chinaSMACK and the Making of Shanghai Calling

Hi, I’m Daniel Hsia, the writer and director of Shanghai Calling, a new romantic comedy about American expats living in modern-day China.

Despite all of the research that went into Shanghai Calling, I was constantly looking for more details about China life to make the script feel more contemporary. But the English-language books and news sites I was reading, they just didn’t feel plugged-in enough or very authentic. I also tried searching Chinese blogs but I’m pretty bad at reading Chinese so I was kinda at a loss. Then a friend of mine referred me to chinaSMACK.com. What an amazing website, chinaSMACK covers all of the news topics, videos, and internet memes

that are trending in China right now, and tells you what the average Chinese citizen is saying about these things. And best of all, chinaSMACK does all of this in English and in a way that’s easy for outsiders to understand.

chinaSMACK came in handy countless time when I was writing Shanghai Calling, but the biggest help I got from the site was when I was rewriting a character who is a Chinese journalist. I needed him to have a legendary reputation but I also wanted his name to be funny in both English and Chinese. By searching the chinaSMACK Glossary, I actually managed to find a Chinese slang term gei li, which is a relatively new term in China meaning

“awesome”, so I decided to name this character Wang Geili (王给力) in Chinese which translates to “Awesome Wang” in English.
Audiences in China and the U.S. responded really well to this name. They think its really funny and because of it, he’s one of the most memorable characters in the movie.

If you’re trying to get your finger on the pulse of the average Chinese citizen but you can’t read Chinese, then chinaSMACK is the best resource on the internet. So bookmark it now and go to the movie theater to watch Shanghai Calling when it opens in China on August 10th.

Daniel Hsia


Synopsis About the FilmWin VIP Tickets to the World Theatrical Premiere!


Synopsis

Sam Chao (Daniel Henney), an up-and-coming Manhattan attorney angling for partnership, is dispatched by his bosses to Shanghai to open the firm’s new satellite office there. If Sam completes the three-month assignment, they will give him the promotion he’s been dreaming about.

But Sam may not be suited for life in China. His first day in Shanghai, he humiliates Amanda (Eliza Coupe), the lovely relocation specialist hired to smooth his way into the expat community, browbeats Fang Fang (Zhu Zhu), his hyper-capable office assistant, and insults everyone he meets with his refusal to adapt to local customs.

When his insistence on doing things his way costs an important client a potential billion-dollar deal, Sam must rely on the very people he has alienated to fix his blunders and save his job. As he painfully learns to temper his take-no-prisoners style, Sam slowly discovers a new way of looking at the world—and at Amanda.


About the Film

An ambitious young American attorney discovers that his hard-charging approach to corporate law is no match for the surprises of modern China in Shanghai Calling, an intelligent, charming, cross-cultural romantic comedy. One of the first of a new wave of Sino-American co-productions, Shanghai Calling features an outstanding international cast and a timely story, all set against the gorgeous backdrop of modern Shanghai, a city whose blend of old and new, and East and West, has made it a symbol of contemporary globalization.

Daniel Henney as Sam in Shanghai Calling, calculating time zones.

The multicultural mix-ups and misunderstandings of Shanghai Calling were inspired by the real-life stories writer and director Daniel Hsia heard from a friend living the expatriate life in Beijing. “Every time I ran into him at a classmate’s wedding or college reunion, he told me hilarious stories about what it’s like to be an immigrant from America,” says Hsia. “It’s not an experience a lot of Americans are familiar with. We’re used to people visiting the U.S. But now that China is becoming a global powerhouse, all the big companies are opening offices there. We’re no longer the center of the universe. For many Americans just out of college, their first job is in China. That’s where the inspiration came from.”

Based on his experiences writing for American television, the Bay Area native

was sure that there was a compelling story with a sprawling cast of characters to be found in China. “I decided to go to Beijing and Shanghai for a couple of months to do some research,” he says. “Shanghai today is a very dynamic and exciting setting, so I interviewed everyone I could meet — Americans, Chinese, Europeans — from all walks of life, and the story very quickly came together.”

Hsia crafted a classic fish-out-of-water tale about an American businessman arrogantly poised to take the unsophisticated natives of a far-away city by storm. The twist is that the hero, Sam Chao, is a Chinese-American who looks like he should fit in easily, but Sam has spent his entire life willfully ignorant of his heritage. A comeuppance is, of course, awaiting him in China.

“In shorthand, we like to say it’s about a banana who falls in love with an egg,” says Producer Janet Yang. “A banana is someone who’s yellow on the outside, white on the inside, and the egg is obviously the reverse. I think it strikes a number of chords for people in China and all over the world. We’re experiencing an intense curiosity about China right now. Our protagonist doesn’t know anything about China in the beginning, so he takes Western audiences with him on his journey. And I think it’s fun for Chinese viewers to laugh at somebody like that.

Daniel Henny as Sam in Shanghai Calling on a bicycle.

“So it’s both a cross-cultural comedy and a romance,” Yang continues. “I think it really satisfies on both levels. The motor of the story involves Sam and the trouble that he gets into as a lawyer, but his affection for China is largely influenced by meeting a woman with a very different point of view.”

Eliza Coupe as Amanda in Shanghai Calling.

And while he admits that there may be jokes that don’t translate for every audience, Hsia is confident that American and Chinese audiences will both find plenty to laugh at. “For Americans, a lot of the comedy will come from situations they’ve never seen before. For instance, you walk into a noodle restaurant and sit down at an empty table. From the American perspective, that is your table. All of a sudden, other people start sitting with you and that’s just not something we’re used to.

“It’s fun to watch the look Sam’s face as he is having a private discussion and people keep joining them,” he continues. “He doesn’t understand what’s happening. There’s a lot of fun to be had from the Chinese perspective to see this American- born Chinese, who arrives in Shanghai thinking he’s top dog, and is instead a fish out of water. Every encounter he has with a Chinese local ends in a disastrous—and very comedic—way. When somebody who is so put together and so arrogant is very slowly brought to his knees, it reveals the person he really is on the inside.”


Shanghai Calling 纽约客@上海 In China Theaters August 10th


Expat Stories Contest

Win a Pair of VIP Tickets to Attend the World Theatrical Premiere of Shanghai Calling in Shanghai!

For chinaSMACK fans in Shanghai, the filmmakers of Shanghai Calling are giving away three (3) pairs of VIP tickets to attend the black tie world theatrical premiere of Shanghai Calling at Xintiandi this coming Tuesday, August 7th @ 7pm, presented by The Henley Group and The Langham Xintiandi Shanghai. Walk the red carpet and see the filmmakers and stars including director Daniel Hsia, actor Daniel Henney, and actress Zhu Zhu!

How to Enter:

Just take a photograph of yourself telling us a funny, touching, or interesting story or experience you’ve had as an expat in China in one written sentence, and submit it with the form to the right by midnight August 5th. The three best entries will win the tickets! One for you and one for your Sam or Amanda!

Important Notes:

  • You must appear in your photo.
  • Your one-sentence story must be in your photo, whether written on a piece of paper, a small white board/chalk board, or even an iPad, as long as it is held in your hands or on your body and the text is clearly legible.
  • None of the above may be edited into your photograph through photo manipulation.
  • Multiple entries allowed but only one prize per winner. Entries will be posted on chinaSMACK after contest ends.
  • Photo Limitations: Between 900×600 and 1800×1200 pixels in dimensions, .jpg format only, and under 2MB file size.
  • Eligibility: Entrants must be currently in Shanghai, China and available to attend the premiere at the aforementioned date and time in suitable attire.
  • Contest Deadline: Sunday 5th August @ 23:59 China Standard Time.
  • Winners Announced: Winners will be contacted directly and announced on this page on Monday August 6th.

Entry Form:

All fields are required.

Contest is Closed! Thanks for Participating!
See the Winners Here »

Help us maintain a vibrant and dynamic discussion section that is accessible and enjoyable to the majority of our readers. Please review our Comment Policy »
  • Hidamari Desu

    nigga daniel henney is hangook saram imida

    • taebaek

      LOL! Ban hanguk saram hajiman asia saram i ni ka Mei Wen Ti ^^

  • The Enlightened One

    Saw the header and thought it was going to be one of those badly put together sappy romance movies. Watched the trailer and it actually seemed pretty good. I know a lot of ABCs, CBCs go through these kind of experiences, along with all foreigners in China.

    Interested in seeing it now. Looks well put together.

    • One of the trolls mentioned these movies were common and and the concepts were common… My GF drags me to a lot of movies and I don’t notice many themed around expat life, and as you say it’s gonna be good, fresh, interesting, interesting and of interest internationally… Just hope there’s gonna be at least a bit of controversial stuff in there… Checking out the trailer now…

      • The Enlightened One

        Trolls are lame. This looks like a movie that could be interesting for both sides (Westerners/Chinese). And usually when I switch a judgement like that from… this looks like crap… to oh this could be pretty good, it’s usually rare.

        Although, if I were the guy in the film… in my opinion the Chinese girl is a lot more attractive than the blonde.

        She’s okay, but she looks sort of like the typical American corporate type gal.

        • Nice one dude… Yup seen the trailer… Casting seems spot-on… Yeah Zhu Zhu will be propelled after this flick… AND FINALLY – yeah the plotline and stills are trumped by what looks like good Hollwood output… Look fwd to it…

      • lmao

        There’s a movie called “Shanghai Kiss”, which looks incredibly similar to this poor excuse for a movie.
        No story, just a sequence of cliches.

        • Shanghai Kiss was released in 2007, but did not at all deal with corporate expats – whether ABC or Occidentals. The phenomenon of corporate relocation to CN started in earnest, once the 2007 Occidental financial crisis commenced. This is in terms of numbers of professionals being placed around the world, either in closer regional offices to core manufacturing, or yuan banking, or general Asia-Pacific economic growth requiring Occidental professionals.

          • lmao

            So this is original because they go to a factory?

            ABC comes to town for a temporary visit, trips over his chopsticks and falls into bed with a blonde girl.
            Will he stay and reconnect with his ethnic roots?

            I don’t care.

            Same formula, same location, different actors: trite.

          • For American / Aussie / Brit / Canadian Chinese / Japanese guys reading the synopsis and seeing the trailer, they know they are often the corporate players, and not: 1) Martial arts gurus; 2) CSI lab technicians; 3) Henchmen. Hollywood has grown up and for this we should all be grateful.

          • anon

            It’s not original, it’s a “classic fish-out-of-water tale”, a romantic comedy. What was the last romatic comedy you’ve seen that is really original?

            It’s a movie, for entertainment, and while it may not appear interesting to you, I think you’re being a little needlessly harsh. Chinese netizens would say you can stop zhuangbi-ing.

          • anon… Spot-on comments there… I take it some of our light-trollers are not in Asia or regular KTV singers which I am… Almost every Taiwan-originating pop ballad has the same formula, featuring love, cliff-face hand-in-hand walks, and catchy – often similar – melodies, with predictable modulations. The songs are popular all across the Mandarin-speaking world. All it takes is a new tweak, a new plot twist, and you have a great new movie or song… Nothing wrong with that…

          • anon

            What you described is pop culture not just in Asia but the world over.

          • The Enlightened One

            I agree, very few things are original most are copies with twists. It’s all about execution.

            Let’s take the gymnastics in the Olympics for example. Most of them do they same damn routine over and over but the winner is the one who executed and finished it best. Same goes for movies… it looks well executed, case closed.

          • lmao

            oh.. you mean.. it’s going to be just like my *favorite* TW-originated pop ballad?

            only tweaked to last 2 hours?

            strongly support!

          • swat

            Hold it there cowboys …..”well executed” just based on the trailer??!!!…jajaja Good Luck with that.

            Looks fresh at best…”it’s a movie trailer”.

            Cheers.

          • The Enlightened One

            Yeah, some people can foresee how a movie is going to be just by the trailer. It’s not like it’s hard to do, any moron can accomplish this. Especially when you know the patterns they throw into movies.

            I can tell this movie isn’t going to be super awesome, but it will most likely by worth your time. As I said, a good date movie.

  • mr. wiener

    Does it have boob scenes?

    • I dare say there’ll be some cleavage, buttocks and thighs; possibly rummaging. Sounds like a refreshing antidote to the Chinabounder guy and his story of shagging his way through each and every ToEFL student in his English classes. Anything that has to do with the very real need to filter out an intelligent, sexy and humorous lover within the first year of living in HK / CN / SG will get my thumbs-up. (Message to trolls: There is nothing wrong with being faithful to one lover for a year or two, despite overwhelming temptations.)

  • linette

    I looked it up and daniel henney is half caucasian half korean. There is no Chinese actor that can play this role? What about
    Leehom Wang? American Taiwanese. He would be perfect for this role. He is cute and he is a musician.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leehom_Wang

    • If we look at say the essays of Deanna Fei, people are still seeing interracial stuff as kinda unnecessarily tricky, and ABC and “more local” actors may be seeing this as “whhooooooaaaaaa…”. There is quite a paradigm shift going on in the world…

      • wallimo

        To me based on the trailor alone it seems to share the same premise as the movie and book outsourced, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0425326/ But set in China.

        But this is China and with nothing on television but the olympics and no spiderman or batman movies release as of yet, I might go watch it. If only to escape the heat of the Chinese summer and the boringness of the Red Olympics.

        • Likewise… A lot of the critics in relation to this thread may not be expats… Those early expat collaborations with natives, staff from greater Asia, and indeed tough and competitive colleagues from the Americas and Europe, hold great memories, as communication has to be effective and balls-ups have to be minimised in order to keep one’s Employment Pass! Just the trailer shows appropropriate “culture shock” faces…LOVE the premise…

    • eattot

      if we can choose actors and actress then those rich kids or star 2nd generation or relative or director’s gf wont poison our eyes and screen any more.
      normally the money holder-the film makers decide who they choose.
      a lot of examples of ugly ones on screen:西门大妈,Kirsten Dunst ,the ugly black woman in Merlin…

      • No matter what the race, the director will choose beautiful, intelligent-sounding, seductive and charismatic females, and rugged, humorous, alpha-male gentlemen, for roles involving expatriate interracial love. That is for sure.

        • eattot

          if you think so, ur still too naive.
          film is a good way to clean money and a lot of dirty things inside.

        • Nanny Hiccups

          Richard, do you think the woman in the ad is pretty? I do, but she is also kind of plain and her eyes are dull.

          • It is the interplay and raw sexual transmission of kilojoules of energy like a blast from a Taser which matter, e.g. Su Qi and Jason Statham in Transporter, or Pierce Brosnam and Michelle Yeoh in Tomorrow Never Dies. This can MOST CERTAINLY occur with a plain-looking woman. An alpha-male top-quality Caucasoid Hollywood actor can “ignite” a plain woman into a display of genuine sexual sparks.

          • eattot

            she is not even pretty for screen. her face too wide,film always make people wilder,and her face can not be romance actress.maybe just because she can speak some chinese,but those foregn students,those boys and girls are truly much prettier.
            if this film is mainly for chinese or asian,i’d say people would prefer someone whiter and taller and slimer.typical white girl.by the way, the chinese lady called zhuzhu is truly beautiful and stylish.KO this old blonded in one sedcond.

          • B*tches, Leave

            I don’t think the Asian actress is beautiful. She’s pretty, sure, but nothing more. I don’t even see how she can be an actress. Model – sounds more right. But if her occupation is acting, then she must work harder. Maybe my expectations of this movie are so high, that I want it to be perfect. Hell, these actors/director aren’t on the A-list, so I guess it’s okay to cast Zhu zhu. And don’t talk trash about Eliza … she was great in Scrubs :)

  • eattot

    can you tell me this film also did shoot in a famouse american restruarant &bar on changle rd, one day i went to take a caffee i saw group of foreigners and chinese were doing shooting there.
    also why an abc comes to china to fall in love with a white girl? is their dream?hahaha!

    • The numbers of ABC – as well as Singaporean – Chinese guys settling in say Melbourne, who end up with a cute Nicole Kidman type, are visibly increasing in number in Singapore. Quite often the Chinese man must be humorous and athletic (as kids usually are produced quite quickly), and the women are often blonde. The numbers out and about in the recreation spots and malls have visibly increased since the 1990s.

      • eattot

        i know, because most of them richer and above average at least, they want to improve social statu, i understand.and they will treat white women like godness.abc are much more picky than white guys when they come to china, they always wanna go with white girls.

        • Broadly, if we look at the Caucasoid women, some are attractive, and they can be found in the big twenty banks, lawyers, accountants and consultancies. As the male Caucasoid usually rounds-off their partner search with a Chinese woman, the modern financial hub such as SH / HK / SG seems like a great place for a well-balanced movie. International – interracial – interesting.

        • linette

          The grass is always greener on the other side isn’t it? hahhaa…

          So strange.
          White men want Asian girls,
          and Asian men want White girls.
          Maybe we should just send all the pretty white girls to the rich Asian men, and all the pretty Asian girls to the rich White men. How’s that…hahha……

          • eattot

            no need to be pretty, it’s all about chance sth called yuanfen.
            most white girls married asian are not pretty or whatever even just very short.and most asian girls married white are not pretty either.or just money and chance.

          • Some of the fun comes from having a genuinely great expat lifestyle with one faithful local Chinese lover, but whoooooaaaa when you take that woman to the West, she will be p-o-p-u-l-a-r at the golf club or country club and may run off with a man with a Robinson R44 helicopter. In terms of taking a local back to Switzerland….? MUCH poaching of the GF or wife by Caucasoid males (and messy divorces)… But yeah you’re right…

          • In the hierarchy of needs, a white expat often needs a faithful local lover, a source of beer or whisky, some kind of diet which is not too salty and MSG, and a steady job which they are seen as superlative at. My GF is seen as 7.5/10 by others but still they try to poach her (to me she is 10/10). I have dated a great many pretty women but as they often want kids and marriage way too quickly they have had to go.

          • Nanny Hiccups

            I didn’t want to say it, but a similar thought crossed my mind when i saw the ad. I think it’s actually kind of sad that people feel the need to have someone of a certain race on their arm as a “prize” or a symbol of their status. you haven’t truly come up in the world until you’ve married…

          • linette

            緣分 is a poor excuse for bad taste. Those rich Asian boys in China and rich White boys don’t know how to distinguish between pretty Asian/white girl from ugly Asian/white girls. Let me explain.

            Study this before you go hunt for your dream girl.

            Pretty asian girls should look more like this.
            http://www.hotcute.cn/

            Pretty white girls should look more like this.
            http://amolife.com/top/top-50-most-beautiful-women-in-hollywood.html

          • The “prize” of the Oriental, Indo-Chinese or Polynesian wife focuses heavily on the minds of white males bored with all else the West offers, and whether Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Malay or Filipina, there’s alot of flux out there. Flip to expat life, and you’ve got this interesting mix of the Chinabounder versus the guy with the long-term GF versus the married-with-three-kids gentleman. Expats go beyond “Yellow Fever” and “Asian Persuasions” and start finding a prize lover rather than a prize catch, as sex without love is really quite banal.

          • Linette, cute doe-eyes like that exist in abundance in any glamorous Asian city. Fate brought me a woman who broadly resembles Wendi Deng, and as we are both 40+, and she looks nothing like the pretty doe-eyed ladies at HOTECUTE.CN, thank heavens she is not being poached as heavily as HOTCUTE.CN girls in social settings! Now that would be exasperating…!

          • Nanny Hiccups

            Linette, the only problem with the “beautiful” hollywood women is that most of them don’t really look like that:

            http://www.foxnews.com/slideshow/entertainment/2012/07/17/stars-without-makeup-katherine-heigl-kim-kardashian/#slide=13

            It’s all photoshop, lighting, and airbrushing. So not only do normal american women not look like that, but neither do the hollywood women themselves. lol

          • Nanny Hiccups

            actually, ,this is an even better link to what these women look like

            http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/stars-makeup-real-face-fame-gallery-1.21019

          • linette

            well..the ones that are not pretty it because they are old. With a lot of wrinkles. Katie Holmes was never pretty with or without make up. She looks like a she-man. Ann Hathaway, megan fox, Jessica alba, scarlett johansson, Rihanna are all pretty girls even without make up. They are natural and young.

            Did you see batman? Ann Hathaway is so beautiful. She is so sexy in that black suit.

          • eattot

            linette:
            Katie Holmes was never pretty with or without make up. She looks like a she-man. Ann Hathaway, megan fox, Jessica alba, scarlett johansson, Rihanna are all pretty girls even without make up. They are natural and young.
            ….i agree with you a lot,Ann Hathaway, megan fox, Jessica alba, scarlett johansson…they are pretty,but rihanna,she is cool not pretty at all.but only megan fox killed me at the first sight,others never.
            like ann,she is not my type at all,and get old too fast,maybe because everything too big,and it’s not easy for her to get good chances after some age,she does not look smart or serious.scarlett hohansson,she looks average but shining in films,like a pearl,that’s why she can get big films.jessica slba is just opposite,so,difficult to get big film.but every year, just several films,not easy to be a star either.the one in twightlight has a chance to be big star in future,can hold up all kinda films, and not difficult to jump out from romance films.
            i wish megen fox good chance, she is so killing type.

    • Capt. WED

      @EATTOT Don’t tell me you turned nanny hiccup and believe in that movie magic.

      Hollywood is double faced as fuck. RIght here they’re projecting this “liberal” worldly image, turn right around they project another image. It’s all bullshit softpower mongering. In the end it’s all about the $$$, it’s fake as fuck. American is like a skizzo 1000 hand buddah it doesn’t know what the fuck it’s doing yet it really does know. Know what I mean?

      • Capt. WED

        What I mean is on one hand they project this liberal image, on the other hand they really hate on Asian males, then on another hand they hate asians, on another hand they hate blacks, yet on another hand they have “white liberal guilt”, also hate mexicans, hate mulsims, is pro-government, is pro-gay, it’s religious, is anti-gay.

        Don’t believe in any image they project.

        They’re holographic as fuck.

        • Capt. WED

          @EATTOT watch the movie IT to see what I’m talking about

          Get a VPN

          Hollywood

        • Nanny Hiccups

          How do i believe hollywood magic when i just said the opposite. See, your problem capt is that, you are getting yourself confused. Yes, you have liberals but you also have people who don’t like anyone. They are not to be confused with each other. it’s not like china where everyone believes the same thing in order to feel strong as a country. americans have many points of view and never agree with each other.

          i think hollywood is always stereotyping black women as angry screaming and mean, asian men are depicted as asexuals who know kung fu and never have romantic interests and only certain types of americans get to be the heroes. And you are right, on one hand part of the country secretly hates black people, but on the other hand they want to be like us, sing like us, dance like us, talk like us. Then it all gets washed, watered down and resold to the masses (see justin bieber and Eminem!). Black women are only considered a beauty if she looks like halle berry or zoe saldana or kerry washington. And yet are same features that we are ignored for having is considered a standard of beauty if mainstream american women have them, like big lips, dark tanned skin, big bottoms…

          If you look at the women of the 1980s and the women of today, see how much they’ve changed.

          Asian men, whom you mentioned are hated – they are not hated. Sadly, they are ignored. There are only a few major male asian stars in america, like John Cho who seems to get the big roles lately. the rest are relegated to kung fu movies or parts.

          • Capt. WED

            LOLOLOLOL

            that’s not what I meant.

            1. I were watching HK movies and you believed in that bullshit.
            2. about hollywood I just meant they doing a whole bunch of conflicting things all at once. I woudl rather then just ignore me but it’s not like that. They troll all the time. About these Asian actors. I don’t give a damn about them, they are just quick to hate on other people, even more so. fuck them.

      • It is quite critical to do things like this. For instance Britain’s car manufacturing is at its highest level ever, because the Chinese are snapping up Aston Martins, Jaguars, Rolls-Royces and Range Rovers. In the USA, Hollywood is one of many many exporters. Keep exporting, dudes. It’s good for your nation.

  • linette

    win a ticket for Premiere of Shanghai Calling in Shanghai!,,,,,,,

    Okay, who is going to enter to win the pair of tickets? If you win take me. I wanna go.

    • The Enlightened One

      I would enter if I lived in Shanghai, but alas…

      • linette

        hahah..you would have a good one sentence story to tell. To enter you need to write a one sentence story. I want to know what you will write about life in China as expat. Be careful now. Don’t anger the China gov’t.

        • Most expats are very unlike Chinabounder and have three mixed-race children, one who plays the violin at Grade VIII, one who plays grand piano with a regional orchestra at 7, and one who is fluent in six languages at aged 12. All three will complete MBAs at 16 and become TV presenters across the globe, supplanting Richard Quest of CNN and others as they retire. Does this paragraph qualify?

        • The Enlightened One

          Yeah, that’s kind of the problem.

          They won’t select someone who gives a bad story lol. It has to be something politically correct with an uplifting ending.
          Something that may kind of relate to the movie probably… like about love or self-discovery…

          I think I would just write a story how fast Chinese people can change from being suspicious of foreigners to extremely considerate and friendly if you can communicate a little with them in Chinese. It’s like they see you in a whole different light. I have NEVER been cheated in a taxi because I try to chat with them a little bit and they are so happy to speak with me. It changed my outlook as I thought most of them were rude and sort of standoff-ish… I realized they did want to talk and help it’s just that they thought I couldn’t speak Chinese and they were far too insecure about their Chinese.

          • The Enlightened One

            *insecure about their English… d’oh!

  • Jin

    Of course he falls in love with a white woman why would an Asian man want to find love with an Asian woman haha typical American movie plot..This story line been used thousands of time before maybe get some new material and try be original.

    • linette

      Oh look…It’s Jin. The Chinese wanna be. He better go find himself a blonde to fall in love now. I must go now. I need to find a white man to fxck.

      • Jin

        haha OK let me get this into your thick head one more time;

        1- I do not care what race you are or your nationality – so i do not care if i am Chinese or American or European or African. Understand?
        2- The reason i argue against some of the white people on here is that i do not like people with double standards eg coming to china making a living off the country then go online to bitch and moan about how fucked up this country is. I know how fucked up this country is and but so is the rest of the world. Don’t like it ship out or do something change it but going online to score points with people who English is their second or 3rd language is meaningless.
        3- Who you fuck ( and from all your comments i have read seems to be alot but that’s your life) is none of my concern but if your going to post them on a public website i have every right to comment on your posts.
        4- Your post about how your “men” knows how to treat you well because they are rich and buys you gifts..seriously if that’s how you get your “gifts” by opening your legs and laying on your backs or on all fours is your business why tell me and then cry about it when i comment?

        • swat

          OK, those are VERY solid points.

    • Sexuality, curiousity, etc is one thing, but scientifically the very subtle differences in hormonal fragrances between Oriental and Occidental people, can cause cross-racial magnetism WM/AF of course, but certainly ABC/White Female. There are few taboos towards mixed-race children in the West, because just a 25% or 50% Asianness is seen as creating a violin or piano prodigy, or the next generation of TV presenter…

      • linette

        richardnorth
        It’s true, many Asian friends of mine know how to play violin or piano.

    • mr. wiener

      Hollywood does use the same stories over again.The story lines have very little originality, a lot like your posts.
      In your case it would be the returned asian guy with massive inferiority complex meets blonde expat girl with liberal guilt issue. A sympathy fuck turns into a doomed relationship which eventually founders on the shawls of the unreal expectations from both parties. I’d like to give you a happy ending to the story , but then you would loose your victim status and where would you be then? It is after all your defining characteristic.

      • Should be a movie spinning off from this “genre”… Something like expat makes his money and returns to Nevada / West Virginia / Texas (delete where applicable) with stunner from Shanghai, only to find she becomes an honorary ABC, and runs off with a man with a bigger ranch and helicopter… (S-h-i-t…I’ve given the game away for the sequel plotline). Aussies are exempted, as Perth is in the same time zone as CN/SG, and Oz is truly Asia-Pacific, therefore there are fewer culture shocks. Plus Singapore is nearby. Thus far less interracial relationship break-ups.

        • linette

          mr. wiener and richardnorth, you two are so funny. lol

          • Mr W and Mr N are quite funny yes… We are older expats, so we agree with you as our testosterone is fading, but our core belief is that you – the Qwertopian behind your keyboard – is female.

            Unlike trolls we will not ask for race, citizenship, nationality, residence pass acquisitions, job, etc. But are you a woman?

          • mr. wiener

            “We are older expats, so we agree with you as our testosterone is fading ”
            Speak for yourself grandad, I intent to grow old disgacefully. Any stats on
            violent sports boosting your testosterone? Maybe it’s just a confidence boost
            to deliver a bone crunching tackle on a guy half your age who thinks he’s the shit.

          • Mr. Wiener at one stage had the effect of bromide as I was told off for an entry on stage where my remarks were far too “sexual”. However this “shafting” from a fleshy shaft of sausagy penile engorgement was most certainly not trolling and such goings on between two expats who have expatty natural testosterone was due to unexplained fluctuations. I am 40+ but not 50 and have no probs getting it up (which is not surprising as I am faithful and I like and love my GF).

          • mr. wiener

            I was playin’

          • Mr. Wiener, I’d have never guessed, you ironic Aussie sod. If I’m going to buy you a beer ever, being caught out like this, it will be a Castlemaine XXXX or a Fosters. Then you’ll know as you appear poisoned by a series of scorpions by beer you faithfully exported – recipe, plant and all – to the country I got away from for shit lager. (Cheers dude)

    • Dat Ankle

      I dont thinks theres a lot of American movies with an Asian man being the main love interest, its way more common to see an Asian girl with a white guy in American movies. But Im sure you would be complaining either way.

      • A lot of this has been heavily influenced by the American light pornography industry, featuring such “stars” as Tommy Gunn, Peter North and Lexington Steele. You do get some ladies – and there are a few here in Singapore – who want huge muscles and sexual tussles with a meaty Caucasian. Some of us have got paunches and average-sized penises which should be of relief to many.

        • Dat Ankle

          Nobody cares about you talking about penis to make up what youre lacking, richardnorth.

      • linette

        You know what I don’t understand. I think the Asian society have strange taste in terms of how a good looking Asian man should look like. They like those girly looking pop idol type asian boys with make up or plastic surgery and leukemia white skin. So strange. Why would I want to date man who wears more make up than me?

        I think good looking Asian guy should look more like man, with a nice sun tan and some muscles and in good shape.
        Like moses and Kenneth, they have nice sun tan and not too much make up. They are tall 6ft1in in good shape. All natural.

        http://i.imgur.com/DzDjO.jpg

        http://i.imgur.com/wsMRS.jpg

        But men like that you see in the financial district can’t be popular celebrities in our Asian society. They don’t look “pretty” enough. That is why I rather look at Jeremy lin and Sun Yang and other Asians athletes.

        http://fortuneaskannie.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/jeremy_lin-1.jpg
        http://www.whatsontianjin.com/ent_images/72e310040052076330ab_Sun_Yang.jpg

        • This explains why Singaporean married men who are hunky, virile and faithful, remain so – plus their wives – for many decades. Plus no-one should underestimate the fact that some mixed-breeding with Indonesians has resulted in above-average penis sizes, which has often surprised people.

          • linette

            hahah……has resulted in above-average penis sizes…

            Where do you find data like this?? Where can I find those hunky mixed Indo men? lol…

          • It is well-known that during the Great Ice Age, Aborigines trekked up to Indonesia from what is now Australia; people who were in-turn from the ancient cradle of man: testosterone-fuelled Africans who made it across the Indian Ocean in canoes. While some Singaporeans are willowy “World of Warcraft” addicts, many are very well-built. Scholars should note that this is common knowledge in Singapore. Do not criticise if you are from north of Indo-China. Many Chinese female friends have provided dimensions to me quite openly as I have collated these in what is a more openly furtile nation.

          • P.S. The general rule that an erect penis will most commonly extend to 10% of body height is skewed by Caucasian anomalies whereby short men in the West often harbour penises of a greater percentage than this. Pls refer to Kinsey Institute paper 1975-H-21 for more information, as this is quite a statistical area which cannot be explained in one paragraph. Thanks.

        • Dat Ankle

          I agree, but unfortunately the beauty standards in society will always be something more then half of us cant compete with naturally. Im iffy on the pop idol look on Asian guys (all guys really) since its much more made up then I look on a good day.

      • Harland

        Big Trouble in Little China.

    • Slob

      “Of course he falls in love with a white woman why would an Asian man want to find love with an Asian woman haha typical American movie plot..This story line been used thousands of time before maybe get some new material and try be original.”

      Name some movies off the top of your head where an Asian male is the main love interest of a western woman,excluding any movies about Bruce Lee. Go.

      “This story line been used thousands of time”

      Jeez, haven’t seen 10 billion variations of Journey to the West every day on TV? Movies, TV shows, remade shows, cartoons, advertisements, even the story set in modern times. Like wtf man. Funny thing is the best version is the Japanese one called Monkey Magic.

      • mr. wiener

        I loved that series :”I love to fiiiight!! come out and fight!! sissy! poofter!”

      • I can see where you’re coming from Slob. No-one takes care of you or raises you if you’re a white man sent to Asia as an adult (though it’s better to be someone who can drill through cultures like a masonry bit). If an Asian goes to the West they WILL – repeat WILL – be pampered (95% of the time). BUT – and quite rightly – the film makes the ABC boo-hoo a bit then achieve some kinda turnaround in China. Race is skin deep; some Caucasoids come out with Tommy Gunn / Peter North cocks; most of us are 6 to 9. The Caucasoid attraction bit is about the praise of such white mystery where we all sport different wieners.

  • Hianty Mulyadi

    I cannot join the contest because I am not stay in China..so sad :(
    Shanghai Calling is the most movie that I’m waiting for this year. Hope I can see this movie premiere soon in Indonesia..
    Success for all the premiere in China ..

    • eattot

      typical ass kisser.
      this film is the one the most ur waiting to see? u think u say so, they will give u a ticket?

      • I think they will be able to afford the ticket. But on a related note, chinaSMACK is artistically a brilliant blend of forum and wrap-round advertising for something relevant and related – and Shanghai Calling exemplifies this. Well done guys! Mark Zuckerberg should take note.

        • anon

          I don’t think Mark Zuckerberg should take note but I agree the backgrounds and this post are well-done, especially because the movie is so relevant to the content and audience of this site.

        • The Enlightened One

          I agree. Plus, it doesn’t look like a bad movie either. Good date movie.

          Semi-romantic but not overly so with some humor.

  • Nilerafter24

    That’s all well and good.
    Seems like a pretty good movie.
    But ever since China boycotted the Dark Knight Rises cinema release, I decided I will boycott cinemas in China too.
    Shanghai Calling, we shall meet in torrents or Funshion.

    • That won’t happen down here in Singapore… My GF, and most other expat GFs and wives, are obsessed with cinema and being seen attending anything and everything… Sounds like a interesting and infrequent expat movie – always good for a chuckle and a check of how well the expat scene is being replicated on film, if nothing else…

    • B*tches, Leave

      They didn’t boycott it. Dark Knight Rises and the Amazing Spider-man will be shown here in Shanghai at the end of August.

  • XiaoHei

    @richardnorth dude, are you like the ‘official replier to all comments’ appointed by ChinaSmack or are you just having OCD? I’m curious :D

    • I’m on leave for a week… I will be gone by Sunday evening as I get back to my work Outlook, my sales PivotTable, and some lovely telephone calls to Asia-Pac customers and leads… Yup…I have got OCD, but then so has David Beckham… Down here in Singers I insist on regularly eating chicken rice… chinaSMACK is a bit like that… a good OCD rather than a bad one like porn, Facebook or consuming Cherry Coke every day (like Warren Buffet)

  • B*tches, Leave

    I’m arrogant, I’m sexy, I love this city and I’m RBNCBA (Russian Born Not Chinese But Asian) Chinese – I’ll win for sure!

    • anon

      What? You’re Russian Born Not Chinese But Asian Chinese? What?

      So what’s your story and how did you present it in your picture? You hold up a piece of cardboard or whip out a fancy iPad?

    • Dat Ankle

      Is that a real abbreviation?

  • CN

    This movie looks cliche as fuck.

    • anon

      You know, with movies like this, a comment criticizing it as cliche is itself cliche as fuck.

      • The Enlightened One

        lol, true. We all know it’s cliche Captain Obvious. Here to rescue us from an otherwise confusing day… hurraay!

  • Capt. WED

    this movie is.. how shall put it… fucking gay.

    1) it’s low budget as hell.
    2) It’s gimicky & cliche.
    3) Note how it’s only showing in China. $$$
    4) fuck #4 it’s just gay.

    Why don’t I shut up and RESPECT the hard work? LOL. I will never make a movie. I don’t have the ability or the money Basically I just a hater. HOwever this doesn’t change the fact your movie is still GAY as fuck. NOPE.

    HOWEVER CONGRATZ CHINASMACK

    GET THAT MONEY GURL.

    • B*tches, Leave

      It’s worth a shot since we (Shanghai expats) can connect to the movie and characters :)

      • We get quite a few white guys down here in Singapore (architects, accountants, and so on) who shudder when asked to go to Shanghai on business, so any “fairly realistic” account “broadcasted to the world” will help these poor chaps whose vocabs do not even extend to HEN HAO or MEI WEN TI. (P.S. To any trolls, my Mandarin vocab is under 500 words. I’m no expert either.)

    • There are very few truly refreshing movies which are international, interracial and up-to-date simply because the flow of expats from West to East has been largely undocumented. The reality is here; both business reality, and the reality that single bankers and mature married managers have traditionally only had HK and SG to look forward to for an Oriental drafting, and CN adds a piquancy to those bored with the West if they can survive the culture shock. Including an ABC man shows that this movie is not just white-centric, which is good, and VERY VERY real. We have many Brit and US ABCs here in Singapore who stay clear of the neighbourhoods because they cannot speak ample Mandarin or most certainly Hokkien.

      • Briton

        I can’t wait to watch this movie. It reminds me of Au Revoir Taipei ( in as much as it is addressing attitudes to the West and East).

        My wife is Taiwanese (I’m British) and I speak Chinese better than her cousins (raised in the US).

    • anon

      Really? It doesn’t look very low-budget. Sure, it doesn’t have tons of cgi robots but it what exactly makes it look low budget? Gimmicky and cliche in a romantic comedy? No way! You don’t say! I think its showing in China because its one of those joint-venture productions that we’ve been hearing about Hollywood getting into over the past year in order to get more films into the Chinese market. I don’t think that says anything at all, really.

      You have mental issues that probably require lots of therepy and medication. Get to it.

    • I’m not homosexual, but the ABC guy in the movie appears to be humorous, athletic, interesting and successful. The plot-parts still under wraps appear to be some great damage-controlling of an industrial balls-up. “Capt. WED” you use the word “gay” a lot which can suggest someone secretly being on the “Down Low”. (Trolls and scholars: this is a ubiquitous fact and I do not need to quote sources.)

      • Briton

        Is it worth noting that they got someone of Korean, not Chinese heritage to play the leading role?

        The blogosphere, Chinese and English, will definately pick up on this.

        • Briton

          Hidden Harmonies, in their infinite wisdom, will definately have something to say about this film.

  • Lola

    Daniel Henney is super hot!! Am not in Shanghai so i cant participate aaah what a shame…

  • I should imagine Hidden Harmonies should easily be able to knock-up a world schematic with mesh-lines tracking Heritage –> Birthplace –> Upbringing nation –> Language origination nations–> Places they have additionally settled (in fact and fiction). That map will get messy if (hopefully) Shanghai Calling is a great success.

    • Briton

      If Hidden Harmonies don’t like the film they’ll probably claim that it is NED funded.

      • I suspect Hidden Harmonies will find the film so much to their liking that they are p-u-r-r-ing away nicely. It is very balanced in the area of interracial harmony.

        • Briton

          I wouldn’t say Hidden Harmonies are all for the interracial harmony thing. Check out:

          http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2012/05/on-chinese-women-dating-marrying-white-men/

          With the moderator kicking off with:

          ‘I usually don’t have much problems with Chinese women dating and marrying white men.’

          And you’ll find such wise comments as:

          ‘That’s the problem with successful professional women nowadays, wanting it all.’

          I’m not sure what the beautiful minds over at Hidden Harmonies will think of Asian men dating Western women.

  • LeBateauPolice

    无聊 Don’t you filmmakers have any ambitions? What’s the purpose of this kind of shitflick? entertainment? really? Fuck this capitalist socialist romance diffuser scrim bullshit!

    • The film is interracial, international, interesting, and on an internet roll. Can YOU stop this roll?

      • LeBateauPolice

        interracial, international and on an internet roll…wow, that must be a good movie i guess!
        why the fuck this is interesting? i don’t want to watch disgusting narrow-minded characters in a film, gave me the creeps when i watched that trailer

        • If Asian and Caucasian people – who 10,000 years ago grew up TOTALLY separately – and developed different thoroughbreedings of DNA in parallel with genomes – creeps you out…wow – I think you need a wife/GF from Asia. They have SOME common characteristics of women the world over. All? That would be stretching it a bit. All the best…no malice intended.

          • LeBateauPolice

            ew. what kind of argumentation is this? does the fact that Chinese and Caucasian people are different mean that this movie is good?
            In general I would say that the initial situation (one all of sudden has to live in another culture circle, doesnt speak the language – haha,how original) is a perfect base for great comedy or drama. Also very common stuff (see movies: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1705786/ – nice comedy, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1773477/ – worst movie i’ve seen so far, broken flowers, 千里走单骑 etc etc).
            The question is, how do you treat this topic and from the trailer I can see it’s been treated very poorly. A foreigner comes to China, fist have resentments, later falls in love, realizes it’s not so bad at all, eating baozi and shit, living in high society but also fight for the poor blah blah. I mean, if I was a filmmaker, if I had the chance to make an authentic film, how could I possibly chose to make such a crap?
            Btw, my wife is Chinese, no malice intended

          • We – as expats – fall into the GF (very short term) types [e.g. Chinabounder], GF (short term) types, long-term GF, and happily marrieds. One thing I do not do is look down on happily marrieds because well done. I’m down in Singers and have had residence for years so I do not need to pester her indoors for marriage (and – thank fuck – althogh rare – her pester me). I genuinely love my missus and so do you. This is good. Cheers and all the best.

        • The Enlightened One

          I can’t take someone who doesn’t know how to use capital letters properly. Whatever you say is null.

  • Alexander

    If they keep making movies about how great Westerners have it in the Far East then all the rubes are going to start coming over like the floodgates of New York City in the 1920s…… The reason the Far East is great is because Westerners still don’t make up a large percent of the population……

    • Occidentals have the talent to turn the accidental and respected growth of China (as developed in parallel to the boom EU/US years of Tony Blair and George Bush) into something where both white people and Oriental people share in this exciting period. Please…join us. Thank-you.

      • P.S. I was there on the first trade missions and yes I have a stake. Qingdao 1996. I like and respect the good citizens of the People’s Republic of China. You – trolls – whether you are trolling from North America or from the British Isles – I suggest you believe in this. Get a grip. Hang on tightly.

        • Briton

          Maybe there’ll be a future where all the colours bleed into one?

          But then maybe I just listen to too much old U2 music.

          And yes, Richard, they’re oldies now.

          • I believe in their DNA (the Vikings, the Irish, the northern Europeans) through and through. I’m a quarter Irish and proud of it. Got mates who live just across the Liffey from where Bono’s hotel is and stayed there a couple of years back. The world is a team and while I might seem cliched as a Royal Navy expat, peace is a good aim at the coasts (NB: the internals, e.g. Syria, are a bit inflamed I admit).

  • My Name is Lee

    whuahaha, shortest taxi drive ever!

    • My Name is Lee

      Can’t wait to buy the DVD at the street corner

  • Dr SUN

    What the hell is a ” relocation expert ” ?

    Native Chinese don’t talk like ABC’s get real Chinese native speakers to play the role of Chinese.

  • k

    Daniel Henney is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo cute ^_^

  • Vincent

    Is it true??? http://en.necropedia.org/obituary/Daniel_Henney
    Daniel Henney’s death?

  • poor Eliza Coupe. now Hollywood has now type-casted her as having relations with non-white men on TV and Film:

  • thetruth

    I personally don’t give a F about this build up. Got better things to do.

  • David.is.Dawei

    Hello,

    I saw “Shanghai Calling” online last night. It was what I expected, but still entertaining. I would give it a 4 or 5 with 10 being the best possible score. It would have been more interesting and a better movie if it let Shanghai be a bigger part of the story.

    Cheers,
    Dave

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