Review: 'Tiny Times' is all flash, no substance

Take the sex out of "Sex and the City" and transplant the action to Shanghai, and you'll have Guo Jinming's squeaky-clean "Tiny Times," in which four friends with a love of fur dresses and impossible heels swoon over boys. In deference to its teenybopper audience (or is it the censors?), these girls don't get naked — they barely even get kissed — but their pop star-handsome male co-stars are happy to strip off their shirts and pose like they've just wandered in from a cologne ad. Which they kinda have.

First-time director and novelist Guo based this romance and its upcoming sequel on his bestselling series of books, and the resulting film has been decried for its oh-so-American consumerism while making more than $90 million at the domestic box office. Behold: the Chinese generation gap — and, boy, does its hair look great.

Our Carrie is Lin Xiao, an editorial assistant at a posh magazine who narrates the misadventures of her unlucky-in-love gal pals while drooling over her boss, a waxenly gorgeous germaphobe. The girls don't make believable friends — bossy business exec Lily couldn't be more different than cockroach-petting goofball Ruby, and long-haired Nan Xiang's only personality trait is that she's really, really pretty and really, really passive. It's dumb fluff made soap operatic with the inclusion of slo-mo and melodramatic Mandarin ballads that builds up to the ultimate girly climax: a slow-clap at a fashion show. Is it good? No. Is it fun? A little. Is there a makeover montage? Of course.


"Tiny Times"

MPAA Rating: No rating

Running time: 1 hour, 26 minutes

Playing: AMC Atlantic Times Square 14, Monterey Park.


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