A sequel to one of China's biggest box office hits, the wry romantic comedy "Fei Cheng Wu Rao 2" ("If You Are the One 2") — the first Chinese release to open in its homeland and North America on the same day — continues the odd-couple courtship saga of wealthy, middle-aged retiree Qin Fen (Ge You) and serious-minded young air hostess Xiaoxiao (Shu Qi).
After an amusing prelude in which Qin presides over a lavish divorce ceremony for an amicably splitting married couple, he and Xiaoxiao decide to address their own relationship barriers — her youth and beauty, his cynical, childish sense of humor — by entering into a trial marriage while on a trip to the country's tropical southeast.
Director/co-writer Feng Xiaogang's approach to this kind of screwball material is more unhurriedly funny and even melancholic than openly farcical, which is fine, but by setting their hiccupy test-run in Hainan province's verdant and beachy Shimei Bay, one could be forgiven for briefly losing interest amid the ravishingly photographed (by Lu Yue) vacation-vista porn.
Less successfully distracting is a drawn-out second-half subplot involving the health problems of a friend of Qin's. But for the most part this is a mildly charming dose of romantic gloss, anchored well by its appealing stars and the filmmaker's gentle touch with the inevitable quirks in a seemingly mismatched relationship.
Box office: 'Fei Cheng Wu Rao 2' ('If You Are the One 2')
Unrated; In Mandarin with Chinese and English subtitles
Running time: 2 hours, 3 minutes
Playing: In selected theaters