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I’ll Call You

Dating and digital dalliances are blended to mildly pleasing effect in lightweight romantic comedy, "I'll Call You." Pic's March release was in both 35mm and digitally projected versions. Colorful DV trickery will dazzle some and annoy others, but yarn eventually will wear thin with all auds.

Dating and digital dalliances are blended to mildly pleasing effect in lightweight romantic comedy, “I’ll Call You.” One of a series of Asian debut features bankrolled by Hong Kong-based Focus Films, pic’s March release was in both 35mm and digitally projected versions. Colorful DV trickery, reminiscent of Thai helmer Wisit Sasanatieng (“Tears of the Black Tiger”), will dazzle some and annoy others, but yarn eventually will wear thin with all auds. Local B.O. was respectable but unexceptional. Internationally, the pic is most likely to secure berths at fests with a digital bent.

When Manny (Alex Fong) begins dating TV presenter Karen (Viann Liang), he finds her interest wanes as his ardor increases. Pic has cute gags and visual flair, but the easily distracted narrative never gets beyond the surface dilemma. Main thesps are likable, though neither is charismatic enough to make the yarn work. Supporting turn by Lam Suet as Manny’s father adds fun, but a self-parodying cameo by HK superstar and Focus head Andy Lau — in his “Running on Karma” muscle suit — is odd. At (digital) screening caught, the soundtrack suffered from disproportionately loud effects.

I’ll Call You

Hong Kong

  • Production: A Focus Films presentation of a Focus: First Cuts production. (International sales: Focus, Hong Kong.) Produced by Elliot Tong. Executive producer, Daniel Yu. Directed by Lam Tze-chung. Screenplay, Lam, Fung Min-hun, Chan Po-chun.
  • Crew: Camera (color, HD), Davy Tsou; editor, Wenders Li; music, Raymond Wong, Larry Hammond Band; production designer, Joey Chan. Reviewed at Hong Kong Filmart, March 22, 2005. Cantonese, English dialogue. Running time: 88 MIN.
  • With: <b>With:</b> Alex Fong, Viann Liang, Lam Ka-tung, Chan Kwok-kwun, Yuen Qiu, Lam Suet, Andy Lau.
  • Music By: