Romance with a furry twist

Ren Youlun plays a bookstore owner and Gia Ge plays a female cat spirit in Make A Wish.
Ren Youlun plays a bookstore owner and Gia Ge plays a female cat spirit in Make A Wish.PHOTO: IQIYI


iQiyi International

4/5 stars

Chinese romance drama Make A Wish is one for the cat lovers. It takes the roommates-to-lovers trope out for a spin, albeit with a fantastical, furry twist.

Chi Yan (Ren Youlun) is an introverted bookstore owner and writer who is more comfortable hanging out with animals than humans. One day, he saves a white cat from an oncoming car. But overnight, the cat turns into a beautiful woman (Gia Ge), who is later given the name Xiao Xiu.

Here are three reasons to tune in.

1 Fresh premise

In the world of Make A Wish, cats are highly intelligent beings from another world who live in four-legged bodies on Earth. But they are not allowed to be indebted to humans if they want to one day return to their world.

After Chi Yan saves Xiao Xiu, she has to fulfil one wish of his. The only problem is that he does not seem to have one. The two decide to stay together until they figure out what he truly wants.

Hong Kong actor Benz Hui plays an influencer who is an elderly cat spirit in disguise. He bumps into Xiao Xiu by chance and takes her under his wing, helpfully explaining the rules of both worlds to her and the audience.

2 Adorable cast and cats

Ge, who was a contestant on Season 2 of the reality competition Youth With You last year, shows off her acting chops here. She mimics a cat in her performance - sniffing Chi Yan, lying on his tummy and pawing aggressively at objects swinging around in the air.

Ren (Legend Of Two Sisters In The Chaos, 2020) also does a good job with the soft-hearted but outwardly cold and introverted Chi Yan. Both the exasperation and kindness of his character come through in his performance.

As a bonus, there are several scenes given to actual cute cats and other animals.

3 Hijinks and hilarity

There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments as Xiao Xiu learns to navigate Earth as a woman.

And there is a clever nod to the superiority of cats over humans as she realises she can master languages without having to study them.

Meanwhile, Chi Yan treats her like a cat. He rewards her with treats to get her to do chores like washing the dishes, and also soothes her by rubbing her under the chin.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2021, with the headline 'Romance with a furry twist'. Subscribe