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and I hate you so
Year: 2000
Aaron Kwok and Kelly Chan
Director: Yee Chung-Man
Cast: Aaron Kwok Fu-Sing, Kelly Chan Wai-Lam, Eric Tsang Chi-Wai, Teresa Mo Sun-Kwan, Jessica Suen Huen, Julian Cheung Chi-Lam, Mark Lui Chun-Tak, Cheung Tat-Ming, Chan Fai-Hung, Michael Tse Tin-Wah, Pauline Yam Bo-Lam
The Skinny: A bit too tangential in its exploration of love, this glossy romantic comedy is nevertheless enjoyable and worth a look.
by Kozo:
     The third collaboration between Kelly Chan and Aaron Kwok yields probably their best pairing, though not their best film by far.
     Kelly Chan is Luna Ng, a popular newspaper columnist who makes an enemy of DJ Cheung Yung (Aaron Kwok) when she attempts to block his purchase of a used vinyl record. Cheung Yung is a lover of old vinyl and uses them on his popular radio show, where he plays old tunes and gives sometimes ill-advised romantic advice. Luna wanted that record because it was a gift to her first love, and the shock and dismay over seeing it in a used bin causes her to wish to possess it again. The two begin to spar, she in her column and he on his radio show. 
     Yep, sparks fly and soon love will blossom, though in a sort of roundabout way.
This being a UFO film with a script by Ivy Ho (Gorgeous, Anna Magdalena, and Comrades, Almost a Love Story), the movie spends as much time talking about love as it does actually getting its characters together. Cheung Yung and Luna’s battle is over where love resides in a person and what should be done with it. Should we hold onto the tokens of our love or let them go? This sort of post-modern existentialism has always been UFO’s bag, though sometimes it tends to overshadow what we’d really like to see: a good love story with capable actors engaging in believable onscreen chemistry. 
     With that in mind, and I hate you so proves less successful than Summer Holiday, though it’s actually a better, more intelligent film. It might be too intelligent, as it uses tangible objects as metaphors for romance - and proceeds to forget about actual romance. The love that grows between our protagonists seems entirely within their heads, and not somewhere between them. We can only see it in Cheung Yung’s attachment to his wine-stained shirt (made so by Luna) or Luna’s flip-flopping need for her ratty old white umbrella (which Cheung makes frequent reference to on his radio show). 
     Still, this is Aaron Kwok and Kelly Chan’s best pairing because they turn in their best performances together. Chan is slowly becoming a better and more confident actress, but she still has a way to go. Kwok fares much better, as he finally manages to use his annoying bravado to mask something other than more annoying bravado. This is his best romantic performance, made better by the fact that he doesn’t actually do anything directly to express his affection. That’s the film’s strength but ultimate roadblock as it uses a largely indirect route to get where its going. More can be seen in the secondary plot, between aging and unattractive lovers Eric Tsang and Teresa Mo (who’s returning from a six-year absence). That plot is much more active, though it eventually relates to the same themes as the primary plotline. 
     Director Yee Chung-Man (Anna Magdalena) does a fine job, bringing the best out of Ho’s script and finding a way to make everything look especially beautiful. This is an entertaining movie that ultimately rings a bit hollow in its overuse of tangential exposition to move the characters forward. Sometimes you’d just like to see the characters act expeditiously instead of futzing about for ninety minutes in their own self-created romantic cocoon. (Kozo 2000)
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Universe Laser
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

image courtesy of Copyright ©2002-2017 Ross Chen