Chinese movie Ever Since We Love (Wan Wu Sheng Zhang) is creating a buzz even before it hits cinema screens.
Based on the 2013 best-selling novel Everything Grows by Zhang Haipeng, who is better known by his pseudonym Feng Tang, the movie revolves around the life of a medical student and his emotional struggles that involve relationships with three women: a childhood sweetheart, a college mate and an older "sexy" woman.
Billed as an exciting tale of love and lust by the cast and crew, the movie is slated for mainland release on Friday.
Chinese micro-blogging site Sina Weibo is already buzzing with conversation about the new movie, whose director Li Yu even ventured would become the most "sexual" ever to be screened in Chinese cinemas, something she attributes to it being based on a novel about sex.
Li, who is well-known for her directness in dealing with taboo subjects, is a celebrated moviemaker.
She is said to have brought out the best acting skills of Han Geng, a pop singer and Chinese star, who plays her movie's protagonist. In the past, his acting capabilities were questioned by critics.
Han, who shot to fame in 2005 as the only Chinese singer in Super Junior, a South Korean band, debuted in the martial arts drama My Kingdom in 2011.
Li's main strategy to get Han to act better was to "bring him down a few notches" from his star status and get him into the skin of the role of a desperate medical student.
Fang Li, the movie's producer, jokingly revealed at a recent media event: "Before shooting began, Han used to give everyone a grin. But by the time it ended he was nothing but nervous smiles."
Han's portrayal of Qiu Shui also won him praise from the novel's author Feng.
Qiu's youthful days are depicted in the novel as rough and similar in experiences to other Chinese men born in the 1980s. Although that generation had begun to see China modernize, there was a lot of sexual frustration among youngsters as society opened up to new lifestyles.
"The novel is written for the mothers who might have never known what their sons had to go through," wrote Feng, 44, in the preface to the novel.
"Qiu's three romances represent the past, present and future that a young man may face while growing up," Feng said in a recent interview with Chinese media. "Most teen boys learn about the world from an older beauty, like a goddess, in their lives."
Feng, who has more than 8.7 million fans on Sina Weibo, is among few well-known Chinese novelists who apparently have no qualms about revealing a keen interest in erotic literature, or the so-called little yellow books.
His depictions of Qiu's affairs in the novel have been translated into sex scenes in the movie.
"The movie is unlike most popular puberty-themed productions, replete with basketball, abortion and cheating in exams," said a review on Douban.com, one of China's most popular movie review websites.
"It reflects the real psychology of many young men during their campus lives."