On a long haul flight, most likely from Hawaii back to Thailand, the BF binged watched Chinese movies while my nose was stuck in Norse Mythologies by Neil Gaiman. And after watching god-knows how many films, Beautiful Accident is what he remembered and recommended.

This was years ago, so that’s how long it’s taken me to watch the dang thing. Remember what I said about not watching many movies? Ye-ahhh.

But thanks to him, this wasn’t the first (non-mainstream American) Chinese film I’ve seen. When he was living in the middle-of-frickin-nowhere China, he discovered Jia Zhangke who he believes is the best director that depicts what it’s really like to live in the Middle Kingdom. And to be clear, Beautiful Accident is not one of Zhangke’s films, it’s a fantasy-comedy that the BF said would make me cry. (Thanks, honey!)

Taiwanese actress Gwei Lun-mei

Although, what makes this movie resonate for me is, it feels like the right film at the right time. It’s about second chances, disasters turning into dreams, and being forced to change – for the better.

We watch characters in stories undergo necessary transformations so they can get that better job or boyfriend, but rarely are they ready for it when that shiny promise presents itself. So that’s when a push is needed, and in this case, Li Yuran has to unexpectedly die and return to life under utterly different circumstances.

The stark difference between the two movie posters is a marketer’s dream, right?

It’s always fun to see how filmmakers depict afterlife, and Beautiful Accident is no exception. [I’d share the international movie trailer, but like so many they tragically tell the whole story in it. No thank you!]

But to paint the broad strokes of the storyline, tough lawyer Li Yuran is in an accident that sends her to The Terminal of Fate (love that) where it is discovered that she is here too soon. In other words, she wasn’t supposed to die yet, but since she’s here, could she help out and play this other woman’s life for about a week, and then they’ll send her back to her old life.

And another wildly different movie poster.

I don’t think the movie will surprise you; in fact, I was waiting for the predicable ending, but it reminded me of how opportunities are only grasped and appreciated when you are ready for them. If we could see our lives from a higher vantage point, I wonder how many times our lives would have spared or meaningful encounters missed because we were too busy with something else. Of course, there are times when we get it right, too. How insane would that be! to watch your life like a movie, choices and all.

Beautiful Accident is a tragedy turned comedy turned romance. It won’t win any awards or accolades, but it won my heart, and made me think about life’s unexpected turns and twists, and the blessings that can be around the corner, if only we remember to look around and pay attention.


Film Fridays are hosted by Sarah and Darren. Care to join? Hashtag it, yo, and be part of the cool kids.


Have you seen Beautiful Accident (or seen other stories about second chances)?

28 replies on “Film Fridays – Beautiful Accident (美好的意外)

  1. The story sounds really interesting. I haven’t heard a lot about Chinese movies. I’ve been recommended a lot of Korean movies/TV shows. The story of the movie reminds me of the movie “Just Like Heaven”.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, Korean cinema has taken off, esp with films like the Train from Busan and Paradise. I do hope Chinese movies get their time in the spotlight in the Western world though, they’re good reminders that that the people are not the same as their govt.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. The second chance trope in movies, novels and elsewhere is so powerful. Wouldn’t we all like a do-over in our lives? (Of course, sometimes without knowing it, we’ve all had many do-overs, I think.) I haven’t seen this movie, but it looks fun, judging by your take–and those great advertisements. You’re right, so very very different from one another. Judging by the one, it looks like the lawyer’s fantasy do-over at least partly includes kids and really frumpy clothes. If I have a do-over, I’ll take the first poster, where she looks fashionable and with wine, thanks!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hahahhaa. My do-over would be with children, but I’m not the high-powered rich successful professional either, so who knows? 😛

      Yeah, second chances because we often screw it up the first time (at least), right? 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 Hope you like it. I think it was streaming on one of those many Netflix-like channels. Or you could always cross over to the dark side and download it. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ‘opportunities are only grasped and appreciated when you are ready for them’ BINGO!!! I might have to check Beautiful Accident out. Thanks for not posting the trailer since as you mentioned, the whole movie is told in it.

    I’m still happy to be surprised, especially when a movie has a message, or two or three. I don’t want these messages to hit me all at once either. The movie is more enjoyable if I’m fed slowly with a little spoon. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀 I agree. It’s probably no coincidence that my best movie experiences have been ones that I watched without knowing pretty much anything. Thanks, Jen.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ooh I think I’d like this movie. The theme of second chances brings to mind a movie I really liked in high school : Sliding Doors starring Gwenyth Paltrow. It’s an interesting look at how teeny tiny moments can drastically change the course of one’s life. And that’s a theme I was intrigued by for a while, and why I liked books by Ian McEwan.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I never saw Sliding Doors, but I heard it was good. I’ll have to remember that one when I need a philosophical reminder of LIFE 😉

      I read one book by Ian McEwan when I was a young adult, so thanks for the reminder of an excellent author who I will appreciate so much more now that I’m older!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Mmh, I think they’re all great, at least the ones I’ve read so far. Enduring Love, Sweet Tooth, The Children’s Act, and Machines Like Me are the ones that stick with me the most, I think. You?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. How interesting I think of the books you mentioned I think I only read Sweet Tooth. I remember really liking On Chesil Beach back in the day (but I didn’t like the movie)

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I didn’t even know there was a movie! But now that you said it’s wasn’t that great that might be a good thing!

        Like

  5. Sounds like an awesome movie, Lani! 😀 And who cares about prizes, awards etc. when a movie catches your heart that’s the best compliment it can get surely? Will see if I can get a copy somewhere, like Darren I don’t have Netflix. 😂
    I haven’t watched many chinese movies yet, mostly those epic ones with thousands of extras and amazing fight choreography. It will be nice to watch something less fighty and epic. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

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