9. How Long Will I Love U
Rom-com with Chinese characteristics
Directed by Lun Su. 944 million RMB
How Long Will I Love U (超时空同居, Chao Shikong Tongju) is a time-travelling romantic comedy set in Shanghai past and present and, despite the annoying spelling, it's an endearing film, with a plot driven by romance, humour and a little conspiracy; there's also a critical sci-fi element. That the film requires a wilful suspension of disbelief highlights how difficult it can be to find love; for many, there are certain socioeconomic factors that a partner has to satisfy before sparks can fly.
The female protagonist, Xiaoxiao (Tong Liya, pictured), is just that kind of woman: viscerally pragmatic, she would rather 'cry in the back of a BMW than laugh on the back of a bike.' Also, FYI, diamonds are no longer a girl's best friend – real estate is really where it's at, according to this flick.
But the two main characters, who are brought together after spacetime warps inside their apartment, develop and mature, and that is the essence of this film. They make each other better people – and that’s the greatest gift of love, right?