Australian Council on Children and the Media

Oversize Love

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Short takes

Not suitable under 12; parental guidance to 15 (themes of body shaming and discrimination)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Oversize Love
  • a review of Oversize Love completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 7 December 2020.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 12 Not suitable due to themes and possible lack of interest (in Mandarin with English subtitles).
Children aged 12–15 Parental guidance recommended due to themes.
Children over the age of 15 Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Oversize Love
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes, violence, coarse language
Length 104 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

When school bullies tease the young, plump Han Bing, a kind classmate, Lin Xiao Xi comes to his rescue, eating the pile of food they demand Bing to finish. In that moment a bond of friendship is born and the two become inseparable. As adults, the tables have turned. Han Bing (Johnny Huang) has slimmed down and Xiao Xi (Xiaotong Guan) is overweight. She initially seems undaunted by what others think, she dresses as she likes in sweatshirts and large pants and eats as much food as she wants. All the while, Bing’s devotion to her remains unchanged. One day Xiao Xi wishes to have a handsome boyfriend and after a magical encounter with a rabbit her wish appears 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. Presented with a potion that will keep her slim for 10 hours at a time Xiao Xi’s new look captures the attention of most men including Huang Ke/Chris. Presenting herself as ‘Alice’, she and Huang Ke/Chris begin a relationship, much to the dismay of Bing. When the potion runs out Xiao Xi is given the choice of being slim and beautiful forever or returning to the overweight version of herself. Xiao Xi must decide if fame, beauty and all that goes with it are truly as magical as she once believed them to be or if the promise of love with the one person who has always seen her beauty is really worth risking for the sake of a handsome face who judges people by impossible standards.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Body shaming and discrimination based on weight, inner vs outer beauty, the price paid for standards of physical ‘perfection’ and bullying.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, including:

  • Xiao Xi kicks Bing in the butt.
  • Chris and Bing get into a fist fight, shoving, punching and wrestling with each other through a restaurant. Chris’s face shows bruises the following day.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • It is unlikely that children in this age group will be frightened by this film.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • It is unlikely that children in this age group will be frightened by this film.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • It is unlikely that children in this age group will be frightened by this film.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Huang Ke/Chris says to 'Alice', “It has been a while since I met such a girl that turns me on”.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Girls in extremely skimpy outfits are shown in a photoshoot: bare midriffs, plunging necklines, short skirts and shorts etc.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Patrons drink in a nightclub.
  • Chris and Xiao Xi drink with a meal, despite the fact that Bing warns Xiao Xi not to.
  • Bing drinks and appears to be getting drunk.

Coarse language

  • None noted.

In a nutshell

Oversize Love is a light-hearted, romantic film that eventually shows how sometimes the one thing you desire most is something you have had all along. Due to some sketchy and dangerous messages for teens, as well as the film being in Mandarin with English subtitles, Oversize Love is best suited to older audiences or mature viewers who speak Mandarin.

The main messages from this movie are that inner beauty is ultimately more powerful than outer beauty; that physical beauty is fleeting; and that the ones who truly love you will see your worth no matter what you weigh.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Friendship
  • Loyalty
  • Compassion
  • Forgiveness
  • Empathy.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Looking for an easy way out of a difficult situation.
  • Believing that your self-worth is tied to how you look or how much you weigh.
  • Bullying or allowing others to be bullied.
  • The dangers of trying to change yourself to live up to the standards and expectations of society or of someone else.
  • Body shaming and discrimination based on weight:
    • If there is an overweight person in an elevator, even if they are not the last to get in and there is an issue with maximum weight everyone looks at the heaviest person until they get leave the elevator. It seems to be a cultural norm.
    • Xiao Xi is shamed for trying to fit into something that is too small for her at a clothing store.

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