Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong (HIFF 2015) - Movie Review

Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong, written and directed by Emily Ting, is an official selection of the 2015 Hawaii International Film Festival. The movie stars Jamie Chung, Bryan Greenberg, Richard Ng, Zach Hines, and Jaeden Cheng.

The Story:
A chance meeting between Ruby (Chung), a Chinese American woman who is in Honk Kong on business and Josh (Greenberg), an American from New York who has been living in the city for several years. The pair seem to really hit it off until Josh reveals that he has a girlfriend which promptly ends the night and sends each of them back to their own lives. A year later, the two meet again and they find themselves feeling like, even though they are now both in serious relationships, fate might be giving them another chance to change the course of their lives.

The Review:
Let me get this out of the way right off the bat. If you have seen Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise, you will notice some obvious similarities although I will also say that this movie completely stands on it's own. The whole story focuses on Ruby and Josh and the interactions they have during the two evenings they spend together. I love how Emily Ting has created two very well defined personalities that just come to life on the screen thanks to really strong performances from Chung and Greenberg. Aside from the obvious emotional queues brought out by the dialog, there are so many subtle glances, postures, facial expressions, and movements that just add layers and layers of depth, you can't help but share in the feelings as they are being expressed on screen. Oh, and the ending, without giving anything away, is just perfect and left me completely satisfied.

Visually, the film is just beautiful in every way and shots of the Hong Kong skyline and other various backdrops make me want to travel there as soon as possible to see it all for myself. It's very interesting to see all the lights and colors and so much life going on in the background of shots that are also intended to keep you focused on the two characters as they just talk the night away oblivious to everything going on around them. For me it was actually pretty easy to not get distracted as Jamie Chung is just absolutely beautiful and fills the screen with so much personality, she makes it easy to see why Josh would fall for Ruby under any circumstances. Ruby is like the girl of your dreams who somehow turns out to be the most down to earth, and slightly dorky, woman you've always wanted to meet but never knew existed.

The Verdict:
Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong is a really well written story that takes full advantage of two very talented actors and the end result is a really beautiful piece of film making. Emily Ting deserves tons of praise for both writing and directing a movie that is nearly impossible not to fall in love with. I guess you could say this is a chick flick but it's one that I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish.


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