Romcom This Is Not What I Expected is unexpectedly wonderful [Review]

Romcom This Is Not What I Expected is unexpectedly wonderful [Review]

There’s a lot to love about this Chinese romantic comedy – not least the amazing food that gets plated up throughout the film

It’s been scientifically proven that opposites attract, and that’s exactly what happens in This Is Not What I Expected, when one pernickety, perfectionist tycoon meets a free-spirited, flamboyant sous chef.

In this romantic comedy, billionaire Lu Jin (played by Takeshi Kaneshivo) checks into the Rosebud in Shanghai, where he finds fault with anything and everything ... until Gu Sheng-nan (Zhou Dong-yu) creates an amazing dish that completely blows his mind. From that moment on, he finds himself obsessed with the dishes created by a sous chef that he hasn’t met.


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Sheng-nan and Jin themselves have a series of meet-cutes where they both become increasingly annoyed with each other, all without either of them knowing who the other is. Pretty soon though, their true identities are made known to each other – and while the two might not have been expecting it, the viewers certainly have.

When Sheng-nan stops turning up to work, Jin (bereft of the delicious meals he’s become accustomed to) looks up her address and tracks her down to her messy apartment that she shares with her dog. From there ... well, you’ll find out when you watch it.

From the off, the comedic elements of the film are clear to see. From the main characters down to the minor, supporting roles, every line is infused with humour and every action exaggerated for laughs. Bright colours play a big part of the film, adding to the whimsy and humour. Both Takeshi Kaneshivo and Zhou Dong-yu are perfectly cast as the tightly-wound perfectionist and the bubbly free-wheeler, and their chemistry sizzles onscreen.

Edited by Ginny Wong

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This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
An unexpectedly wonderful film

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