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American Dreams in China (2013)

Zhong Guo he huo ren (original title)
The story of three friends who build a successful English language school in China called "New Dream". This school helps the dreams of Chinese teenagers come true. Before they stood proudly... See full summary »

Director:

Peter Ho-Sun Chan (as Peter Chan)
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31 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Xiaoming Huang ... Cheng Dongqing
Dawei Tong Dawei Tong ... Wang Yang
Chao Deng ... Meng Xiaojun
Juan Du Juan Du ... Su Mei
Daniel Martin Berkey ... Board Executive
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Georg Anton ... U.S. Consular Officer
Tina Collins ... Girlfriend (voice)
Allen Enlow ... Dream Lawyer
Jin Jin ... Yenching University student
Haowen Lei Haowen Lei ... Meng Xiaojun, aged 6
Bettina Skye ... Waitress
Meme Tian
Lei Tong Lei Tong ... Xu Wen
William Yuekun Wu William Yuekun Wu ... Zhang Xi
Zimu Zhang ... Liang Qin, aged 6
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Storyline

The story of three friends who build a successful English language school in China called "New Dream". This school helps the dreams of Chinese teenagers come true. Before they stood proudly in the American stock market, many stories happened with them. Written by Ake

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

China

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

17 May 2013 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

American Dreams in China See more »

Filming Locations:

Beijing, China See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$87,097,067
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Running Man: Mi mi he huo ren (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

 
HK Auteur Review - American Dreams in China 中國合夥人
25 June 2013 | by hkauteurSee all my reviews

During the economic reform period of the 80's, three friends bind together by a common ambition – to live the American dream. The three leads Huang Xiao Ming, Deng Chao and Tong Dawei create a very believable camaraderie. It is possible to be happy for your friend doing well and envy him at the same time, and that is the central story between these three friends. Huang Xiao Ming brings his best performance thus far. He's not busy preening for the camera and posing a pretty boy as I have seen in his past works. It's partly the role itself as it asks Huang to start by playing a vulnerable teenage boy who eventually that ages into a man.

There's a trend of using very fast cuts in Mainland comedies right now. It originated with Ning Hao's 2006 heist comedy Crazy Stone - which drew its visual style from Guy Ritchie - and now it has officially embedded itself genetically as filmic grammar for Chinese comedic dialogue. There's a scene where two of the friends had a fight and complain about each other individually with the third friend over a ping pong game. The cutting is so fast between conversation A and conversation B that it's impossible for the audience to really feel what these characters are going through. These montages will happen every now and then to speed the story ahead. It's zany for sure, but at times I wish they would let the scenes breathe instead of zeroing in for laughs.

That said, it's smart on Peter Chan's part of picking up on this trend and using it here because American Dreams in China is a Mainland Chinese story made for the Mainland audience. The content may prove more difficult with English-speaking audiences whom aren't aware of the cultural context or why the 3 friends carry the values they do about America and the American Dream to laugh at it whole-heartedly.

Suffice to say, Chan balances the film well and it is impressive to see a Hong Kong director tune to a Mainland frequency. Best thing I can say about Peter Chan's direction is that he is worldly. He doesn't portray Americans as white devils, which makes things more interesting and engaging. American Dreams in China will connect with its audience, namely Chinese people who were born in the 80's, and those people will enjoy it. Everybody else I am not so sure but this is a nice gem of a film nonetheless.

For more reviews, please visit my blog @ http://hkauteur.wordpress.com


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