It is refreshing to see Crossing Hennessy. As since the 1980s, Hong Kong film industry is always renowned for a large number of action movies played by Jackie Chan, Steven Chow’s looney tunes comedies or violence films such as “Internal Affairs” or “Guns”. The story told in the film is just like happening in my own life. Still, Hong Kong-style humor underlying some lines is worth savoring in Crossing Hennessy.
Loy (Jacky Cheung), a 41-year-old bachelor who lives with his widowed mother and Oi Lin (Tang Wei), an orphan living and working for her uncle in a bathroom appliances store are living on the two sides of Hennessy Road, Wai Chai and Tong Law Wan.
The trailer reveals something and it’s a little confusing.
They Meet? (It’s true.)
The love comedy starts from the match-making lunch in a Cha Chaan Teng (typical place for Yum Cha) set up for Loy and Oi Lin.
They eat? (It’s definitely true.)
Neither Loy or Oi Lin are attracted to one another, but the families continue to set up meetings for the two. A lot of plots take place in restaurants; they have traditional Hong Kong Din Sum such as cha siu sou, egg tart, shrimp dumplings and chilled milk tea.
They flirt a little? (Not really, they are talking about some detective stories and meet coincidentally only once.)
After a few dates, the two eventually strike up a friendship after discovering a shared interest in detective stories.
They fight a little. (It’s wrong. They don’t even quarrel with each other.)
Told in the movie, both Loy and Oi Lin’s families misunderstand the newly found friendship as romance and begin discussing wedding banquet arrangements. Loy explains to his mother this is not the case, and that Oi Lin has a boyfriend. Annoyed, Loy’s mother calls Oi Lin’s aunt and yells at her, calling her and her husband cheats. Oi Lin becomes upset with Loy, and breaks off their friendship.
They fall into love? (A big question mark-They only have a crush on each other but not fall into love. It’s too soon for them to fall into love.)
As time passes, Loy and Oi Lin grow increasingly uneasy about their own relationships respectively. Loy confesses that he is finally in love with Oi Lin.
Anyway, it’s refreshing to see this movie during the depressing financial recession. Hundreds and thousands of love comedies are plotted in that way; however, it rarely happens to Hong Kong films. That Sweetness (another romance dramedy also written by Ivy Ho) won nine awards in Hong Kong Film Festival was 13 years ago. Crossing Hennessey is a surprise after Sweetness. Hong Kong is not such a material city any more in the movie. As ordinary as any other city around the world, romance can be sensed here as well. Besides, the attention to characters, both leading and non-leading, ultimately makes Crossing Hennessy an enjoyable movie. Ivy Ho’s script creates recognizable, identifiable characters who are not usually glorified on film, like a 41 year-old middle-class bachelor who still lives with his mother and single aunt. They do add color to Ho’s tapestry of internalized urban romance, where individuals fall in love in the moments between their regular, mundane lives.