L for Love, L for Lies

A sometimes clumsy but mostly entertaining round of break-ups and make-ups among Hong Kong twentysomethings, "L for Love, L for Lies" reps a step forward for commercially successful scripter-helmer Patrick Kong.

With:
With: Stephy Tang, Alex Fong, Alice Tzeng, Leila Tong, Stephen Wong, Terry Wu, Miki Yeung.

A sometimes clumsy but mostly entertaining round of break-ups and make-ups among Hong Kong twentysomethings, “L for Love, L for Lies” reps a step forward for commercially successful scripter-helmer Patrick Kong. Much more enlightened about romance than his cynical entries “Love Is Not All Around” and “Marriage With a Fool,” Kong’s third film to headline pop idols Stephy Tang and Alex Fong has the heart to overcome a jittery start and some awkward plotting. A top-10 stayer in Hong Kong since its March 13 release, pic has accumulated $1.5 million locally. Regional play is possible, with modest ancillary prospects elsewhere.

Heavily populated narrative initially packs in too many characters and time shifts before settling down with lovelorn Bobo (Tang, impressive). When her b.f., Chun (Stephen Wong), is stolen by viperous friend Kiki (Alice Tzeng), Bobo hires smooth con artist Keung (Fong) to even the score. Ensuing scam isn’t always convincing but triggers some worthwhile emotional upheavals and resonant reflections on love and loyalty among all concerned. Brightly played by an attractive cast, the result feels fresh and Gen-Y truthful, despite occasional dialogue clunkers. Tech package is decent.

L for Love, L for Lies

Hong Kong

Production: A Newport release of a Gold Label Entertainment production. (International sales: Gold Label, Hong Kong.) Produced by Paco Wong. Executive producer, Tenky Tin. Directed, written by Patrick Kong.

Crew: Camera (color), Lai Yiu-fai; editor, Wenders Li; music, Raymond Wong; production designer, Lam Jan-fai. Reviewed at Reading Market City Cinema, Sydney, April 7, 2008. Cantonese dialogue. Running time: 101 MIN.

With: With: Stephy Tang, Alex Fong, Alice Tzeng, Leila Tong, Stephen Wong, Terry Wu, Miki Yeung.

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