Review: To Grow With Love (By VeeTse)
To Grow With Love <肥田囍事>
Hong Kong TVB Drama 2006
Producer: Kwan Wing Chung
Genre: Romantic comedy
Myolie Wu as Ho Mei Tin (Tina, Fat Tin)
Andy Hui as Da Hei (Daniel, Dai Sei Hei)
Selena Li as Kwok Bo Lok (Maggie, Ah Bo)
Kenneth Ma as Mak Ka Fai
Claire Yiu as Sung Man Yee (Rachel)
Gigi Wong as Yeung Sau Lan (Leng Keh)
Chun Wong as Ho Nim Heung (Fat Lo)
Jack Wu as Lam Koon Hei (Fei Jai Hei)
Matthew Ko as Chiang Man Jun (Matthew)
To Grow With Love is a story of fate that questions the definition of beauty. The story starts off with the main protagonist, the lovable Tina “Fat Tin” Ho (Myolie Wu), searching for her destined lover. She is portrayed as a very strong-willed girl who cherishes the magical influence of fate. However, she has an immensely high standard of who she chooses; they must share the same thoughts, artistic opinions and most importantly, know the meaning of the three yellow handprints Tina printed on a painting when she was only a young girl.
Desperate for her daughter to find a worthy husband, Ho Nim Heung (Fat Lo) tries to set her up with the diamond bachelors chosen by him. Frustrated as she already was, Tina decides to run away to Hong Kong and try to find her destined lover there instead. With no money, no shelter and have no desire to head home to her father, she decides to live with her cousin Kwok Bo Lok (Selena Li) and eventually finds a job at D-Day- a fashion chamber that opt for making clothes only for skinny people.
Fat Tin encounters the perfectionist boss of D-Day, Daniel Dai (Andy Hui) and after an abundance amount of confusion, misunderstanding and even tragic accidents, they were finally brought together by fate.
Comments on Plot
Fat Tin and Daniel’s Development
I thought that their development line was funnily interesting. Fat Tin’s realization of the mistake she made at the beginning about the sunflower handprints was filmed and written very nicely. There’s not much more to say about this storyline but the fact that their line was amazingly warm and gave a twist to the story.
The Jealous Girlfriend
Everything about the love triangle was perfectly logical until the last few episodes. The jealousy of Rachel (Claire Yiu) begins to surface when she finds out that Daniel wanted to make a clothing line specially designed for larger sized girls. She secretly sends a false report to magazines stating that the boss of D-Day, Daniel, was having an underground relationship with Fat Tin and that is the reason why he is releasing the large sized clothing line.Viewers find out who the sender of this information was, however Fat Tin nor Daniel never finds out. TVB should have created an ending to this subplot, which would have been a better reason for Daniel to break up with Rachel.
Ah Bo’s Love Triangle
I thought that this love triangle was a bit illogical. At first, it was shown that Fat Tin had strong feelings towards Matthew (Matthew Ko) but because of their mistaken telepathy, their feelings died out. Disappearing for more than several episodes, Matthew suddenly re-enters in Ah Bo’s storyline.
The introduction of the also chubby Lam Koon Hei (Jack Wu) was slightly forced and rather sudden as well. The initial launch of this love triangle was when Ah Bo got chosen to be a model and she needed to lose weight fast. Her male model partner was Matthew while her dietitian trainer was Lam Koon Hei. However at the end she was never chosen for the final photographs and this subplot was never really spoken of again. I personally thought it was somewhat unnecessary. At the end, Lam Koon Hei appears in front of Ah Bo, much fitter and thinner, and proposing to her. His logic of having to lose weight and change for Ah Bo sort of defeated the purpose of the theme. However, I think Ah Bo said something along the lines of, “You can get fat again. I don’t care” at the end.
During the same scene, Matthew also ended his character with his compliments towards Ah Bo’s fifty-something-year-old landlady which gave me the impression that Matthew had feelings towards her. Slightly disturbing if you asked me.
Myolie Wu as “Fat Tin”
Upon my recent re-watch of Myolie’s 2011 TVB Best Actress acceptance speech, I decided to watch To Grow With Love. As she stated in her speech, she had to gain a great amount of weight in a short time; therefore I would firstly like to praise her for her perseverance and sacrifice. As for the acting, I would say that her facial expressions and gestures definitely suited this drama perfectly. The way she portrayed a cute and chubby girl was certainly very easy to watch and simply a delight. Rather than being too exaggerated and going overboard with the facial expressions, she acted modestly and just right to make the show humorous.
Andy Hui as Daniel Dai
On the contrary, I thought Andy’s acting was just mediocre compared to his other acting roles. During the part where he loses his memory due to a car accident, he acted dumb and young rather than just having memory loss. During some parts where Fat Tin and Daniel share sweet moments during his memory loss reminded me of “Ah Wong” from Life Made Simple. In saying that, I would still like to praise him in those scenes where he acted frustrated, angry and irritated by Fat Tin’s existence. Those scenes surely made me laugh.
Creditable Mention: Kenneth Ma as Mak Ka Fai
One of the funniest characters in this drama was undoubtedly Mak Ka Fai (Kenneth Ma). His determination to win Fat Tin’s heart was hilarious and made me laugh out loud.
Kenneth portrayed his character amazingly well and was flawless as a quirky, nerdy, childish man. His appearance and costume design also deserves credit because it further accentuates his innocence and pureness. His love for Fat Tin was so strong that towards the end I started feeling sympathetic towards and even hoped he would finally marry Fat Tin at the end.
Other than the minuscule hiccups and slight confusions, this was an amazing drama to view. The issues portrayed in this film were very simple, yet it created such a sentimental and profound storyline that moved many. This drama is definitely worth the watch if you prefer simpler dramas with a romantic and fateful love story.
The review is written by VeeTse, a Contributing Writer at JayneStars.com.