Friday, November 16, 2007

Hooked On You (Hong Kong 2007)

It's 1997 and the Fortune Market is alive and well with a plethora of different vendors. One inparticular fish stall is run by Miu (Miriam Yeung) and her father (Stanley Fung). Miu and her gambling and promiscuous father are in debt to local loan shark Uncle Right (David Lo). With little to no help from her father, Miu works long hours and even sells congee on the side in order to make some extra cash to pay off the debt. The residents of the Fortune Market, Porky (Huang Bo) and Fishman (Eason Chan), both have an interest in Miu for different reasons, but Miu longs for a better life and wants something more than just the life of owning a stall in a food market. Fishman does his best to try and bully everyone, especially Miu, and even goes as far as to trash her stall. He loves to throw his weight around, but in reality, everyone in Fortune Market doesn't take him seriously. When Miu isn't working overtime, she's on a quest to find a high-profile husband to take her away from the mundane existence that is the Fortune Market. Fishman slowly stops picking on Miu and eventually finds himself warming up to her. Unfortunately for the Fishman, he's a part of the life at Fortune Market which is everything Miu is trying to leave behind.

Hooked On You has that rare something within the genre it's representing; namely two leads that work well together and don't annoy you as the viewer. Miriam and Eason play off each other incredibly well as their relationship volleys up and down throughout time. There are times when you really want to see the two of them happy together, as opposed to the usual "hurry up and get it over with" feeling. This is all thanks to the well-written story by Fung Chi-Keung and the direction of Law Wing-Cheong. An interesting addition to the character interaction is the way their story is marked throughout time with occurrences like the popularity of pyramid schemes, mass urban renewal, commercialization, SARS, and so on. This all plays out in Hong Kong's recent history and it's a cool addition not seen in many films. So as the story progresses through time, you see the characters grow and mature. This could possibly be the reason you feel such a closeness to them, because you really see them go through so much. For a romance comedy, Hooked On You does a pretty good job of keeping things light and interesting and tries not to bog things down with an overly sappy approach. The leads are fun to watch and both shine in their roles. A movie well worth your viewing, Hooked On You will make you smile and is undeniably "cute". (converter)

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