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Fei Chang Wan Mei

Sophie's Revenge
Sophie's Love Manual / Perfect Life / Very Perfect

China/South Korea 2009
produced by
Du Yang, Jin Yimeng, Zhang Ziyi for China Film Group, CJ Entertainment
directed by Jin Yimeng
starring Zhang Ziyi, Peter Ho, Fan Bingbing, So Ji-seob, Ruby Lin, Ai Wan, Yao Chen, Wang Ji, Cheng Qian
written by Jin Yimeng, music by Nathan Wang, action director: Guo Jian Yong

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Comicbook artist Sophie (Zhang Ziyi) has been left by her boyfriend Jeff (So Ji-seob) for moviestar Joanna (Fan Bingbing), only months before their proposed wedding. Now Sophie wants her revenge, she wants to conquer him back until the date of the wedding, actually let him take her to the altar - and then ditch him in front of everyone. Now this sounds like a diabolical plan for sure, but Sophie is less than successful when it comes to its execution, and several of her plans - like breaking into his apartment to hide photos of her in the most impossible places - sound silly to clumsy.

But while she tries to win Jeff back, she meets Gordon (Peter Ho), apparently Joanna's ex who got dumped in favour of Jeff, and somehow she gets him to agree to help her in her atempts. One of Sophie's plans involves becoming best friends with Joanna - which ends with a broken leg and the realization that Joanna has long known who she really is (after all, her photos are all across Jeff's place, see above) and bears a grudge on her.

When she is put out of action because of the broken leg, Gordon takes care of her to a point where everyone but her notices that he's more than just a willing accomplice, but when he urges her to give up her plans to win back Jeff, they get into a row and he leaves. When he returns the next day, Sophie doesn't even talk about Jeff anymore but offers to organize an exhibition of his work as a photographer as a thank you for all the work he has done for her. Of course he agrees, and the two quickly become an almost-couple.

Thing is, in the meantime, the relationship between Jeff and Joanna has gotten some cracks, and Jeff is no longer sure if Sophie wasn't actually the greatest thing that has ever happened to him. Jeff and Joanna's relationship comes to an absolute crash at Gordon's exhibition, just after he has confessed his love for Sophie. Oddly it now turns out that the whole exhibition was part (and finale) of Sophie's plan to break Jeff and Joanna up ... but now that this is achieved, Gordon, who has just confessed his love to Sophie, runs right back into the arms of Joanna. What's worse, Sophie now learns that Gordon was never Joanna's ex but her brother, whom she employed to spy on Sophie. And though Gordon now claims he has given up spying for his sister long ago, the harm is done ...

Sophie has a mental breakdown, and after she has recovered, Gordon is gone, and she's only able to find him again after she has cleared her mind of all the junk she has collected while trying to have her revenge on Jeff ...


Actually, this is a pretty well-done romantic comedy, it moves along at a considerable pace, contains hardly any cheesy (and unfunny) bits to slow down the proceedings, features quite a few fresh and well-executed slapstick bits to keep things moving, the jokes all unexpectedly measure up to quality standards, and even while the plot might sound clichéed, most of the plottwists are at least dusted off and set at surprising points within the familiar story - and while Zhang Ziyi simply isn't as outstanding doing comedy as she is doing drama, she proves to be perfectly able to carry the movie ... and the joke.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD