‘Almost A Comedy’ records strong opening

From runaway hit Goodbye Mr Loser to blockbuster Never Say Die, Mahua Funage has become China’s most successful comedy troupe in terms of adapting its popular stage plays into blockbuster movies.

So, when the troupe announced its latest and also the only stage-adapted film in 2019 – Almost A Comedy — would hit domestic theaters, fans went ecstatic.

As of Sunday, the new movie has grossed 41 million yuan ($5.85 million) and earned 7.7 points out of 10 on Douban, the country’s most popular review site, since it opened on Dec 20.

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Reprising major cast members of Mahua Funage’s 2016 hit comedy Mr Donkey, Almost A Comedy is adapted from the stage play titled If I Were Not Me, which is also directed by the film’s director duo Zhou Shen and Liu Lu.

Zhou and Liu, both graduates of the Central Academy of Drama, spent half six months polishing the script and another half a year in 2018 on rehearsals.

Through the perspectives of four young people who all struggle to pursue their dreams in a metropolis, the tale explores modern interpersonal relationship and some of the most concerned social issues, such as the big-city rent, “hukou” (household registration status) and employment.

A Beijing premiere of the film drew a dozen of celebrities, including prestigious director Feng Xiaogang, A-list actor Shen Teng and actress-producer Liang Jing.

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