Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love | 愛 [ Movie Review ] ★★★

The Pitch

No, this is not the movie installment for the popular long running Taiwanese television series that just ended it's run in Singapore. This is Doze Niu's Taiwanese rendition of "Love Actually" that's out to wrestle with Sammi Cheng's Romancing in Thin Air and Ah Niu's The Wedding Diary for the Asian Valentine Day box office profit love.

Love 愛 comes with a stellar cast of actor and actress from Taiwan (and China). Shu Qi and Zhao Wei probably needs no introduction in this part of the world.  Ethan Ruan, Mark Chao, Eddie Peng, Ivy Chen and Amber Kuo are the new upcoming good looking Taiwanese young stars who each had participated in at least one movie that was shown in Singapore cinema recently (Monga, Hear Me and Au revoir Taipei).

But personally, the main attraction for Love 愛 would be due to Doze Niu's participation in this movie as the director and actor.  His previous two full length features "What on Earth Have I Done Wrong?" and "Monga" (which he directed and acted) were pretty enjoyable and it made him one of my "Asian directors to watch out for" list.
It's not easy to make a "Love Actually" type of movie and quite a few had already failed badly (Valentine Day and Hot Summer Days). It's not easy to manage multiple plots and numerous big stars but I am having good vibes that Doze Niu might be able to deliver this.

(Special Thanks to Festive Films for a chance to preview Love 愛)

The Plot

Love 愛 is a story of eight individuals entanglement in various romantic dilemmas and their search for a happy ending in their respective situations.

Ni (Amber Kuo) and Yi Jia (Ivy Chen Yi-han) had been the best of friends and they practically shared everything. What Ni didn't know was that Yi Jia had been in love with Ni's boyfriend Kai (Eddie Peng) for a long time. Their relationship became estranged when Ni discovered that her boyfriend Kai (Eddie Peng) had a one night stand with Yi Jia and impregnated her best friend.

Ni became depressed with the betrayal by her boyfriend and best friend. Kai tried to win Ni back by professing his love publicly and dramatically. Tormented by the situation, Yi Jia tried to get an abortion. Ni also realize that her temper and mood swings had a role to play in her friend's betrayal. How will these three friends resolves the issues between them?

The second story focus on Yi Jia's brother, Ni's father and his girlfriend. Mr Lu (Doze Niu) is a successful middle age businessman with a trophy wife girlfriend Zoe (Shu Qi). Zoe had wanted to settle down with Mr Lu but he has no intention to stop fooling around. They fought on the streets and a waiter Kuan (Ethan Ruan Ching-Tien) (Yi Jia's brother) came to rescue her.

Zoe became infatuated with Kuan but Kuan didn't dare to woo her as he felt inferior with his stammering and his financial status. Spending times with Kuan made Zoe realize that she had lived a superficial and useless life. Mr Lu became aware of Zoe's infidelity and realized that he really loved Zoe. He decided to propose to Zoe with the hopes that it would end the affair. Who will Zoe choose in the end?

The last story revolves around Mr Lu's successful business partner Mark (Mark Chao) and a single mom cum Beijing real estate broker Xiao Ye (Vicky Zhao Wei). They met while Mark was looking for a courtyard house in Beijing. An accident occurred during the house visit and Xiao Ye was forced to do a day surgery.

Mark offered to pick Xiao Ye's son from school but after Xiao Ye's son mistaken Mark as the father that he had been waiting for, the little boy ran away and went missing. The panic search for the missing boy started the unlikely romance between Xiao Ye and Mark. But Mark with his own personal daddy issues, has difficulties in starting a relationship with the single mom and her son. Will this unlikely relationship work out in the end?

The Perspective - Love Movie Review ( Coming Soon )

The Other Posters 
 from Love 爱 - Singapore Facebook Page

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