Writer: Goh Wen Xuan Writer Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Hot Summer Days”, “July Rhapsody”
For those who are not aware, Hennessy Road is located in Hong Kong's Wanchai district, and is not a brand of alcohol. It's also the main locale for this simple rom-com, which boasts a stellar cast in the figure of Jacky Cheung ("72 Tenants Of Prosperity", "Hot Summer Days", July Rhapsody") and Tang Wei ("Lust, Caution"). It's also a remake of the 1988 "Crossing Delancey".
The movie tells a tale of two single people, Loy (Jacky Cheung) and Oi-Lin (Tang Wei), who are persuaded by their families to meet up in a match-making lunch. Little did they know, both Loy and Oi-Lin have someone close to their hearts already! The two, whose shops are separated by Hennessy Road, vowed after the match-making lunch that they will not set foot around that area, eventually developing an unlikely friendship when they discovered a mutual interest in detective stories.
With Jacky Cheung and Tang Wei's budding relationship as the highlight of this movie, you can't help but wonder; are there any fireworks between the two of them? The truth is, it's hardly there. Jacky Cheung, who does look the part of Loy, couldn't help but act goofy in front Oi-Lin. Meanwhile, Tang Wei was actually quite inert in her acting compared to her superb performance in Ang Lee's "Lust, Caution". For those who watched the 'actual' version of "Lust, Caution", please refrain from having liquid dreams as Tang Wei does not even have a kissing scene in this movie! Apart from the two leads, award winning actress Paw Hee Ching ("The Way We Are") makes a solid appearance as Loy's capable yet money-minded mother, while moviegoers can catch a glimpse of Ekin Cheng, Lowell Lo and Maggie Siu as they make cameos in this one.
Even though the movie was short of two hours, this reviewer felt it was almost three hours of agony. Maybe this reviewer had high expectations on Ivy Ho, who wrote "July Rhapsody", "Comrades, Almost A Love Story", and "Divergence", failed to capture the essence of two entirely different entities, joined together by a thin thread of mutual interest. That said, the cinematography was surprisingly good enough to make tourists flocking over to Hong Kong in a heartbeat.
Watch it if you love Jacky Cheung or simple storylines. Avoid this if you still have fantasies of Tang Wei clad in cheongsam with armpit hair ala "Lust, Caution".Cinema Online, 12 May 2010