When school bullies tease a young, plump Han Bing, a kind classmate, Lin Xiao Xi comes to his rescue. She eats a pile of food that the bullies want Bing to finish. In that moment Bing and Xiao Xi form a bond of friendship and become inseparable.
As adults, their positions have changed. Han Bing (Johnny Huang) has slimmed down and Xiao Xi (Xiaotong Guan) is above a healthy weight. But she doesn’t seem to care what others think. She dresses in sweatshirts and large pants, and she eats as much food as she wants. Bing’s devotion to her remains unchanged.
One day Xiao Xi wishes she could have a handsome boyfriend. After a magical encounter, her wish seems to come true. A famous musician, Huang Ke/Chris (Darren Chen), comes to her photography studio for a photoshoot and Xiao Xi is instantly smitten. With the help of a magic potion that allows her to maintain a healthy weight for 10 hours at a time, Xiao Xi captures the attention of most men, including Huang Ke/Chris. She pretends to be a girl called Alice and begins a relationship with Huang Ke/Chris, much to Bing’s dismay.
When the potion runs out, Xiao Xi must choose between being a healthy weight forever or returning to the overweight version of herself. She must also decide whether fame, beauty and all their trappings are as magical as she once believed. Should she risk the promise of love with the one person who has always seen her beauty for a handsome face?
Body shaming and discrimination based on weight; inner vs outer beauty; the price you pay for physical ‘perfection’; bullying
Oversize Love has some violence. For example:
- Xiao Xi kicks Bing in the bottom.
- Chris and Bing get into a fist fight. They shove, punch and wrestle with each other in a restaurant. Chris’s face has bruises the following day.
Oversize Love has some sexual references, including when Huang Ke/Chris says to ‘Alice’, ‘It has been a while since I met a girl that turns me on’.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Oversize Love shows some use of substances. For example:
- Patrons drink alcohol in a nightclub.
- Chris and Xiao Xi drink with a meal, despite the fact that Bing warns Xiao Xi not to.
- Bing drinks and seems to be getting drunk.
Nudity and sexual activity
Oversize Love has some nudity and sexual activity. For example, girls in extremely skimpy outfits are shown in a photoshoot. They have bare midriffs, plunging necklines, short skirts and shorts, and so on.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Oversize Love is a light-hearted, romantic movie that eventually shows how sometimes the one thing you desire most is something you’ve had all along.
Oversize Love has some potentially dangerous messages for teenagers, and it’s also in Mandarin with English subtitles. For these reasons, it’s best suited to older audiences or mature viewers who speak Mandarin.
These are the main messages from this movie:
- Inner beauty is ultimately more attractive than outer beauty.
- Physical beauty is fleeting.
- The ones who truly love you see your worth no matter what you look like.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include friendship, loyalty, compassion, forgiveness and empathy.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like:
- whether the easy way out of a difficult situation is the best way
- how to overcome the belief that your self-worth is tied to how you look or how much you weigh
- what to do about bullying
- whether you should try to change to live up to other people’s standards and expectations
- what you can do about body shaming and weight-based discrimination.