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Review: 'Tiny Times' is all flash, no substance

Tameka CottleSex and the City (movie)Times Square

Take the sex out of "Sex and the City" and transplant the action to Shanghai, and you'll have Guo Jinming's squeaky-clean "Tiny Times," in which four friends with a love of fur dresses and impossible heels swoon over boys. In deference to its teenybopper audience (or is it the censors?), these girls don't get naked — they barely even get kissed — but their pop star-handsome male co-stars are happy to strip off their shirts and pose like they've just wandered in from a cologne ad. Which they kinda have.

First-time director and novelist Guo based this romance and its upcoming sequel on his bestselling series of books, and the resulting film has been decried for its oh-so-American consumerism while making more than $90 million at the domestic box office. Behold: the Chinese generation gap — and, boy, does its hair look great.

Our Carrie is Lin Xiao, an editorial assistant at a posh magazine who narrates the misadventures of her unlucky-in-love gal pals while drooling over her boss, a waxenly gorgeous germaphobe. The girls don't make believable friends — bossy business exec Lily couldn't be more different than cockroach-petting goofball Ruby, and long-haired Nan Xiang's only personality trait is that she's really, really pretty and really, really passive. It's dumb fluff made soap operatic with the inclusion of slo-mo and melodramatic Mandarin ballads that builds up to the ultimate girly climax: a slow-clap at a fashion show. Is it good? No. Is it fun? A little. Is there a makeover montage? Of course.


"Tiny Times"

MPAA Rating: No rating

Running time: 1 hour, 26 minutes

Playing: AMC Atlantic Times Square 14, Monterey Park.

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Tameka CottleSex and the City (movie)Times Square