Monday, 18 July 2016

Hong Kong Casts a Romantic Spell

Jamie Chung and Bryan Greenberg in Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong
Yesterday on the plane I watched Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong, an indie movie that has gotten more attention for its romantic images of the city it's set in, than the story line.

Ruby (Jamie Chung) is a Chinese-American toy designer who is in Hong Kong for her first time and gets lost trying to find Lan Kwai Fong. Josh (Bryan Greenberg) overhears her dilemma and offers to take her there.

Hong Kong is a romantic backdrop for the plot
But as many viewers from Hong Kong have noticed, they seem to take a really long time to get there, as they started off somewhere in Soho...

However, they needed that time to introduce themselves, -- Josh in finance in Hong Kong for the past 10 years but really wants to pen a novel, and Ruby a toy designer who once had dreams of being the next Vera Wang.

There is definitely chemistry between the two (they are a real-life husband and wife), and it's refreshing to see the female character holding her own, pretty independent but also mature and western in her values. But the dialogue can seem a bit hokey at times.

Josh tries to give her the lay of the land, impressing her with his awful Cantonese when visiting a tailor shop in Chungking Mansions, and takes her to some touristy spots like Ladies' Market and Temple Street to have their fortunes read.

Emily Ting wrote and directed the film
It's quite amazing the two never sweat walking outside so much and that she doesn't freeze when sitting in the back of a bus wearing a sleeveless top, skirt and heels...

The plot twists involving the pair are interesting, but the real star of the show is Hong Kong -- the filmmakers have created a colourful and happy-go-lucky view of the city that us locals may have taken for granted or haven't really noticed before. The Avenue of the Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui is the perfect backdrop for romantic conversation -- but isn't it closed for "renovation" at the moment?

Nevertheless, the ending of the movie makes you wonder will they, or won't they (get together), and it hopes that you will like Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong so much that the sequel will have to be made...

Don't hold your breath though...

Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong
Jamie Chung and Bryan Greenberg
Written and directed by Emily Ting

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