Love O2O 微微一笑很倾城 is a highlight reel Gu Man's popular novel, cramming its sweetest moments into a two hour movie. As someone who fell in love with the c-drama first, Love O2O certainly brings back memories yet nostalgia alone is not nearly enough to carry an entire movie all the way through.
It begins when a female warrior battles a frog monster but freezes as she closes in for the final kill. The scene is from a game and the warrior is a student playing online, that is until her connections drops off due to a blackout in school.
Desperate to finish the game, she pedals furiously to the nearest internet cafe and almost crashes into another bike but she makes it in time to beat the frog monster into a pulp.
The student's name is Bei Wei Wei (Angelababy) and her username is Luwei Wei Wei, ranked number seven in the PvP (Player versus Player) charts. As more gamers join the next battle, they are awestruck by the appearance of Yi Xiao Nai He (Jing Boran), the number one player in the PVP charts.
Meanwhile, Wei Wei receives a message from her virtual husband Zhen Shui Wu Xiang (Bai Yu) who is asking for a divorce. He offers her a parting gift as compensation but Wei Wei refuses, saying that he has no need to feel apologetic since their marriage was purely business.
Back at the dorms, Wei Wei comes across an article by Cao Guang, which writes that she has a sugar daddy. Furious, she gives Cao Guang a taste of his own medicine and goes on to disprove that the alleged sugar daddy is not a man but the mother of a 10-year-old boy that she tutors part time. Cao Guang asks if Wei Wei came to take revenge to which Wei Wei responds, "I'm here to correct your worldview."
As Wei Wei recounts her story, Wei Wei's friends get distracted by Xiao Nai, a computer genius and a certified heartthrob. He solves a mathematical equation outside a convenience store while Wei Wei and her friends stare in admiration from inside. They even witness campus beauty Meng Yi Ran's confession of love to Xiao Nai, which he coolly rejects.
Wei Wei almost crashes Zhen Shui Wu Xiang's wedding after stepping away from her computer but she manages a quick save after distracting everyone with a fire sale.
Just then, Yi Xiao Nai He stands before her and proposes to get married, saying that he needs a partner to participate in the couples contests and that she is the only female in the top ten rankings.
Wei Wei is elated and honored so she accepts, ready to register the marriage at a moment's notice. However, Yi Xiao Nai He has plans of his own as he presents her with a wedding unlike any other, much to Wei Wei's amazement.
Wei Wei receives a second surprise proposal, this time from Cao Guang. She rejects him outright but his persistence forces her to come up with a flimsy excuse, along the lines of saying that Xiao Nai is the man of her dreams.
Of course, Xiao Nai overhears the conversation since he stands less than a feet away with a Mona Lisa smile on his face.
After receiving a fake message from Xiao Yu Yao Yao informing her that the guild raid is cancelled, Wei Wei finds herself in the middle of a controversy for failing to show up and for colluding with Yi Xiao Nai He's guild who came and stole the glory. Disappointed at her team thoughtless accusations, Wei Wei officially withdraws her membership from the guild.
In order to resolve the issue once and for all, Yi Xiao Nai He challenges Zhen Shui Wu Xiang to a duel that he cannot refuse. As expected, Zhen Shui Wu Xiang is forced to accept the invitation and what ensues is Zheng Shui Wu Xiang's graceless defeat against the godlike abilities of Yi Xiao Nai He.
As a team, Yi Xiao Nai He and Wei Wei advance to the final round of the couples contests while their partnership grows stronger over time. Alas, Yi Xiao Nai He fails to show up during the most critical moment, leaving Wei Wei clueless as to what happened.
After some days, Hou Zi Jiu, one of Yi Xiao Nai He's friends, gets a hold of Wei Wei to explain that Yi Xiao Nai He stood her up because Yi Xiao Nai He lost consciousness for a couple hours after they got into a car accident. Wei Wei hurriedly goes online and she chats with Yi Xiao Nai He who asks that they meet in person.
At a bridge similar to the place where Yi Xiao Nai He first approached Wei Wei in the virtual world, Xiao Nai stands alone as if waiting for someone. He walks towards Wei Wei and she comments, "what a coincidence," to which Xiao Nai replies, "not a coincidence, I'm waiting for you." Aww, finally!
At the basketball game, Wei Wei cheers for Xiao Nai as she sits on the sidelines when Xiao Nai shocks the entire student body after casually walking over and asking to sit next to her and her friends, effectively making it official that he only has eyes for her.
In one of their conversations, he also admits to knowing that she was Luwei Wei Wei ever since the day she almost crashed into his bike.
Meanwhile, Wei Wei attends a party where she meets the members of her guild and she finds out that Zhen Shui Wu Xiang is Cao Guang and vice versa for Cao Guang who realizes that Luwei Wei Wei is Wei Wei.
Xiao Yu Yao Yao seethes at Cao Guang's obvious attentiveness towards Wei Wei and she attempts to ruin Wei Wei by telling Xiao Nai that Wei Wei is a promiscuous woman who married multiple times in the gaming world. Knowing exactly how to rain on Xiao Yu Yao Yao's parade, Xiao Nai answers, "as long as she'll have me, I don't care about these things."
Just when things cannot get any better for Xiao Nai and Wei Wei, Xiao Nai suffers the biggest blow to his career as the gaming developer that they have been working with steals all of their ideas.
Wei Wei and his friends arrive to give some support and they decide as a team to conceptualize a game that will surpass their former creation. As you would expect, the A team succeeds, thus giving the movie a big happy ending.
Tolerable (2/5): Love O2O is like the drama adaptation on steroids because it touches upon literally every major arc in the drama from the moment Xiao Nai first lays eyes on Wei Wei, to their first meeting online, all the way to their romance offline.
Even so, the iconic scenes fail to make an impact because at the end of the day, Love O2O simply does not have the breadth or depth to establish a meaningful connection. In fact, I don't know how the OTP fell in love because it happened so fast and the supporting characters like Meng Yi Ran, Er Xi and friends have so little screen time in this that they are practically an afterthought.
Funny enough, the most interesting thing in Love O2O is seeing Bai Yu reappear as Cao Guang for the second time because that was totally unexpected. My advice... watch the c-drama instead. If Jing Boran is good looking and intelligent in the movie, Yang Yang is a god in the drama.