On Screen
Published: Sep 15, 2022 07:00 PM
Promotional material for Give Me Five Photo: Courtesy of Douban

Promotional material for Give Me Five Photo: Courtesy of Douban

'Give Me Five': Time-traveling comedy focuses on women in 1980's China

Time travel, a touching story and popular comedians have spelled success for comedy films in China over the past few years.   

From the trailblazing Goodbye Mr. Loser in 2015 to the country's second-highest earning film Hi, Mom!, this similar formula has repeatedly captured audience's hearts.

And this is the same formula the recent movie Give Me Five has called upon. The only comedy released over the Mid-Autumn Festival weekend, the movie seeks to spark nostalgia in middle-aged audiences given its the 1980s setting.

Released on September 9, the film tells a story of Xiaowu, a young man who accidentally discovers the secret to time travel.

The film earned 140 million yuan ($20 million) over the four-day Mid-Autumn Festival weekend, coming in a No.1 at the box office. On Chinese media review site Douban, the film currently has a 5.7/10. 

Xiaowu travels back to the 1980s to meet his parents when they were young and single. Xiaowu notices his mom, Daliu, has a crush on his dad and decides to help her build a relationship between the two.

The movie seeks to present memories of the decade by portraying Daliu, played by popular comedian Ma Li, as a strong, tough woman who devotes all her attention to work.

As an honorary "Bearer of the Red Flag March 8," a title given to excellent women figures who made great contributions to their communities, Daliu successfully triggers audience's interest in a special group of people that stood out during the 1980s, women workers.  

In the film, scenes unique to the times such as dark blue work uniforms and public squares decorated with red flags are vividly presented to spark the audience's memories.

Through the lens of Daliu and her family, the prosperous years of the previous generation who chose to devote themselves to the construction of a fast developing country are truly mapped out. At the same time, an image of a Chinese woman laborer who dares to break through traditional prejudices, show her own style and realize her own social value is also depicted. 

"I had just given birth to my baby three months before I acted in the movie. During the filming process, I could feel the power of this female figure not only as a strong female worker at the time, but also as a mother. I hope this film can remind audience to cherish their family and friends," Ma said during the film's Beijing premiere last week.