiang was absence throughout the film. If Lin Xiao and Gu Li can make up for their harsh arguments, why can’t Gu Li and Nan Xiang?

    • Better late than never, right? 😉 Yeah I was surprised to see Amber in such a great role, she has really improved her acting a lot! Too bad that the plot and the rest of the characters weren’t that great. T_T You’re right, Yang Mi cannot cry and yet she has the most crying scenes of all in the movie. BLEH. Well I guess Nan Xiang didn’t play a large part in this movie because it was based off of the book…so probably in the original novel she wasn’t present in the story arc..

  • I watched the 2nd movie then went ahead and watched the 1st. I honestly think these 2 movies have to be watched together because the first is really made to just layout the friendship and the plot for the second. I could care less about the bad acting (I’m not a fan of Yang Mi’s voice and especially her crying) but I love the cinematography and music. I think all of that makes up for the bad and I’m a sucker for movies about good friendship. I almost felt like I just watching a string of music videos through both movies (I guess that’s a way to ignore the mediocre plot).

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