Movies with Chinese Men and Western Women in Love | Speaking of China

40 Responses

  1. Nicki
    Nicki October 29, 2010 at 2:22 am | | Reply

    It’s not about China, but what about “The King and I?

  2. Chris Waugh
    Chris Waugh October 29, 2010 at 3:21 am | | Reply

    That movie poster you posted before the break had me thinking, “Isn’t that “Over the Bridge” or something similar?” and then I saw you’d included precisely that film in your post – but I’d remembered the title wrongly. Great movie, well worth watching, and I’m thinking I should try and dig out my copy of it next time we’re up at my in-law’s place.

    Bringing in Bruce Lee for me brings in his fictional (although I’m not sure how fictional) film “Game of Death”, in which, in one of the elements that has me wondering just how fictional it is, his girlfriend/partner/wife (it’s not clear which) – well, better half (that is clear) is a white American (including her colour because Americans are so diverse and the character happens to be the same colour as Bruce Lee’s real world wife).

    I can’t remember enough of “Kiss of the Dragon”, but I am wondering why “Romeo Must Die” is verboten. Is it because Jet Li doesn’t hook up with Aaliyah? That would be the only reason I can think of.

    “Mao’s Last Dancer” I saw being advertised when I was in New Zealand last February, but to be honest, the ads really did not inspire me to watch the film. Quite the opposite. But then the ads were pitching to an entirely different audience to the tiny niche I represent, so for all I know it may well be a brilliant film. I will withhold judgement until I’ve seen it.

    And let it be said that I have a tremendous amount of respect for the work of both Bruce Lee and Jet Li.

  3. quadshock
    quadshock October 29, 2010 at 3:31 am | | Reply

    The upcoming “warrior’s way” will feature Korean actor Jang Dong Gun and Kate Bosworth in love. Check out the trailer here

    and if I’m allowed to do a shameless plug… I did a short writeup about it on my blog =)

  4. quadshock
    quadshock October 29, 2010 at 3:35 am | | Reply

    (He’s played by a Korean actor, and there’s a mention about “ninjas”, but we’ll never know what country the character is actually from until we can watch it. You never know in Hollywood…)

  5. Sara
    Sara October 29, 2010 at 4:15 am | | Reply

    I know what I’ll do this weekend! I will start with the Pushing Hands 🙂 Thank you very much for this list.

  6. Grace
    Grace October 29, 2010 at 10:34 am | | Reply

    “The upcoming “warrior’s way” will feature Korean actor Jang Dong Gun and Kate Bosworth in love. Check out the trailer here.”

    But does he get the woman in the end? If he does not, there is no advancement in thinking!

  7. Jessica
    Jessica October 29, 2010 at 10:58 am | | Reply

    I didn’t know they made Mao’s Last Dancer into a film, I’d only read the book. I’ll have to go watch it now.

    I can think of more books featuring Chinese male/Western female relationships than I can films. If we’re talking about Hollywood movies then films featuring Asian actors in general are pretty rare and Chinese movies likewise don’t feature many foreigners. So relationships like ours on film are rare among the rare!

    It isn’t a movie, but there is this incredibly cheesy Taiwanese TV series that they were showing on Hunan TV a couple months ago that is about this English girl called Christine who falls in love with some guy called Ah something or other. Eventually her dad comes to Taiwan and forbids their relationship and it is awesomely horrible, the dad is supposed to be British but he’s obviously an American (and a horrible actor!), Christine is supposed to be British but she’s … a European of some sort, but obviously not British because her English is non-native. The whole thing is just terrible but the entire point is a Chinese guy/foreign woman love story so there you go. I can’t recall the title, I want to say it had something to do with the words star 星 or dream 梦 or something, but I’m not sure. Maybe someone knows?

  8. quadshock
    quadshock October 29, 2010 at 12:46 pm | | Reply

    Grace: There are scenes of flirting and kissing in the trailer. I would imagine yes. Even a kissing scene in a film like this is a step forward, no?

  9. quadshock
    quadshock October 29, 2010 at 3:00 pm | | Reply

    Jessica: Is this the drama you’re talking about?

  10. melanie gao
    melanie gao October 29, 2010 at 7:41 pm | | Reply

    Thank you so much for this list! I had no idea there were so many movies where a Chinese guy and Caucasian girl fall in love! Now I want to watch them all.

  11. Xiaoheng
    Xiaoheng October 29, 2010 at 9:05 pm | | Reply

    Hi Jocelyn,

    Good information here, and oh by the way, the US girl i met, she seems like a good PR manager but not easy-going to talk with. Does it sound so strange? Haha, well, i gonna find some new things and I can find some.

    Best wish from Guangzhou

  12. Mish
    Mish October 29, 2010 at 10:34 pm | | Reply

    I didn’t know that the man who plays Mr. Chu (the father-in-law) in Pushing Hands also played a Mr. Chu in Eat Drink Man Woman! That is one really good-looking old guy. Help me out here, Jocelyn! 😀

  13. jackie
    jackie October 30, 2010 at 2:45 am | | Reply

    Interesting list.

    Just one question: You mention “A Great Wall.” We watched that one in my second-year Mandarin classes in college. The wife is also Asian, isn’t she? Not Caucasian. As I remember it, the husband and wife are both supposedly Chinese-American (although the actress who plays the wife is actually Japanese-American in real life). Their son does have a Caucasian girlfriend, but that is only a tiny piece of the story.

  14. CanadianAsian
    CanadianAsian October 30, 2010 at 6:34 pm | | Reply

    There is also the movie “The Lover”, although it is more about lust than love.

  15. Chris Waugh
    Chris Waugh October 30, 2010 at 7:22 pm | | Reply

    @CanadianAsian: If “The Lover” you are referring to is the film adaptation of the novel “L’Amant” by Marguerite Duras, then there’s much more to it than simply lust. It also would appear to be autobiographical, as Duras herself was born and raised in French Indochina and had an affair with an older Chinese man when she was a teenager. As always, though, as good as the film is, the book is much better.

  16. Yasmin
    Yasmin October 31, 2010 at 2:07 am | | Reply

    I watched an old movie (filmed 1958) last night titled The Inn of the Sixth Happiness. It was about a caucasian woman who went to China before WWII to work as a missionary. Her love interest was half Dutch/half Chinese; although the actor was not.

    It was a great movie if anyone is interested. =)

  17. Beth
    Beth October 31, 2010 at 7:59 pm | | Reply

    Haha! I watched 惡作劇2吻 and the guy that plays the guy together with the European chick (I am certain she is Italian by her accent, her English is BAD but her Chinese is good so she’s still doing better than me, haha) is Jiro Wang. <333
    I so loved him in Hana Kimi. He is just hilarious. But yes, the acting in They Kiss Again from the foreign representatives is pretty horrible.
    But then it is a sequel series. Bleh.

    Pushing Hands seems slow moving from what I have seen of it but really good, so dysfunctional. haha. One day I'll sit down and watch the whole thing.

    I really liked Shanghai Kiss back when I watched it, but it does have some pretty seedy sex scenes and a lot of foul language. It captures a lot of the frustrations only foreigners to China can relate to though so in that way it is funny. And it was sweet that even though in one way the lead (Ken Leung from Lost, totally love him) fell in love with China still nothing there could satisfy him. 🙁 Really deep when it comes down to it.

    I will look at all the others as well when I get a chance – yay!

  18. Beth
    Beth November 1, 2010 at 12:40 am | | Reply

    Wow! I am watching Let’s Go Watch Meteor Shower (which is a remake of MG right now). I’m not sure if the remake is better or worse (probably worse) but it’s limited what is up on tudou with English subs. I could watch it without but then there’d still be a chunk I don’t understand, so I guess for now I’m just sticking with the shows I can access. But these dramas totally have me hooked. They’re not good for you either. Haha. Gives you totally unrealistic expectations about Chinese guys.
    Yeah, Shanghai Kiss is really one more for foreigners to relate to. It was sad. 🙁

  19. Mish
    Mish November 1, 2010 at 7:59 pm | | Reply

    omg Mr. Chu is dead! Noo!

  20. Pat
    Pat November 3, 2010 at 7:03 pm | | Reply

    Beth – That actress is not Italian. Her background is a mixture of Greek and Ukrainian.

  21. Beth
    Beth November 4, 2010 at 6:17 pm | | Reply

    Thanks Pat. I had no idea what her background was. Either way I’m totally jealous of her. Jiro Wang. ::sigh:: ::daydream::

  22. birdwatcher
    birdwatcher November 7, 2010 at 1:40 pm | | Reply

    Tomorrow when the war began am/wf

  23. KS
    KS December 20, 2010 at 4:48 pm | | Reply

    The Spy Next Door. Bob (Jackie Chan) marries his white neighbor at the end. Not exactly romantic but it fits criteria listed.

  24. JC
    JC September 3, 2011 at 9:49 pm | | Reply

    Try this beautiful short film of Western Woman and Chinese Man starring a popular Oscar-winning actress

  25. Matthew
    Matthew September 4, 2011 at 5:29 pm | | Reply


    There’s another movie called “When the War Began Tomorrow” filmed in 2010.


  26. P
    P November 20, 2011 at 2:19 am | | Reply

    “The One” with Jet Li, it’s more a science fiction action movie, but he has a Western wife in this film and love does play a role.

  27. P
    P September 18, 2012 at 2:18 am | | Reply

    Strongly recommend one 2012 movie called “Shanghai Calling” about a Chinese-American lawyer sent to Shanghai, finding some crazy expat trouble, love and what it means to become a coffe bean.

    A toast to this city I’m leaving, will be dearly missed.

  28. Emma NL
    Emma NL October 18, 2012 at 5:32 am | | Reply

    My favourite: The Lover with Tony Leung and Jean Marsh. Beautiful!

  29. Emma NL
    Emma NL October 18, 2012 at 5:34 am | | Reply

    Oops sorry! The actress is Jane March!

  30. essbeee
    essbeee March 26, 2014 at 4:25 am | | Reply

    Forever Never is genious **

  31. Tom
    Tom January 24, 2016 at 11:33 pm | | Reply

    The Ballad of Little Jo starring Suzy Amis is a movie a 19th century society girl journey’s west disguised as a man. She fell in love with a Chinese man she was forced to hire as her cook. They became lovers and she took care of him until he died in the movie

  32. Heleen Van 'tveld
    Heleen Van 'tveld July 11, 2017 at 3:06 am | | Reply

    Me and my love are fans of old musicals, and I miss The King and I in this list (also the movie version with mr. Chow 😉 )

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