In Mandarin with English and Chinese subtitles
Director: Barbara Wong
Cast: Miriam Yeung, Raymond Lam, Teresa Mo, Eric Kot, Chrissie Chow, Kate Tsui, Bernice Liu
Released By: GV & Clover Films
Opening Day: 21 October 2010
Lok Yan (Miriam Yeung) was ditched by her fiancé on their wedding day. Thereafter she started to work her way up to become a wedding planner, gaining fame planning wedding for many acclaimed celebrities.
One night, in a bar, she meets a young attorney, Fung (Raymond Lam), and they spend a passionate night together in a hotel – with no plans to never meet again. Fate brings them together again at a wedding. Their one night stand now becomes a debt dispute since Fung’s boss owes Yan’s company fees for 30 weddings. When Fung’s boss runs away, Fung is left to clear the debt and so he starts working for Yan.
While working together to organize successful weddings, they face and overcome many challenges and begin to feel affection for each other. But love is never simple – especially for Yan whose four close girlfriends do not approve of her relationship with Fung because they think he is too young for her. Yan further complicates the situation by keeping Fung at a distance because of the painful memories of her failed relationships.
Fung disapproves of portraying a wedding as a show and after a big fight with Yan he almost quits the company – but Yan sees his point of view and they reach a compromise. Together they organize a touching wedding which marks the start of a new relationship between them.
They spend a wonderful night together at Yan’s place and decide to start a romantic relationship secretly.
Just as Yan’s painful memories of previous failed relationships begins to fade, her ex-boyfriend, Joe (Eric Kot), turns up again. Joe is about to get married but realizes he still misses Yan and tries to win her back. Yan is confused and undecided and this destroys her relationship with Fung, even though she rejects Joe. Although Yan and Fung still love each other, they part and begin new separate relationships….
To some, the recent 10 October 2010 date presented that first step toward an
important wedding celebration, where a record number of couples locally had decided
to affirm spending the rest of their lives with their respective partners. Whenever
a marriage is announced, you can surely be certain of the fuss that comes along with
it, since it's supposedly once in a lifetime, and everything has to be perfect.
Enter Miriam Yeung's Yan, a successful Hong Kong wedding planner who has the
resource, know-how and network to put together a dream wedding, where inviting Lady
Gaga to perform is not impossible.
But this film is not another loose remake of The Wedding Planner which starred
Jennifer Lopez. Instead, Perfect Wedding is set in the titular studio cum office
where Yan and her team set out to fulfill the dreams of the married couple, As it
turns out, Yan's one night stand with Fung (Raymond Lam) ends up with him
temporarily working for her as his company has to honour past debts, setting up the
inevitable bumpy road where two potential lovers slowly realize their feelings for
each other, and how in essence, two is better than one.
Being a youthful director, perhaps Barbara Wong also wanted to explore how it is for
an older woman to be with a younger man, and the social stigmas that come along with
it. No it didn't take up a lot of screen time in exploring this issue, but it was
enough to become a subplot especially with Yan faced with a dliemma of choosing
between a young, enthusiastic lover, and another who's a blast from the past, a
talented photographer (Eric Kot) who she's still holding a torch for. Narratively
the story's split down the middle, with the first portion taking its time with
introductions and well timed comedy for the most parts, and the latter half really
taking the film off with its more solemn take on the intricasies of a modern age
romance, with technology references to Facebook and all.
One can almost forget that this story was written by Lawrence Cheng, a guy who had
managed to put in plenty of chick flick moments that allowed for a bevy of screen
beauties to grace the screen. There's Bernice Liu, Teresa Mo and Kate Tsui having a
go as Hong Kong's answer to the posse styled from Sex and the City, being the best
friends of Yan who are always on the lookout for their emotionally fragile friend,
and model-of-the-moment Chrissie Chow as Flora, Yan's staff who will definitely
raise some eyebrows here with her twin assets. Yes if you believe me I'm taking
about those saucer eyes that were anime-sized when she gets surprised.
The production may seem a little bit tele-movie like at times, but scenes in the
film get wonderfully built by moments, which are what relationships are about, those
precious memories that accompany you for life. There are plenty of scenes here that
will make you all fuzzy in rooting for the protagonists to put aside their ego and
differences to face the inevitable together, and I count amongst the scene in the
kitchen with a roast chicken, and the quarrel cum reconciliation at a streetside
staircase two of my favourite moments in the film that stand out due to its dialogue
and screen charisma of the leads in their subtle delivery which speak volumes.
Of all the Miriam Yeung movies I've seen to date on the big screen - a limited
handful which are very recent releases - I've enjoyed all of them, and this film is
no different. In quite uncanny terms her characters all seem to have plenty of
emotional baggage brought along into a current relationship, and somehow her
characters always seem to be so unlucky in love, which Miriam probably perfected her
almost typecast portrayals, and yet holding her own amongst the pretty women on
Equalling her screen charisma is Raymond Lam, the relative newcomer to the silver
screen after crossing over from television, in a role that impressed without trying
too hard. As the rookie in love, you can share his character's earnestness and hopes
that get accompanied by pain and frustrations each time he gets slighted through
actions that may be detrimental to any budding romance. His boyish good looks will
also probably help in putting bums on seats, and I reckon he's one star from the new
generation to take note of as well.
I won't blame you if you're skeptical about yet another Hong Kong romantic comedy
given a number of lacklustre efforts in recent past, but Perfect Wedding turns out
to be that delightful and charming surprise that reminds us that love hits you when
you least expect it, and with it comes the bittersweet moments that you'd learn to
treasure, for better or worse.
(A romantic comedy that's close to perfect as can be!)
Review by Stefan Shih