Skip to main content

You make this possible. Support our independent, nonprofit newsroom today.

Give Now

This Movie Made China Fall In Love With Seattle

Realtors say there's been a big jump in the number of Chinese nationals buying high-end homes in the Puget Sound area.

Bellevue real estate agent Becco Zou said her buyers are attracted by the good schools and the relatively short flight home. But there’s something else luring her Chinese clients to Seattle: a movie that has been nicknamed the Chinese “Sleepless in Seattle.”

“From the movie, they see the beautiful scene of Seattle,” Zou said. “In their mind, this is a place for romance.”

The English name for this 2013 romantic comedy is “Finding Mr. Right.” The $85 million it has raked in makes it one of the best-selling Chinese films of all time.

We brought in Kristen Meinzer, co-host of the Movie Date podcast, to review the movie for us. She called it heart-warming and ridiculous.

“It is the most random assembly of all of the ridiculous tropes of any romantic comedy movie you've ever seen,” Meinzer said. “But at the same time I was rolling my eyes, my heart was warming, and maybe full of a little bit of magic, and I couldn’t help but fall in love with this movie, as stupid as it is.”

Meinzer said that for all the recognizable scenes – a wedding dress montage, shopping in New York, fortune-telling love – it’s pretty forward-thinking for a Chinese film with its inclusion of birth tourism, lesbianism and a black-Asian couple.

As far as how it portrays Seattle, Meinzer doesn’t think the movie does that great a job. Much of the film is shot in Vancouver, B.C., or generic suburban scenes. “It doesn’t do the best job of showing Seattle, but I think what it really does do is sell the idea of what we think Seattle is.”

It seems to have done the trick, though. Zou, the real estate agent, has been so busy with work the last two years that she hasn’t had time for a vacation.

Produced for the Web by Kara McDermott.

Why you can trust KUOW