Sequel fails to work as romance or drama

(From far left) Vic Chou, Ariel Lin and Chen Bo-lin form a love triangle in Go Lala Go 2, which has the feel of an idol drama series.
(From far left) Vic Chou, Ariel Lin and Chen Bo-lin form a love triangle in Go Lala Go 2, which has the feel of an idol drama series.PHOTO: GOLDEN VILLAGE

THE STORY: In this sequel to the hit 2010 romantic comedy, Du Lala (Ariel Lin) finds herself facing challenges on both the private and professional fronts. Her photographer-boyfriend Wang Wei (Vic Chou) seems to have no intention of proposing, while at work, it falls upon her to pull off an important assignment involving a fashion label headed by Chen Feng (Chen Bo-lin). When Chen starts to take an interest in Du, she finds herself torn.

Even though this is billed as a sequel, the cast are completely different from that of the earlier film.

Some key characters remain the same, but previously, Du Lala was played by actor-director Xu Jinglei while Wang Wei was played by singer-actor Stanley Huang.

With Taiwanese television stars Ariel Lin and Vic Chou stepping in and the addition of Chen Bo-lin as a new love interest, the feel is now very much that of an idol drama series.

  • REVIEW / ROMANCE DRAMA

  • GO LALA GO 2 (PG13)

    101 minutes/Opens Friday/2.5/5 stars

Specifically, the popular romantic drama In Time With You (2011) casts a long shadow here.

Lin and Chen left such a deep impression as the central couple that it throws one off-balance to find them paired up once again in Go Lala Go 2.

On the one hand, it seems clear that moviegoers should be cheering on Du and Wang.

On the other hand, it is almost a reflex reaction to root for Lin and Chen instead, given their past history in an unrelated show.

What is also problematic is the fact that the tightly wound Du comes across as shrill most of the time and it is hard to see why the laidback Wang would fall for her.

Despite her protestations to the contrary, Du is very much a driven professional who wants to shine in her company and much of the movie is about the shenanigans that take place at work.

To tie the two strands together requires the contrivance of Wang working as a photographer for a corporate project and this plays out to largely frustrating effect.

While the movie offers some honest moments of reflection and self-awareness from the characters, it never fully satisfies as either a romance or a workplace drama.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 02, 2015, with the headline 'Sequel fails to work as romance or drama'. Print Edition | Subscribe