Film review: Paris Holiday pleases the eye but numbs the heart
Paris is where broken hearts go to heal — or so this insipid travel commercial of a film would like us to infer from its sporadically amusing, though never remotely credible, romantic story. Still, writer-director James Yuen Sai-sang's continuous struggle to replicate the form of his 2005 urban drama Crazy N' the City is more heartbreaking than anything he's since put on screen.
In this lethargically scripted movie, Louis Koo Tin-lok plays Lam Chun-kit, a wine company executive who flees Hong Kong after his high-flying colleague girlfriend refuses a marriage proposal. Half-expecting his Paris transfer to go as a holiday for his broken heart, Chun-kit is regrettably arranged by his property agent (Alex Fong Chung-shun) to share a flat with a "psychopathic" artist, fresh from a break-up.
While Ding Xiao-min's (Amber Kuo Tsai-chieh) only notable trait as an aspiring painter appears to be her "artistic temperament", Chun-kit is inexplicably forced to pass himself off as a homosexual to avoid irritating his flatmate. But as months pass and many Hallmark-worthy notes of encouragement are exchanged, could the pair's "sisterhood" remain platonic for long?
Paris Holiday is keen on neither cultural subtleties nor quiet introspection. In keeping with the tourist landmarks that flit across the background against a jaunty score, this run-of-the-mill rom-com sprints from one wearying subplot to the next. The minimal chemistry between Koo and Kuo just about renders Yuen's latest effort as forgettable as his past four combined.
Starring: Louis Koo Tin-lok, Amber Kuo Tsai-chieh Director: James Yuen Sai-sang Category: IIA (Cantonese, Putonghua, French)
Paris Holiday opens on July 23