My DNA Says I Love You (2007)
In Mandarin with English and Chinese Subtitles
Director: Robin Lee (The Shoe Fairy)
Cast: Peter Ho, Eddie Peng, Terri Kwan, Yu Nan
Runtime: 1 hr 33 mins
Released By: GV and Encore Films
Official Website: www.encorefilms.com/dnaloveyou
Opening Day: 11 Oct 2007
Gigi and Marlene, two single women both in their late 20’s, work at a bio-technology company, researching and developing medicine to suppress specific genes and their effects on the human body. Gigi has ‘clean-freak’ gene but her boyfriend, Anteater, is a slob. She steals new untested drugs to suppress her natural behaviour so that she can be with her boyfriend.
Marlene, on the other hand, is born with the ‘fat gene’ and has been taking anti-fat pills to control it. At this time, she falls in love with landlord’s son, Teddy. Her lift gets complicated when the drug was withdrawn from the market.
Will the girls find true love with some help from Science?
I watched director Robin Lee's first feature film last year when it was part of the FOCUS: First Cuts series of movies, which showcased the works of up and coming Asian directors. That movie was a modern day romance fairy tale which starred Vivian Hsu. She continues with the fairy tale romance genre with this movie, flanked by a relatively young, contemporary, and good looking cast with Peter Ho, Terri Kwan, Eddie Peng and Yu Nan.
I guess being a female director, it's easier to tackle romantic tales from the female perspective. Like in the Japanese movie Nana, the story here centers on two female friends, Marlene (Yu) and Gigi (Kwan), two housemates who can't be any more different in their attitudes toward relationships. It's a saccharine sweet tale with nary a moment of adversary, as every issue brought up has a happily ever after resolution conveniently waiting in the wings, such that the narrative is pretty much plain sailing into the land of mediocrity.
Like those teenage romantic novels with lofty ideals about love, the story takes you on a journey of the two girls. Although the story has the buzzword of gene therapy weaved into it, with a fictional bio-tech company the girls are working for having come up with new "anti fat gene pills", there's nothing really scientific about it at all. Rather, like all the plot threads in the movie, there are pills for everything, like a magic silver bullet solution, providing quick fixes to physical appearances, emotional and psychological ugliness, and plot development.
Yu relies on the anti-fat pill to stay slim, and here she tackles the issue of long distance relationship with her boyfriend Seahorse (don't ask, as it seemed like all the male characters here don't have decent names). Being emotionally detached, a chance at new love presents itself with the landlord's son cum neighbour Teddy (Peng) - will she buckle to the opportunity, or stick steadfastly with her man? Gigi on the other hand, is an OCD cleanliness freak, and after having broken up with her boyfriend, Fate presents her an old schoolmate Anteater (Ho). As opposite attracts and Fate having a sense of bad humour, her potential beau is a slob. Her solution? Turning to an experimental "anti cleanliness gene pill" to fix herself up.
And I'll stick my neck out to say that this movie will probably appeal more to the female crowd than the male. Marlene and Gigi, especially the latter, are walking fashion models, decked out in pretty outfits, and each being mouthpieces of seriousness and klutz respectively. Good looking male leads provide eye candy too, and watching them all engage in antics without taking themselves too seriously, would probably appeal to those on a similar wavelength.
It's not to say that I don't enjoy movies such as these, but sadly there isn't anything here that had reached out and connected to me. Perhaps I belong to the wrong demographics? But should you be looking for something more lighthearted, without the emotional depths to weigh you down or sour your mood, then this movie might just be the perfect pill for you to chase those blues away.
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