St Valentine's special

Teri Fitsell

IT'S been commendable, as well as unusual, to see St Valentine's Day used as something other than a reason to increase the price of flowers.

Pearl's Be My Valentine campaign has raised more than $200,000 so far for the Children's Cancer Foundation and comes to a climax today with a live broadcast from Pacific Place in Central.

Love Isn't Enough (Pearl 2 pm) will be hosted by Kenneth Chan and Valerie Chow and promises a mix of fund-raising, entertainment, music and those all-important love messages.

Singers Chan Cheung-ling and Lau Man-kuen, and seven-strong local band Tai Chi perform live, interspersed with videos displaying messages from HK's romantics.

Just remember to keep the donations rolling in. * * * * VALENTINE movies continue on the terrestrial channels both today and tomorrow. On Sunday, Pearl is showing the hilarious Gerard Depardieu/Andie McDowell movie Green Card, and World is countering with the charming Ted Danson/ Isabella Rossellini film Cousins. Watch one, tape the other.

Romance is provided today by Coming to America (World 9.30 pm, Original Running Time 116 mins), starring Eddie Murphy as Akeem, prince of Zamunda, whose pampered existence includes a slave to wash his privates - though allusions to this may be cut for sexophobic Hongkong.

Akeem rebels against an arranged marriage and goes to America with his manservant (Arsenio Hall) to find a wife who'll love him for himself.

It's an utterly predictable story, lifted by Murphy's performance and a string of in-jokes from director John Landis. These include an update on the 1983 Landis comedy Trading Places in which Murphy starred.

Murphy initially took credit for the original story for Coming to America, but litigation later awarded it to columnist Art Buchwald. A strange battle, since the story is the weakest element.

* * * * A MOMENT of Romance (Pearl 9.45 pm, ORT 91 mins) is a rather gloomier look at love, but one that has its moments.

Andy Lau appears in his familiar role of a triad, who abducts rich girl Jo-Jo (Ng Sin-lin) after she's witnesses a robbery. They fall in love, but then Jo-Jo's parents try to persuade her to emigrate with them to Canada.

She runs away with Lau, but there's trouble ahead for the couple when a triad war breaks out.

* * * * WHEN journalist George Negus and a film crew set out to drive from Vladivostock to Moscow they didn't expect the 13,000 km journey to turn into a political odyssey.

Across the Red Unknown (STAR Plus 7 pm) shows how their tour coincided with the failed coup of August 1991. * * * * OF the other Valentine's movie Love Boat: A Valentine Voyage (Pearl 7.35 pm) should be avoided at all costs.

Love Boat: A Valentine Voyage is an extended episode of the dreadful series of the same name with all the regulars including Gavin McLeod as the captain.

* * * * FOR something more meaty, try Racing with the Moon (Pearl 1.35 am, ORT 108 mins), starring Nicholas Cage (Wild at Heart) and Sean Penn (We're No Angels) as two young men about to leave their Californian home town to go and fight in World War II.

Pace is slow, but the acting and the 1940s setting are perfect.