Trailer: ‘B for Busy’

Trailer: ‘B for Busy’

Bfor Busy’ (爱情神话) is a 2021 Chinese romantic drama written and directed by Shao Yihui.

The film revolves around a divorced man who wishes he could be content alone but can’t resist chasing true love. The cast includes Xu Zheng, Ma Yili, Wu Yue, Ni Hongjie, Zhou Yemang, Huang Minghao, and Wang Yinglu.

Synopsis: Old Bai, a Shanghai uncle, has been divorced for many years and makes his living by teaching people to paint. Bai is a good friend of Lao Wu, who had an exotic love affair many years prior and is now content to live alone for the rest of his life. Bai envies Wu, but he can only live in the reality of the world. Wu only loves one person in his life, and finally writes the myth of love like a dream… [© Far East Films]

‘B for Busy’ opens across China on December 24, 2021.

It was a bold move by Shao Yihui, a young female director who is not a native of Shanghai, to shoot the romance film “B for Busy” in full Shanghai dialect.

Movies using the local dialect have been missing from Chinese cinema since the 1994 comedy “Shanghai Fever” but at least Shao once lived in the city for six years.

Since its release on Christmas Eve, “B for Busy” has made over 100 million yuan (US$15.7 million) at the box office. On China’s film and review website Douban, it has received a rating of 8.3 out of 10, the highest so far for a home-grown 2021 film.

Many people are impressed by how the movie depicts multiple aspects of the city, including rich cultural and art elements that are elaborately merged into the plot and scenes.

“Shanghai is a magical and incredible city,” said Kitty Zhou, a 40-something company worker from Suzhou, Jiangsu Province.

“No other city in China is as romantic and delicate as Shanghai. People in the city frequently attend theater performances, art exhibitions and film screenings. They read English books. In the film, even a street cobbler can talk about art and women in English proverbs and take his daily coffee in refined porcelain at the shoe repair stall,” she said.

“B for Busy” is the film directorial debut of Shao, a graduate of Beijing Film Academy who was born in the 1990s in Shanxi Province.

Unlike what many filmmakers might do, Shao didn’t train her lens on Shanghai’s iconic skyline and landmark highrises in Pudong to showcase modernity.

Instead, she captured the city’s romantic charm and warmth through ordinary people’s daily lives, scenes and dialogue.

Almost all of the leading actors, including Xu Zheng, Ma Yili and Wu Yue, are natives of Shanghai. Most of the movie’s scenes were shot in the old lanes and structures of Xuhui District.

The movie’s title implies its comedic and simple plot about Mr Bai, a 50-year-old Shanghai uncle’s busy but seemingly futile attempts to find love.

Divorced for many years, the lonely man, who teaches people to paint, falls in love with Ms Li, a 44-year-old advertising worker. She is raising her child on her own after divorce from a British husband.

However, the path to true love is not so easy for middle-aged people who have deeper thoughts about life’s challenges and the complexity of relationships.

From Mr Bai’s perspective, the film scans three other Shanghai women who have subtle feelings for him. Ms Li is an elegant white-collar lady with an enthusiasm for drama, Bai’s ex-wife is a tango lover, and Gloria is a rich woman with plenty of time for fun.

Shao’s script has a universal and eternal love theme and its Chinese title, “Myth of Love,” is a tribute to Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini’s 1969 film “Satyricon.”

Italian actress Sophia Loren is mentioned a few times by Mr Bai’s friend, Mr Wu, who claims to have had a romantic night with her in his younger years working in Italy.

“I gave her my first time and she gave me the entire Rome,” Mr Wu tells his friends. He has remained single in his fictional “myth of love,” claiming Loren as the only woman he has ever loved.
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