Love on the Rocks


If cuteness was a currency, this film would be able to pay off our national debt. Everyone here reeks of cuteness like a week stay at Disney World or a tour through a Hello Kitty factory. Not only do you get the cutest couplet in modern times that go by the name of The Twins but throw on top of this Gigi Leung who had cornered the cuteness market before the Twins came along and pilfered it from her. With more mopey faces than a kennel of homeless puppies trying to get your attention, Gigi does her best to top the Twins in the cute factor – but she is going to have to keep those gigantic Uma Thurman like feet covered if she hopes to do so. Even poor Donnie Yen is forced to join the cuteness sweepstakes as he plays the piano with his mom – ah how sweet was that.
Now I have nothing against cuteness mind you – how else could I explain having two DVDs of The Twins music videos – but there has to be a limit to such things. To make a movie for cuteness sake seems almost evil – like a world conspiracy to turn the human race into soft and mushy legions of smiling zombies who only cross at green lights and chat with over friendly waiters who drone on forever about today’s specials. I think this cute disease began in Japan and has already taken over much of Asia and is now spreading eastwards towards America. Maybe this is the terrorism that Bush should be fighting against instead of in Iraq – the real Axis of Evil are The Twins, Hello Kitty and female Japanese elevator operators. Maybe instead of bombing Baghdad we should have taken out that Hello Kitty factory and put a hit out on The Twins. When the aliens finally do show up I have no doubt we will all gush at how cute they are and soon be giving away replicas of them at McDonalds along with Happy Meals as they take over our world. We have to stay tough and vigilant and cuteness is getting in our way!
Soooooo CUTE!
Still if you like cuteness shoved down your throat like a feeding tube, this isn’t a bad example of it. The film is actually mildly entertaining – I mean Charlene in a moustache smoking cigars – you would have to be a troll not enjoy that – and little Gillian in a leg brace – only the heartless would not go “oooh” as she struggles to smile that adorable Gillian smile. And Louis Koo eating rooster balls with Gigi looking on and making ewww faces – I mean that’s good stuff. And Charlene doing her Sassy Girl imitation and making poor Louis sleep in the department store in store pajamas and then later pretend to propose to her in public – this is why I love movies for classic cute scenes like that. Ok – not really – basically I ask myself (and you) why do they bother making films like this – not that it’s bad or badly made – it’s not – but do we really need sap filled treacle cupcakes such as this? Maybe. It goes down easily enough – has a sweet taste – but you have to ask yourself why? It is especially sad that this is being made by Dante Lam – a fellow who earlier made the excellent Beast Cops and Jiang Hu: The Triad Zone and now the cinematic climate in Hong Kong is such that he makes cute films. This along with the fact that Lau Ching-wan seems to get stuck in one vapid romantic comedy after another is a kick in the shins. Get back to making real movies guys.
So what’s it all about. Louis is one cheap guy and romantic he is not. On Valentines Day he takes his long suffering girlfriend Gigi out to dinner – after 9:30 when the hotpot dinners are all you can eat for not very much. Here he samples those rooster balls and other delicacies, but Gigi decides that’s it – she has had enough and asks to break up. They decide to put their relationship on freeze until Easter and Louis takes the time to figure out what went wrong. He goes back in his mind to three previous relationships that didn’t work out  - with Gillian, Rain Li and Kathy Chow. It is not that difficult to figure it out really – Louis is just rather a dull boy even if two of these girls threatened to kill themselves over him. Gigi meanwhile is fending off creeps like Chan Fei-hung who wants to buy her services as an escort – but she definitely becomes interested in the very wealthy Donnie Yen who is attracted to her bumbling ways. For help with his broken heart, Louis finds a Love ER on the Internet who promises to help him figure it all out. This turns out to be Charlene who admits to never having been in love but she has read all the romance novels ever written. And it goes from there.
By the way this Kathy Chow is a different one from the better known actress with the sexy overbite – that is Kathy Chow Hoi-mei, while this one is Kathy Chow Man Kei and is a fashion model and sister to the doe eyed Niki Chow. I would like to see more of her – she was about the only person in the film who actually acted her age.

My rating for this film: 6.0 (after all my griping this wasn't bad for what it was trying to be!)

For an article on the Cult of cutness, click here.