Be There or Be Square

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Poster for the movie
© 1998 Beijing Film Studio − All right reserved.
Poster for the movie "Be There or Be Square"

Be There or Be Square (1998)

103 min - Comedy, Romance - 1 August 1998
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The story of two Chinese immigrants' struggles in America. Yuan Liu (You Ge ) has lived in LA for years. He has no stable job, no family and lives in a wagon. He seems content with his life until the day he meets Qing Li (Fan Xu ), a woman with the big "American dream".

Director:  Feng Xiaogang
Writers:  Xiao Yang Gu, Feng Xiaogang

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Storyline

The story of two Chinese immigrants' struggles in America. Yuan Liu (You Ge ) has lived in LA for years. He has no stable job, no family and lives in a wagon. He seems content with his life until the day he meets Qing Li (Fan Xu ), a woman with the big "American dream".


Collections: Feng Xiaogang

Genres: Comedy, Romance

Details

Official Website: 
Country:   China
Language:  普通话
Release Date:  1 August 1998

Box Office

Company Credits

Technical Specs

Runtime:  1 h 43 min

A box-office hit in China last Xmas, Be There or Be Squareis a thoroughly engaging mismatched-couple comedy between two Beijingers in Los Angeles.

Basically a re-tread of the formula in director Feng Xiaogang’s previous hit Party A, Party B, it’s a great showcase for its two stars – China’s top comic Ge You (Farewell My Concubine) and young actress Xu Fan (the sexy wife in episode three of Spicy Love Soup). Set over the space of two years, the film throws together the happy-go-lucky Liu (Ge), an insurance salesman who lives in a trailer park, with the more serious Li (Xu), whom he meets when a film crew wrecks a house she is minding while the owners are away. It’s the start of an on-off love-hate relationship in which she is always threatening to go back to Beijing and he is always one step away from being involved in illegal activity. Beneath the comedy, and the terrific playing by both leads, the movie is packed with small insights into the life of Overseas Chinese trying to make it in an essentially hostile environment. (There’s a running joke that LAis full of muggers, burglars and robbers.) However, as a relationships comedy, this smoothly directed pic ture could be set anywhere.
Derek Elley