HAD TO BE YOU (2005-HK)
review by Neo
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yet unoriginal ...
Ekin Cheng has now totally tear away his Young and Dangerous image for a new one, and after 3 years of romantic comedies, Ekin is now official a mainstay and the box office poison - King of romantic comedies. Although, Neo do not hate Ekin, he does really want to ask you all out there one particular questions: Does Ekin even have any fans? If he does, why the hell did this movie gross only $1.5 million HK after 2 weeks? Perhaps, this is a good indication of the state of HK cinema, that movie goers are no longer willing to spent money watching the same movie over and over again, especially when all of them of one same cast - Ekin Cheng. It is almost pity to see Karena Lam once again performs so well in yet another wasted performance in a romantic comedy. While the movie is not entirely bad, and perhaps even a small par more entertaining than Seoul Raiders and Slim Till Death, however this movie is at best sweet, but yet strikingly unoriginal.
The unoriginal script goes like this: Jill, a restaurant supervisor, has a smart-looking boyfriend Chi On. But Jill knows she's just one of the girlfriends that Chi On has. Jill regards Jack, the new chef of the restaurant, as one of those "bad guys" like Chi On. Later, she finds out both of them (Jack and Jill) are actually the same kind of people - an extra of their lovers...and blah blah and BLAH!
As you should already know, Neo is a very "honest person" as he regularly gives out his honest opinion. For this case, just before he goes on reviewing this movie, I will proclaim that I am a fan of Karena Lam, so a slight bend of bias and the probably the only reason I am calling this movie sweet is probably her as well. Yes, I know she is pretty and sweet, but to be honest, I do not judge a movie as good or bad, just because I love or hate the actor or actress. One thing this movie does well is portray the effect of being a secondary love? Can someone love two person at the same time with the same amount? Can a girl stand being a secondary love or what you call as a friend with "benefits"? Or even can a guy like a girl so much that he is willing to be her secondary love? All this movie is trying to show is that if you are someone's secondary love, why continue hurting yourself? Why? Why do people keep doing and falling into that trap when they knew that there will be no future ahead? Do they think there is hope? Or is love really that important? Perhaps what you are thinking now is how Neo is confusing you with all these rhetorical questions, but to sum all that bullshit up to one line - think about the person you love, kissing and "doing" whatever with someone else - can you stand it?
This movie does have some saving grace moments of romantic happenings as almost certainly the invisible dog as the standout symbolism that made Karena all the more cuter. However one comment must be made of Ekin Cheng as he once again just repeats yet another role, which is almost sad to proclaim that he is no longer an appealing force and that's not without base or grounds - just look at its total boxoffice taking of less than 2 million - I think that tells you what I am thinking. Perhaps the audience now realises how stupid they were to watch the same actor playing same roles over and over again, well at the very least - they finally awoken. However, as I have never say this is a crap movie as it is not and almost certainly a huge bunch of pars above the CRAP - Himalaya Singh and why that stupid movie got pass 10 million just shows once again that HK audience is pretty stupid.
Finally, Neo has decided to call this review an end, and in doing so he wants to reinforce one thing in your mind is that this is not a crap movie, but actually a pretty sweet romantic movie. Perhaps the only flaw of the movie is that it is by no means original, but the director uses and handles the cliche in a competent manner - making this movie an average romantic comedy with some sort of sweetness in it. As predictable romantic comedies are in HK nowadays, this one is actually pretty good in comparison, but as far as originality is concern - there is nothing new or inspiring, So does Ekin actually have any fans left? Well, from Neo's perspective Ekin's fans are probably tired of seeing the same thing over and over again. Let's just hope Ekin realise that...
I rate it 7/10
on this movie on HK Neo Reviews Forum
Directors: Andrew Loo Wang-Hin, Maurice Li Ming-Man
Cast: Karena Lam Ka-Yan, Ekin Cheng Yi-Kin, Eric Tsang Chi-Wai, Bobo Chan Man-Woon, Harvey Hu Bing
Reviewed by Andrew (Neo), March 2005