Love in the Buff (2012)
Running Time: 112 minutes
Directed by: Ho-Cheung Pang
Starring: Miriam Yeung, Shawn Yue, Mi Yang, Zheng Xu
A sequel to the 2010 rom-com, Love in a Puff, Love in the Buff follows Jimmy (Yue) and Cherie (Yeung) five months after the events in the first film. The couple faces more difficulties in their relationship and eventually split up. Jimmy takes up a job in Beijing and begins a relationship with air hostess, Youyou (Yang). Months later, Cherie finds herself in Beijing as well after being transferred by her office. She bumps into Jimmy and despite their best efforts; they can’t seem to keep away from one another. All the while, Cherie is dating a patient and compassionate man, Sam (Xu). Will Jimmy and Cherie be able to find the love their looking for?
After a rather disappointing prequel, Love in a Puff, I was a bit skeptical when I heard about this film, however being a fan of Miriam Yeung and Shawn Yue, I decided to give the film a shot. Boy, was I wrong about it. There’s a format the director used since the last film that reminded me much of the indie rom-com, (500) Days of Summer, I was preparing myself for it to have almost the same impact the prequel did on me. I was expecting the flashbacks, the mini-interviews, the time-lapse shots of the city, etc. Although, the film started with a count of the days the couple met, it quickly diverted away from the expected format and the director found a way to express his voice, thoughts, and his style into the film. I was carried away by the storyline about 10 minutes into the film. It wasn’t difficult given the realistic dialogue and close-up shots on the actors’ expressions. With a smart pick of the songs as the soundtrack, it helped set the mood of the scenes smoothly. The cinematography, especially the colours really stood out for me.
Furthermore, the main actors selected for this film, from Miriam Yeung, Shawn Yue to the supporting casts, Mi Yang and Zheng Xu, the cast fitted with one another like a jigsaw puzzle. They seem to have found a sort of comfort in their characters that it wasn’t hard to believe in their performances and empathise with them. I was particularly impressed with Mi Yang, a relatively new actress. Her portrayal of the character was spot-on, and her chemistry with Shawn Yue seemed more compatible than that between Yue and Yeung. On the other hand, Miriam Yeung’s portrayal of a heartbroken woman was by far her best performance. I found myself lost and mesmerized by her portrayal. A thoroughly deserved win at the 32nd Hong Kong Film Awards for Best Actress.
Overall, I was caught off guard by the quality of the film, from the cinematography to the soundtrack to the acting to the script; it was truly a very enjoyable romance film. If you are a fan of films such as (500) Days of Summer or the Before Sunrise series, I would recommend this film.
Rating: 8 out of 10