Love Connected 保持愛你 (2009) – Hong Kong

Yet another pessimistic tale of love…

Review by Neo: Director Patrick Kong have been far too predictable, his tale of love is rarely optimistic and almost always dreaded. True, Kong maybe correct to a certain degree when it comes to relationships, but this film feels far too contrived, far too manufactured and far too commercial for it to be even a tad enjoyable. With fresh faced, Kay Tse delivering an excellent debut performance, it is a shame that Kong never fully utilise the more interesting option, but rather spread his focus on three or four other stories, with a boring portion relating to the Paco Wong’s combo in Stephy Tang and Justin Lo. It must be admitted that Kong is also fast becoming a cliché within himself, and with a quick glimpse of his past resume (i.e. Marriage with a Fool, L for Love, L for Lies, to name a few), they all seem to say the same thing. It is about time, that Kong goes for something different, fresher or if that is not possible, at the very least, do what he did in L for Love and L for Lies, by making a film more interesting than it should be.

The movie goes like this: It is quite lame actually; the first story is about Stephy a semi-deaf girl who meets a music lover in Justin Lo, the second is about Kay Tse who is unable to let go of her ex-boyfriend. Next up is a story for Chelsea Tong who together with Terry Hu (“back up lover” from L for Love L for Lies) goes on a 3 month love probation and finally the ultra annoying I Love U Boyz duo spend the Valentine’s Day with Kong’s stable supporting player in Miki Yeung.

Stephy Tang is at her utmost worst display for a very long time. Sure, the girl has been a regular in Kong’s movie, much like a Woody Allen’s muse. The problem here is not really Stephy, but rather the lame script that made her character not only unconvincing, but rather stupid and dumb. I am yet to witness a performance from this “it” girl that portrays or converse any kind of potential, other than bubbly teen romance movies. Not to mention, her chemistry with Justin Lo seems more forced and contrived in an affair that is only likely to satisfy the Gold Label bosses. Likewise, Justin Lo adds nothing to the proceeding, but at the very least, he is not annoying. Chelsea Tong, a girl, I personally kind of liked after her effort in Love is Elsewhere, but here she is just plain annoying, her acting is purposely over-the-top as required by Kong that actually reduces the impact on the story front. Tong is a cute girl and certainly can do a lot better than this. Let’s hope this is just a one-off misstep, rather than a career one. Likewise, Terry Hu, an actor who actually did adequately as the “back up lover” with Miki Yeung back in L for Love L for Lies, just fails to convince and the lack of sparks between the two is all the more evident.

After all that exhausting listing of cons, it’s time for some rare sight of good news. Kay Tse, a brilliant singer is certainly the shining light of this movie. Most likely the most meaningful character, Kay handles her conflicted role extremely well. It is always a pleasure to endure through a fresh faced actress with talent and the manner in which she portrays and convinces the audience in the scenes at the restaurant and the taxi scene is a joy to watch. Kay Tse is most definitely one to look out for in both singing and acting departments.

All in all, Love Connected is really a failure of a movie. It is at its very core, a Patrick Kong’s film and while it does not embark quality, there are usually at least some moments in his films that are worthy of some degree of attention. Having seen every one of his movies, it is almost truism to say that Kong have been hurt badly by his previous relationship experiences. It must be true that Kong is a serial offender in either running into the wrong girls or he is the one who is wrong to begin with. Love is certainly not all sweet, as the saying goes, we cannot survive on candies alone, but does it translate to a world that is as pessimistic as Kong seems to be portraying? The real answer is: probably not. In a matter of fact, Love Connected did not work or connect to the audience, is not just of its subject matter, it is the result of some poor piece of filmmaking, uneven storytelling and the constant use of shortcuts by director Kong. In all truthfulness, as someone within the film’s target audience age range, I am just disappointed. Love Connected is basically a film that is a rehash of all of Kong’s previous films, the words “running out of ideas” rings true again. It is hardly a course for celebration, when a new generation director is already remaking his own films … (Neo 2009)

I rate it 4/10

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