Love Connected (保持愛你)

Love Connected

Watching a Patrick Kong movie is akin to watching a kid throw up a bunch of playing cards and then shoving them back together into some semblance of deck. One expects disorder, and that’s exactly what you get in Love Connected, a generic catch-all Valentine’s Day movie that aspires to satisfy everyone but probably satisfies no one.

Kong fills his film with different stories of love and lovers, all vaguely connected in a way that makes the movie seem more cohesive than it is. Fong (Kay Tse) runs a flower shop and is in a protracted process of breaking up with her boyfriend Joe (Joey Leung). At the same time, one of her employees, Bobo (Stephy Tang), rejects a mall singer (Justin Lo) because she fears her deafness is an obstacle to their romance. Fai (Sammy Leung), also running in circles around the mall, juggles three girlfriends who, due to a scheduling hiccup, materialize at the same place. There is also some office drama between trial lovers Debbie (Chelsea Tong) and Terry (Terry Wu) and their tyrannical boss Vivian (Toby Leung). Finally, for good measure, two geeky homebodies (I Love You Boyz) fulfill some male fantasies thanks to internet call girl Goldfish (Miki Yeung).

Every youngish demographic gets a turn, and the hope is, if one romance doesn’t appeal to you, another one will. With five competing storylines, however, most characters are too underdeveloped to garner any interest much less sympathy. By the time the movie is finished jerking around and if you aren’t dizzy from the ride, you will still be left wondering what was the point. The supposedly funny piece featuring Sammy as a lover who’s in over his head is as predictable as a Patrick Kong movie. It’s like watching poorly pirated version of the play Boeing-Boeing, which features the same multiple lovers gag but with a lot more humor and wit.

The only story approaching emotional depth was that of Fong and Joe. It was helped by some understated acting by singer Tse in her screen debut and stage actor Leung. Both make the most of their scant screentime and etch out characters transformed from blooming young lovers to a couple standing on the edge of their relationship but not wanting to jump first. Kong can’t seem to make a straight, honest love story without resorting to gimmicks though, so you’re better off looking elsewhere.

“I Love You a Lot” (我愛你很多) – themesong by Chloe Chu.

Released: 2009
Prod: Paco Wong 黃柏高
Dir: Patrick Kong 葉念琛
Writer: Patrick Kong 葉念琛
Cast: Stephy Tang 鄧麗欣; Justin Lo 側田; Kay Tse 謝安琪; Joey Leung 梁祖堯; Chelsea Tong 唐素琪; Terry Wu 胡清藍; Siu Ye-Chim 少爺占; Donald Tong 唐劍康; Miki Yeung 楊愛瑾; Sammy Leung 森美; Marie Zhuge 諸葛梓岐; Katy Kung 龔嘉欣; Celina Jade 盧靖姍; Gloria Tang 鄧紫棋; Terence Tsui 小肥; Toby Leung 梁靖琪
Time: 96 min
Lang: Cantonese
Country: Hong Kong
Reviewed: 2014