Title – Hi, Mom (2021)
Director – Ling Jia (feature debut)
Cast – Ling Jia, Xiaofei Zhang, Teng Shen
Plot – A constant disappoint to her mother, Jia Xiao Ling (Jia) unexpectedly travels back in time following a serious accident and works on finally making her mother proud, even if she has no idea that its her as yet unborn daughter befriending her.
“I can assure you its not a meteor”
Review by Eddie on 21/04/2021
Releasing in its country of origin China earlier this year to great acclaim and smashing box office records along the way (entering into the top 3 highest grossing films of all-time in the country with box office figures in excess of over USD $821,000,000), Ling Jia’s directional debut, that she also co-wrote and acts in, is a likeable and breezy fantastical dramedy that borrows heavily from other outings but has enough unique smarts and sass too feel fresh and enjoyable as it goes along its way.
Heavily inspired it seems by the Back to the Future meet your parents time travel scenario and also elements from well-liked family time travel drama About Time, Hi, Mom sees Jia’s underachieving daughter finally getting a chance to make her mom proud, even if it just so happens to be in an unexpected way as she travels back in time mysteriously following a potentially tragic accident.
Heading back to the early 80’s where colored TV’s were the new fad and volleyball tournaments were the main concern, Hi, Mom takes Jia back to a time and place where the good times seemed to be flowing and the film finds a nice groove here between pure comedy, sentimentality and also romance as (again much like Back to the Future) Jia tries to ensure everyone that needs to fall in love does fall in love so she’s not somehow get erased from existence before she had the chance too be born.
The film’s biggest problems do stem from these moments that all feel borrowed from other films, nothing feels truly unique about Hi, Mom, it feels more like a greatest hits collection of elements of films we’ve already seen and already fallen in love with, even if the China location and Chinese sentiments give a fresh spin on otherwise Hollywoodized staples.
This isn’t enough to completely dampen the experience however as it’s not hard to see why so many audience members fell in love with this fun, entertaining and well-meaning affair.
Another key element to the film working despite feeling like a feature without its own identity is the charm of Ling Jia as a performer. Feeling like a naturally likeable and relatable performer, this film, which was born out of Jia crafting a tribute to her late mother, sees her give it her all as she takes us the viewers on a journey that will be recognizable for anyone with strong parental connections and has a global spanning feeling that should ensure this Chinese hit finds an audience across a range of nationalities.
Final Say –
A likeable if not exactly groundbreaking globally appealing comedy, Hi, Mum is a lot of fun and one of the most easily accessible Chinese films in some time with Ling Jia likely to become one of the biggest properties in the Asia market over the next few years.
3 blind shoppers out of 5