I get a lot of random movie ideas. This is one of them, a Romantic Comedy for the age of globalization:
Bob lives in American suburbia. He works all day in a corporate cube in an office park and comes home to an apartment in a shitty beige building in a complex of shitty beige buildings. He gets up, has a long day at work, goes to the gym, gets home, has a quick dinner, watches TV and goes to sleep. Day in day out. He has few friends. Unsatisfying anonymous soul-sucking life. He is not a boring guy but he is in a terrible rut and his usual positive nature has been overrun with cynicism.
One night he’s surfing an online dating website and on a whim he sets his search to women who “live anywhere.” He meets a Chinese woman, Qi. (Qi translated is Jade.) They begin an online relationship. He lives for the moments at night they message or Skype. Soon they Skype every night. He tries to get her to come to the US. He knows “she” might be catfishing him but he doesn’t care. He’s enjoying it as long as the illusion lasts.
Then we see it from Qi’s perspective. She’s a divorced mom. She is kind in her daily life as she cares for her young kids and gets them off to school etc. In short, she is everything we’ve heard her tell Bob she is. He hasn’t been catfished. She has been honest with him EXCEPT for one act of omission revealed to us at the end of Act I: Qi is the star of a provincial TV show and Bob doesn’t know it but he is her co-star.
The show — “We Love You Bob” — is on every night in the Chinese province. It features Bob’s Skype calls, messages, hopes, fears, etc with snarky commentary. He is far from anonymous in this Chinese province. He is famous and beloved and mocked. Every time he complains about his life in suburbia, it becomes water cooler talk for 100 million people. He has no idea, however.
Back and forth between perspectives. Small things happen: like staff of Chinese restaurant starts being weirdly nice to him. Qi begins to feel guilty but at the same time she really cares for him. Qi keeps putting him off about visiting the US but finally she convinces him to visit her in China.
Bob goes to China. His visit is set to be the grand finale of the TV show. He thinks he’s coming to meet her. Bob arrives in the province and mobs of people are waiting to see him. He slowly realizes what has happened as it seems like the entire country has come out to welcome him. At the same time he’s upset. He feels betrayed. But he ends up forgiving Qi, relishing his fame and they marry and stay in China.