Would you chat up Raymond Lam if he was sitting alone at a chic bar sipping a glass of wine, nose buried in The Lost Symbol? This movie assumes you would, that is, if you are a woman who loves a man with a philistine bent towards literature. Lam along with his erstwhile costar Miriam Yeung (from TVB’s 2001 serial Taste of Love) quickly dispense with Dan Brown and get on to more pleasurable pursuits.
Both tweak their stock characters for this agreeable romantic comedy. Yeung retains her energetic and somewhat biting onscreen persona as Yan, wedding planner for the well-to-do. She dials up the intensity though as a taskmaster and company owner who goes all out to deliver the perfect nuptials for her demanding clients. Along the way, she delivers some sharp jabs at the absurdity of the industry. On the other side of the bed, TVB prince Lam reprises his television duties as the romantic hero Fung, the main difference being his heightened state of undress.
Their relationship begins after a one night stand extends into a very awkward work affair. Fung is unexpectedly dispatched as the celebrant of several weddings under Yan’s direction. She’s not pleased, as Yeung tries to convey with pouty chin and angry saucer eyes, but after he helps her out of a few tight spots, she begins to soften. Not only does Fung secure a performance by Lady Gaga thus winning Yan another spendthrift client, he also accompanies her on a drinking binge following a disastrous TV interview.
It turns out that under Yan’s flinty exterior lies a jilted bride clutching a messy bouquet of confusion, insecurity, and regret. She may still have a thing for her photographer ex (Kot), but she also finds Fung’s youth and optimism refreshing. The couple bond over rotisserie chicken, and other things, but she can’t bring herself to acknowledge the relationship in front of her coworkers or friends.
Yeung is well matched against both costars, bringing something akin to character development for a female role in Hong Kong film. The casual viewer may be surprised that the woman charging the corridors in the business district Central, or in this case Cyberport, has an interior life. She is genuinely conflicted about choosing between Raymond Lam and Eric Kot, and that takes convincing. Meanwhile, Lam, in his big screen return (minus a minor part in 72 Tenants of Prosperity), is not tasked with much acting; he nevertheless manages a good impression of an eager boyfriend.
He does his company proud, as does a vacuous gaggle of TVB regulars who pop in to support the cause. Hong Kong’s premiere television station, by default, does what it does best – promote itself. Pageant princesses Kate Tsui, Bernice Liu, and Oceane Zhu, along with entertainment stalwart Teresa Mo constitute Yan’s preening entourage. Pierre Ngo is a camp one-note stereotype. Even TVB’s pastry bedfellow, Kee Wah, makes an appearance. Such a love-in is sure to keep the television loyalists happy, but it’s an affair non-fans will also find satisfying.
Miriam Yeung and Raymond Lam’s “First Sight” (初見).
Prod: Lawrence Cheng 鄭丹瑞; Ren Yue 任月; Zhao Jun 趙軍; Stephen Lam 林炳坤
Dir: Barbara Wong 黃真真
Writer: Lawrence Cheng 鄭丹瑞; Hau Wing-Hang 侯穎桁
Cast: Miriam Yeung 楊千嬅; Raymond Lam 林峯; Chrissie Chau 周秀娜; Pierre Ngo 敖嘉年; Teresa Mo 毛舜筠; Eric Kot 葛民輝; Mak Ling-Ling 麥玲玲; Kate Tsui 徐子珊; Bernice Liu 廖碧兒; Oceane Zhu 硃璇; Richard Ng 吳耀漢; Ken Hung 洪卓立; Kylie Weng 翁佳妮; Kathy Yuen 湯怡; Tats Lau 劉以達; Ankie Beilke 貝安琪; Lily Ho 何傲兒; Samantha Ko 高海寧
Time: 99 min
Country: Hong Kong