Kris Wu in Sweet Sixteen.
Sweet Sixteen, a movie that unfolds the "other side" of puberty is being hailed for changing the stereotypes in the coming-of-age romance genre. The movie, starring Chinese-Canadian actor Kris Wu and mainland actor Han Geng, narrates a bittersweet romance between three men and a woman.
As many as 300 industry insiders and critics who attended Beijing preview last week, a day before its national release, lauded it and considered it to have potent of breaking stereotype of coming-of-age romance genre.
"Most of such films take a long time to narrate campus life, examination stress and puberty craze," says Tan Fei, a veteran film critic. "However, Sweet Sixteen narrates an unlikely story. It showcases the dark, cruel side of puberty. This has been rarely depicted in Chinese youth-themed movies."
China's burgeoning movie market has seen a rise of coming-of-age movies since actor Zhao Wei's directorial debut — So Young — performed well in the box office collecting around 711 million Yuan ($107 million).
Inspired by the success, a number of fans-driven, star-studded youth-themed films have been released during the past few years.
With Sweet Sixteen grossing 40 million yuan in the box office on its maiden day, a longtime controversy that the coming-of-age romances have similarities and hence, no more excites the audience has taken a back seat.