IMDb link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2341874/
This is a coming of age story, best summarized as Glee meets 那些年,我们一起追过的女孩. Expect heavy doses of nostalgia as the backdrop of the story is set in the 80s, where a group of friends experience the typical issues of school and growing up. In a way you can also call it a Xinyao musical, as the movie feature a number of highly popular Xinyao songs from the era. Some Xinyao insider jokes will elicit a smile among those in the know – eg. the coconut reference in 你的倒影.
Most of the characters are fresh faces, except for the 2 leads (Darren Tan is a singer and Julie Tan has acted in 96 degree C). I suppose they are chosen for their singing rather than acting ability, ‘cos the overall performance is rather uneven throughout the show. The only strong performance comes from May’s mother, in her portrayal of the estranged mother/daughter relationship. Other veteran actors are unfortunately underused, with most of them appearing as cameos or in minor parts.
The release of the movie is obviously well-timed to take advantage of nationalistic fervour during the National Day period. The marketing team also did a good job in creating awareness for the movie by publicizing about the unbanning of a Xinyao song after 23 years. No doubt it’s a decent piece of work that will be enjoyed by Xinyao lovers and folks from our generation. Like comfort food, it’s uncomplicated and familiar, but to me it falls short of the X-factor that 那些年 has.
Overall rating: 3.5/5