Crossing Hennessy

This modest little romantic comedy, "Yue man xuan ni shi" (English captions) actually had better insight and humanity than most of the films I screened during the 2010 Seattle International Film Festival. It was a pleasant surprise!

Our "hero" is a 41-year-old man who has never moved away from his flamboyant mother and shy aunt. They run an air conditioner store on Hennessy Street in Hong Kong. His mother despairs of him ever finding a wife of his own, so she hires a professional matchmaker.

Across the street is a sweet young woman who lives with her uncle, as her parents died when she was a child. To his chagrin, she refuses to date, using many alibis.

Problem is, HE is secretly having an affair with a highly successful woman with whom he has been friends ever since their childhood, while SHE is in love with a charismatic thug who is currently serving time in prison for assault. Neither wants to admit his or her real reason for refusing to date, so they reluctantly agree to meet at a tea shop. They discover that they both like the same detective novels, but she tells him all about the man she loves and he is glad because his lover leaves him very little spare time.

As you might expect, things go awry and both of our sympathetic characters have to deal with unexpected events. The script is fun, but it doesn't demean any of the characters, including the rambunctious mother, her intimidated sister, or the thug.