Love in a Puff 志明與春嬌 (2010) – Hong Kong
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A light hearted and carefree Rom-Com of the year…
Director Pang Ho Cheung rarely disappoints and his latest venture in Love in a Puff is suitably far less self-indulgence and more carefree and fun to watch. Together with the witty and interesting dialogue co-written by last year High Noon’s Heiward Mak, Pang paces the film in almost real time fashion. From the sense of a throw-back to Woody Allen’s classic Annie Hall by breaking the third wall with characters talking about love, life, fate and smoking to the real time technique similar to the elegantly viewed Before Sunrise. Pang has created a little masterpiece, slightly underrated, easy to go under the radar, but simply a movie for film lovers to embrace.
Love in a Puff is the kind of film that isn’t overtly directed, but rather the actors are allowed space to express themselves in real-time effect. Meeting people at a random ash-can in the back alleyway of Hong Kong is easily believable. After all, for all you smokers out there, how easy is it to share a light or two with a complete stranger with the possibility of striking up a laugh or two? The answer is yes. Pang plays with these premises and goes to the extreme in depicting smokers and constantly smoking. Smoking is what connected them in the first place and former queen of comedy, Miriam Yeung glows in her role as a matured yet simple girl torn between the end of a current relationship and the hope of beginning a new one. Likewise, Shawn Yue gives a career progressing performance as her younger love interest. Despite their best efforts on screen, the duo just somehow never clicks. While the dialogue and interaction between the two is more than interesting, the only evident problem is the lack of chemistry between the two leads. Surely their age difference was taken into account during the movie, but there is something that just stops the duo from kicking in the romantic sparkles. Good friends – yes, but lovers – a definite no-no.
All in all, Love in a Puff might just feel like a lesser Pang Ho Cheung’s effort, but in fact it is exactly that carefree and fun feeling which makes this film better than it should be. It is also a return to the trashy, witty, light hearted fun not seen since his earlier works. It might not mean much, but Love in a Puff is easily the most enjoyable and carefree and light hearted Rom-Com of the year…(Neo 2010)
I rate it 8/10