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Thursday August 14, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday August 14, 2014 MYT 9:38:24 AM
by seto kit yan
Living in a box: Chrissie Chau (left) and Ekin Cheng play a couple who likes to break up in Hong Kong rom-com Break Up 100.
Break Up 100 explores the dynamics of Hong Kong male-female relationships.
WHOEVER said breaking up is hard to do has never met a couple like Sam and Nam in Hong Kong’s latest romantic comedy Break Up 100.
The film starring Ekin Cheng and Chrissie Chau – as Sam and Nam, respectively – has them playing a couple who have been together for eight years. The key to their successful relationship is apparently Nam’s inclination to yell “break up” and then Sam’s tendency to quickly make up.
After having weathered 99 break-ups, they decide to open a romantic cafe together. As strange as it may sound, feuding couples start to leave their things at the cafe. So much so, Sam and Nam hit upon the novel idea of renting out box spaces as a mini break-up storage booth for these couples.
Like most innovative ideas, theirs take flight and business starts to boom. Unfortunately, their relationship begins to suffer.
Break Up 100 also stars singer-songwriter Ivana Wong as a fellow restaurateur, and four-man Hong Kong acappella group C All Star as singing waiters in the cafe.
Having taken a 20-year break from directing after helming early Hong Kong films like Murder (1993) and He & She (1994), film veteran Lawrence Cheng said he felt like a newbie film director all over again while shooting Break Up 100.
“It feels like I’m starting over with a clean slate, so I had an especially enjoyable time making this movie. And, I’m glad everybody likes it, so I’ll get the opportunity to film another,” said the 56-year-old filmmaker in a phone interview from Hong Kong last week.
Since Break Up 100’s release in Hong Kong, Chau has received various commendations for her acting. The buxom 29-year-old actress gushed: “It was fun how the movie started with such sweet moments. I must thank my ‘boyfriend’.
“Ekin made it easier for me to get into character because he is so handsome. I must thank the director, too. It was fortunate that the script came to me when it did. I felt that the role of the tough Hong Kong girl was tailor-made for me, and I look forward to more similar roles.
“If she appears to be controlling or manipulative, it is because she loves him and wants to plan for a future together. I feel many male-female relationships are quite similar in that way.”
Though Cantopop star Wong has just made her acting debut this year in comedy flicks like Sandra Ng’s Golden Chickensss and Patrick Kong’s Delete Lover, she has continually received rave reviews after effortlessly stealing the show with her rib-tickling one-liners in both movies.
“Actually, I think I may have been born a ‘laughing-stock’. I didn’t intentionally set out to do comedy. So, I don’t really know when people started thinking of me as a comedian,” said the 35-year-old songstress, who has since become Hong Kong’s sweetest comedic actress.
After a little bit of prodding, director Cheng revealed that they were already in the midst of planning for a sequel.
“If all goes well, we’ll pick up where we left off in this movie. Because, everybody wants to know what happens to Ekin and Chrissie after they clasp each other’s hand.”
Ever the boyish leading man, Ekin Cheng shared that he was especially excited at how well Break Up 100 was doing in Hong Kong.
“I’m elated that the movie is receiving a lot of love right now. And, I’m really looking forward to read the script for the sequel to see where we will go from there,” said the 46-year-old actor who plays a carefree man-boy in the movie.
Break Up 100 opens in local cinemas nationwide today.
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Ekin Cheng, Break Up 100, Chrissie Chau
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