Review: ‘Crossing Hennessy’

Subplots detour the narrative through sitcom, melodrama and fantasy.

Riffing on American indie “Crossing Delancy,” Hong Kong helmer-scribe Ivy Ho’s lackluster romantic comedy “Crossing Hennessy” centers on a fortysomething slacker, still hung up on the childhood sweetheart who dumped him, and a young woman whose family feels she’s involved with an unsuitable man. Ostensibly a vehicle for the two stars, pic forces their relationship to take a backseat to multiple subplots that detour the narrative through sitcom, melodrama and fantasy. Asian theatrical release in April was weak to so-so; elsewhere, best prospects are in ancillary.

While Loy (singer-actor Jacky Cheung) and Oi-lin (“Lust, Caution’s” Tang Wei) sort out their love lives, Loy’s widowed dragon-lady mother (vet Paw Hee-ching) dominates the pic as an over-the-top shrew who, in between beauty treatments, verbally abuses her mild-mannered admirer (Danny Lee) and long-suffering sister (Mimi Chu). Time devoted to dream sequences in which Loy converses with his dead father (Lowell Lo) and sees a mysterious Indian man (Gill Mohindepaul Singh) might have been more profitably spent developing chemistry between the principals. Ho fails to visually exploit her story’s setting in Hong Kong’s Wan Chai district; workmanlike tech package is equally bland.

Crossing Hennessy

Hong Kong

Production

An Irresistible Films, Sil-Metropole Organization, Distribution Workshop, EDKO Film production. Produced by Cary Cheung, Yee Chung-man, Cheung Hong-tat. Executive producers, Bill Kong, Ryuhei Chiba, Hugh Simon, Song Dai. Directed, written by Ivy Ho.

Crew

Camera (color), Poon Hang-seng; editor, Kong Chi-leung; music, Anthony Chue; production designer, Man Lim-chung. Reviewed at Seattle Film Festival (New Directors Showcase), June 11, 2010. (Also in Hong Kong Film Festival -- opener.) Running time: 108 MIN.

With

Jacky Cheung, Tang Wei, Paw Hee-ching, Danny Lee, Andy On, Maggie Cheung Ho-yee, Mimi Chu, Lam Wai, Kwok Fung, Gill Mohindepaul Singh, Lowell Lo.
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