Released just in time during the Valentine’s Day week (even though it was already debuted earlier in Hong Kong cinemas as part of their Chinese New Year movie slots), I initially have zero expectations when I went in to watch You Are The One <我的筍盤男友>.
This is especially true, given the fact it was directed by Patrick Kong of mediocre romantic comedies such as L For Love L For Lies <我的最愛> (2008), Marriage With A Liar <婚前試愛> (2010) and A Beautiful Moment <我的情敵女婿> (2018). Not to mention seeing Carlos Chan in the lead role isn’t exactly inspire immediate confidence.
But Patrick Kong’s latest movie turns out to be a huge surprise after all. Or more appropriately, a better-than-expected romantic comedy with dramatic undertones. The first half-hour of the film is particularly a riot of a screwball comedy about mistaken identity, which involves a series of misunderstanding between Bo (Gladys Li) and Finn (Carlos Chan). Apparently, Bo mistakes him as the irresponsible ex-boyfriend of her comatose best friend (Ashina Kwok’s Pauline) when she first saw him in a nightclub. So, Bo and her friends — among them are Cindy (Snow Suen) and Wing (Kaki Sham) — ended up “kidnapping” Finn and figures out what to do with him next.
As the movie progresses further, Kong — who also wrote his own screenplay — manages to shift the movie’s earlier bubbly tone into a relationship drama where Bo and Finn eventually fall for each other. Except for the fact, their seemingly fairy-tale romance moment is short-lived when Finn’s wealthy mother (Carrie Ng) isn’t exactly pleased with Bo’s background.
The overall theme about the rich and handsome bachelor falling for a humble, nobody girl has been done countless times before in numerous Hong Kong romantic comedies. So, if you are familiar with this kind of story, you can pretty much predict how’s the movie going to end.
And yet, Kong still able to do a good job in pulling off the movie’s otherwise oft-told storyline with enough zest and vigour. It also helps that You Are The One <我的筍盤男友> gets a solid boost from its two leads, Carlos Chan and Gladys Li. This is one of the rare moments where I enjoyed Chan’s performance, whose cocky demeanour as a rich bachelor hits all the right spots. Then, there’s Gladys Li of TVB’s Life On The Line <跳躍生命線> — a fresh-faced, up-and-coming young actress who radiates enough charm to her righteous yet sweet-natured character as Bo. If that’s not enough, both of them share great odd-couple chemistry from the minute they appear on the screen together.
Credits also go to the colourful supporting cast including Snow Suen and Kaki Sham, where the latter’s acting style and speech pattern reminds me of John Shum’s comedic performances during the 80s era. Carrie Ng is perfectly typecast in a calculative rich mother role while Justin Cheung and Bob Lam show up in respective hilarious small roles of a gangster Tung and Finn’s subordinate, Kam.