‘Hi, Mom’ Is a Hit, but Netizens Are Divided Over Titular Character

The time-travel comedy was one of the highest-grossing films over China’s weeklong Lunar New Year holiday.

The story of a woman traveling back in time to meet her younger, childless mother and find herself a better father has smashed China’s box office, becoming the country’s highest-grossing film by a female director.

Based on a true story, “Nihao, Li Huanying,” or “Hi, Mom,” is written and directed by Jia Ling, one of China’s most prominent sketch comedians and cross-talk performers, who also plays the daughter. The film is an adaptation of Jia’s most-recognized skit and features popular actors Zhang Xiaofei, Shen Teng, and Chen He.

Since premiering on Feb. 12, “Hi, Mom” has raked in 3.6 billion yuan ($550 million) at the domestic box office, just behind the blockbuster “Detective Chinatown 3.” On review platform Douban, it has an enviable rating of 8.1 out of 10, and a related hashtag has received more than 1.4 billion views on microblogging site Weibo.

“Hi, Mom” was considered a dark horse to top the holiday box office over the Lunar New Year, which saw cinemas packed with moviegoers. The total box office revenue from Feb. 11-17 reached 7.8 billion yuan, according to the China Film Administration.

According to domestic media, Jia first developed the plot for her skit in 2016 as a way to remember her mother, who died in 2001. Once the performance became a major success, Jia was eager to bring it to the big screen.

In the film, Jia’s character is devoted to helping her mother find happiness. She even tries to play matchmaker, aiming to pair her then-unwed mother to a man she knows will become rich in the future. Continue to read the full article here

– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone.