Hong Kong’s best romantic films
Whether you’re planning to cuddle up with bae or cry yourself to sleep this Valentine’s, here are our favorite Hong Kong rom-coms and fiery classics. By Evelyn Lok
Love in a Puff
Pang Ho-cheung’s 2010 breakthrough rom-com not only sums up the gritty attitude of Hongkongers, but also tells a story of a budding romance and is a timely reflection of Hong Kong working culture around the time the 2007 indoor smoking ban was implemented. In between crass jokes, flip-phone flirting and a failed Kowloon Tong one night stand, Miriam Yeung and Shawn Yue became perhaps the funniest and most iconic on-screen couple in recent Hong Kong cinema.
Comrades: Almost a Love Story
Its Chinese name is perhaps slightly more poetic: Named after Teresa Teng’s song (“Sweetness”), “Comrades” sees a northern Chinese immigrant (Leon Lai) meet the cute but superficial money-minded southerner (Maggie Cheung). The two fall for each other but are barred by decades of whirlwind fate, and finally end up meeting again in New York. This is your movie if you want to believe in destiny.
First-time director Aubrey Lam Oi-wah paired Eason Chan and Cecilia Cheung together in 2000 for this intelligent, nuanced look at 12 different stages in a modern relationship. Spaced across 12 non-consecutive nights, the relationship between a flight attendant and a young businessman swells and fades through lust, obsession, jealousy, insecurity and selfishness. Like “Gone Girl,” maybe stick to watching this without your partner in case they get any ideas...
In the Mood for Love
You can’t talk Hong Kong romance without mentioning this Wong Kar-wai masterpiece starring Tony Leung Chiuwai and Maggie Cheung as neighbors who strike up a platonic relationship. Some swoon-worthy cinematography, the quiet heartbreak of two failed marriages, innocent stolen glances, and Maggie Cheung’s ridiculously stunning silhouette in a cheongsam? “If I had one more boat ticket, would you leave with me?” We would have said yes ages ago.
Like most Hong Kong movies, the sillier the storyline, the better it is. This 2002 flick is perhaps the epitome of the Hong Kong romcom, ricocheting Miriam Yeung to comedy queen with her role as a clumsy but likeable cop who goes undercover to spy on a triad leader’s adopted son—played by the charming Daniel Wu. Quotable low-brow gags, slapstick and tender moments between Yeung and Wu make this a doozy for sure.
Love on a Diet
Andy Lau and Sammi Cheung falling in love in fat suits never fails to brighten up a dull evening, and this 2001 classic will make you believe in the power of persistence, exercise, true love and tapeworms.
A killer karaoke-worthy soundtrack doesn’t hurt either.