It’s Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong (2015) Film Review from the 21st Annual Los Angeles Film Festival, a movie directed by Emily Ting, Starring Jamie Chung, Bryan Greenberg, Zach Hines, Richard Ng, Linda Trinh, Collin Leydon and Po-Chih Leong.
There were many films to get lost in at this years Film festival. The film budgets are going up and named actors are throwing their hat in the dance more and more. One thing I also noticed was new directors coming in and telling an old story with fresh faces.
Emily Ting, Director and Writer of It’s Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong, has directed six films. This appears to be her best film to date. When this movie starts I noticed the wonderful photography and the beauty of Hong Kong. It’s an amazing place…especially when filmed at night. It reminded me of another film…from another time – When harry Met Sally. I have always said that if you are going to make a film and you end up following up this one…don’t do it unless you have a really amazing spin on it. From the outside, most folks miss all the little nuances that made that film so amazing. How did Ting do with her version?
Josh (Bryan Greenberg) and Ruby (Jamie Chung) meet by chance while she is there visiting. He has lived in Hong Kong for 10 years and knows the language and culture pretty well. Getting characters off to a healthy start is important if they are to carry a story like this. Motivation and keeping characters interesting is also important and when we look at what these actors both want when the story starts out, that’s where things get funny. Josh has been doing the same thing for 10 years and for the most part is a very uninteresting male who has peaked. Ruby is a toy designer who has a hot toy on the market and has found herself in Hong Kong. When these two meet, Ruby tosses up her guard as Josh offers to walk her to her destination. It doesn’t take much for her to lower it but then again…why was her guard so high in the first place? We never find out. After a long and light attempt to be charming, they part after Josh reveals he has a girlfriend. After lowering her guard, Ruby is crushed that he failed to mention such a big detail. He had become possible boyfriend material in her mind…and now he’s not. They part ways and by chance meet again a year later. On this second date, Ruby and Josh team up again and end up in a small bar dancing intimately. They are even interrupted by a girl who knows Josh’s girlfriend but these two end up in a cab questioning if they should be together.
One of the major reasons why When Harry Met Sally worked, is because the actors owned every bit of the dialogue they spoke. They were interesting and believable and more importantly…funny! The film was also written well and directed well. When we take a real look at Josh and Ruby, they are cookie cutter characters and they felt like it. We never find out enough about Josh to find him interesting. He is charming but on an elevator conversation level. When you get off the elevator he is forgotten. Ruby comes off ambitious and cute. It’s nice but her character also fails to give us enough depth to find her interesting and have us want to follower her. Neither offers enough contrast between them. So what’s left, is two attractive young people chatting with a beautiful back drop which happens to be Hong Kong. The story could have taken place anywhere in the world and would still just be cute but not that interesting. The last moments feel tossed in. She tells Josh near the end she is going to marry this guy and this is our rush for them to decide what they should do. Before we get an answer…the film ends. The whole affair is rushed to begin with and ends so abruptly we don’t get a resolution…we get another question.
The pros. This film was very cute, the actors looked great and it was put together nicely. The shots of Hong Kong at night were album ready and well photographed.
The con. Both characters were just not interesting enough to take this story to the level it needed to be on. The acting and dialogue needed a lot more depth to keep interest and it never happens. Josh starts cursing at odd points during the film and that doesn’t jive with who we’re told he is. Cute moments but a stale ride overall.
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