Don’t Go Breaking My Heart

I couldn’t help myself since once again, courtesy of Netflix that I dived into this one.

This was one of the few times that I watched Gao Yuan Yaun since I wasn’t a major fan of her back in the days. It wasn’t her fault–as I later realized–because she was often cast in similar roles so I thought her acting was lacking. However, I felt that she did better in modern series and/or movies than in ancient settings. She was so lively and lovable that lit up the whole movie and set the stage for what was to come. So, we soon found out that her life was much more complicated than the early morning wakeup scene led on. However, her sorrowful days were short-lived–thanks to her encounter with Kevin and how they ended up changing each other’s life perspectives for the best. That also unleashed a chain of events as she became more confident with herself and took notice of her surroundings thus leading to her finally meeting Sean. Her world became quite chaotic and unpredictable as her fate was tied with Sean for the upcoming years. However, in some ways, she still retained her innocence and kindness. Sure, she could get so mad and became so scary at times, but overall, she was a gentle person. I felt Yuan Yuan brought out all those sides of Chi Yan really well. It was like walking into her world and going on a journey with her–whether through the good or bad. It was somewhat addicting to watch in a sense. Sometimes the plot was ridiculous–to say the least, but her character was never dull.

Despite reading a bit of spoiler–mostly how the second movie was perceived, I felt like I enjoyed the second movie more. Yes, I said it. The first movie was somewhat innocent and genuine–mostly because of Chi Yan’s personality and how she saw the world along with Kevin’s character. Yet I felt the second movie had its own charm. Although there was a lot of repetition of the first movie playing itself into the second movie, I felt it worked well with tying in with the first one because it reminded us of how such details in life could repeat or could also happen to someone else. For instance, Paul and Yeung Yeung having a pet octopus, Genie, like how Chi Yan and Kevin had Froggie. Interestingly, both pairings also failed in the end. The similarity with how Sean also filmed Yeung Yeung and tried to guess her song–but failed. Hilariously, his ring ended up being used by Paul to propose to Yeung Yeung later when he told her he had figured out the song she was singing already.

Daniel’s lack of appearance in the second movie angered many people–as I read various reviews. I totally understand that for loyal fans of the first movie–and also for his own fans as well. However, I felt the addition of Mariam and Vic–although sending the plot off the rails–made the movie tenfold more hilarious and also cranked up the hype. Daniel fans will probably kill me for it, but I felt the first movie was really bland at times with Daniel’s story. I guessed his character was supposed to be a counterbalance to Louis’ craziness, considering how they were from the opposite spectrum. However, I think I lost interest in his character around the time he became perfect when he met up with Chi Yan again. I didn’t want him to continue moping in sadness and drowning in his wine. Yet I felt his perfection was a turn off for me, feeling like his character just stepped out of an idol drama, too good to be true. Although it completely made sense with Chi Yan’s decision at the end of the first movie with her choosing Kevin, I felt they could have developed her story with Kevin a little more. It was like Johnnie To was already planning the second movie hence leaving it open or something. Because seriously, I saw it coming a mile that it wasn’t going to end well, especially how she looked back when she saw Sean on the way to the restaurant right before the proposal happened. There was still too much baggage and too many unresolved feelings. Not to mention how I was never completely sold on their pairing because of their lack of chemistry. They radiated off the “friends” vibe major time. Yes, they had some intense scenes and even shared a passionate kiss near the end of the first movie, but I didn’t feel anything at all. Hell, I felt Yuan Yuan had way better chemistry with Vic–who was supposed to be portraying her brother. Perhaps, that was why Vic was chosen and how it ended up being a misunderstanding for the majority of the parties thus leading to the big fight near the end of the second movie.

Once again, although having Mariam and Vic in the second movie sent the plot off the rails, it had somehow in its twisted way helped majorly with the main plot. It ripped right through the so-called normal lives of the others–or how Chi Yan had wanted to move on and was ready for the wedding ahead. What brought the second movie to a whole new level of craziness was the confrontation between Sean and Chi Yan and eventually leading to the big fight in Suzhou. I couldn’t even imagine what in the world the plot was going toward even. Everything was so chaotic, so random yet had to happen for things to finally resolve. In fact, the big fight wasn’t the highest level of craziness either. Because at least that fight was somewhat relating back to the fight between Sean and Kevin like the first movie. In actuality, the plot reached peak craziness around the time the wedding rolled around. Who could have guessed Sean would pull such a move? He scared half of the population present to death–while the other half just wanted to film it on their cameras to share it online (probably). What made it crazier yet hilarious was the part where Paul decided to spring a proposal and added to the already chaotic atmosphere after Kevin and Paul had succeeded in rescuing Sean from his crazy climb. I literally laughed out loud because I couldn’t believe it. We got to hear Vic sing “It’s Not That Simple” (沒那麼簡單) but that was seriously random. Also, Paul acted like it wasn’t a big deal after he got rejected and then even jumped into the pool to retrieve Yeung Yeung’s other shoe before heading to the elevator to send her off and even helped her put ’em back on again.

Many are probably thinking that I side with Louis’ character, Sean, hence downplaying Daniel’s character, Kevin. But honestly, I didn’t even like Sean at all throughout. Partially, it had to do with the plot. But overall, he was a let down throughout. Okay, saying “at all” might be a stretch. I actually quite liked his character as the movie started–as it was with Daniel’s character as well. I initially thought his character had more depth than that. Seeing how he saw her and wanted to cheer her up. I knew he had a crush on her at the beginning and was trying to get her attention. It was cute and all. But it went completely downhill as in he was dead to me right after he fell to temptation and slept with Angelina. He didn’t have to explain anything to her, seriously. She misunderstood. If he didn’t show up, it was obvious that she got the wrong idea. So if he wanted to be a gentleman and explain, fine, do it and leave. Yet it turned out, he was just using his weakness as an excuse. Whether his high testosterone issues were a real medical condition or not, it was never addressed throughout. So that led me to assume that it was just there to add to the humor, which wasn’t funny to me. It just degraded women or put the blame on them just because he couldn’t control himself. With Angelina, it could be said that she tried to seduce him but it was his choice to react or not. But the other women appearing throughout in there? It was hard to swallow with making it like it was partially their fault or something for dressing sexily. Then there was also the whole saying about there were two types of men, etc. Sean wasn’t the only one who said it but Joyce also said it later to Sean. I felt it was a slap in the face that it was a principle in general that they just accepted. (Not to mention how it wasn’t just sending a message to women to just accept it or live alone in misery–or something to that extent, but also send out a message that men are all alike–aka generalizing them.) So yeah, those two things combined made me despise Sean even more. Sure, it was his life, he could live it however he wanted. But I found it super hypocritical that he would get overly jealous–whether it was Chi Yan or Yeung Yeung–when they were spending time with another man. Then what bugged me more was seeing how his turnaround after his failed proposal to Chi Yan had led to his out of control womanizing schemes. It reminded me of the whole disaster with How I Met Your Mother steering Barney right back to his old habits just like that and dismissing his past growth completely. Anyway, contrary to the character, I felt Louis’ portrayal was very convincing.

In a way, to sum up Sean, Chi Yan, and Kevin’s relationships all around, Kevin was actually the one who brought Sean and Chi Yan together. If it wasn’t for Kevin, Chi Yan wouldn’t be able to change her outlook on life and gain her confidence again thus finally seeing Sean–who was trying to get her attention for so long. Their links were different on many levels but it wasn’t possible without one or the other being because their course of actions had affected all one way or another. Again, I seriously felt Chi Yan was better off with Kevin like the first movie had ended, considering how it was ironic that she ended up with such a womanizer–and how she had detested what her ex-boyfriend did to her. But I guess the second movie wanted to take back Chi Yan’s safe choice and chose to let her end up with the one she actually loved–for better or for worse. It was just how Yeung Yeung said, telling her not to hide anymore.

Aside from that, I felt that it was such a shame that Paul and Yeung Yeung couldn’t end up together. It would be seriously chaotic if they did since Yeung Yeung and Sean would end up in the same family. Well, even more chaotic than before. But I felt it was just a shame that Vic and Mariam didn’t end up together. Their chemistry wasn’t bad at all. I enjoyed watching the scenes where they went out to eat and talked and just be random at times. Their interactions were so natural and so addicting to watch. The fact that both of their portrayals were so on par that saved the movie a little more.

After all that was said, my favorite character was surprisingly John. Yes, John was such a minor character or so it seemed yet I found him hilarious throughout. Regardless of how intense the main plot got, he was always there to contribute with much humor. Of course, he had no clue how comical he was yet his silly actions seemed to dissolve somewhat of the hectic atmosphere. I initially thought he would be Chi Yan’s asshole boss who would eventually fire her. The reason why I thought that was because during the meeting at the beginning of the first movie, he was trying super hard to deescalate the situation during the meeting and he was sweating so bad, I thought he would use Chi Yan as a scapegoat to get past that obstacle. But it turned out, he was really supportive of her and actually acknowledged that she was really hardworking and talented. He even risked his job to defend her when she saw Sean and called Sean “asshole” but he diverted it to himself. He also tried to convince Chi Yan not to quit and later became her ally with spying on different parties for her and reporting the events to her. It was refreshing, especially how it was known within those industries that there was major backstabbing going on. In the second movie, he was seen chiding Chi Yan and telling her that he shouldn’t be seen with her because he might get fired yet he still managed to give her information at times regarding Sean–or others. Yes, he seemed nosy overall but he truly cared for Chi Yan as a friend.

*All images were collected around the net hence belonging to their rightful owners.

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Just Love II

This was surprisingly better than the first part–in my opinion. It was possibly because of how the father-in-law was no longer around. Of course, Mr. 13 was not any better with his sabotage schemes and rude behaviors but it was better for them because they could choose not to care about him. And maybe because Johnson was more tolerable than the father-in-law’s character that made me like this part more. They kept most of the characters’ personalities intact for the most part. My only complaint was Mr. 13 since I barely remembered about him being more likable. Or it could be because they needed someone to play the ruthless part after the father-in-law was out so they had to sacrifice Johnson. However, he turned out all right in the end, which was convincing enough since there were enough events leading up to that point. Although there were still traces of his smart-mouth running, that was him, he could not change that or it would not be him at all.

Like Factors:

  • Sunny Chan and Jessica Hsuan as a couple. I really liked their collaboration in the past part and could see the chemistry but was turned off at how the story was paved out because of their unreasonable behaviors at various points in the previous part. It carried over for this part also but I like how their relationship was developed into something deeper than just the usual one night stand and trying to make it work afterward for the sake of the baby.
  • Johnson Lee and Joyce Tang as a couple. It was strange at first although I could see it happening because of their characters and background. However, I was glad it worked out in the end since he curved his attitude a bit. Besides, he really cared for her so it made sense that he was capable of taking care of her and giving her the proper attention, making sure she won’t suffer in the future.
  • How the Ko family and the Ho family still treated Hei Man and Sau Sau as their daughters. It was a mistake from the hospital and it was irreversible but it was great to see how both family still accept and care for both as their own daughters despite what happened.
  • Gill Mohindepaul Singh as Ap Ba Deen. Although he only appeared bits and pieces here and there, I really enjoyed his character and performance in here. Very funny. One of the funniest scenes must be him diving into the pool to save Ho Si Fu (Hui Siu Hung) because he was instructed by Hoi Tung (Mandy Wong) to do so.
  • Mandy Wong as Ng Hoi Tung. I really like her although this was the first time watching her. Although she was a bit too materialistic at times with handbags and all, she really cared for her godfather. She was also very funny in her performance at various times. I hated those tricks with the whole one night stand and then the whole dramas afterward but I really liked this one since Mr. 13 deserved some of it too since he was always so foul-mouthed toward others. (Of course, nothing happened but he took her words for it and was so burned out by her demands later.)

Dislike Factors:

  • The ongoing thing with CK (Ken Wong) and Bowie (Natalie Tong). I don’t know. Although I was all right with their characters, the pairing seemed odd to me. Were they continuing the idea with how Bowie was into older men? But glad she matured over time and how he learned to stay away from the sticky situations.
  • The fact that everyone was DNA testing happy. Yes, it was the proof in uncovering some of the most unbelievable mistakes made by the hospital ages ago. But it was like everyone and anyone could do it. It made me feel like they abused it too much and wondered if that was how it worked over there.

Posted (on Xanga): September 3, 2009

Re-posted: Wednesday, March 31st, 2010