It's a date, at the movies

Updated: 2012-02-10 11:00

By Liu Wei (China Daily)

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Directors from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan bring three quality romantic comedies to theaters for Valentine's Day.

Taiwan director Doze Niu's is simply called Love (pictured right) and will be released on Monday.

Set in Beijing and Taipei, it tells the story of three couples whose lives are intertwined.

Love catches the eye at first because of its stellar cast, including young actors, such as Ethan Ruan, Mark Zhao and Eddie Peng; and veterans, such as Shu Qi and Zhao Wei.

They play two young lovers, an actress and her wealthy boyfriend, a Taiwan businessman and a Beijing woman who is older and poorer than him - for a full two hours of hilarious lines and vivid performances.

In the film, every relationship is tainted by betrayal and lies, but the characters find their own answers to what love is: namely courage and forgiveness.

It's a date, at the movies

Hong Kong director Jonnie To treks to Shangri-La for Romancing in Thin Air, a love story that takes place at an altitude of 3,800 meters.

To might be best known for his crime thrillers, such as Running out of Time and Election, but he has the same sharp touch with romance and was responsible for the well-received romantic flicks All about Ah-long and A Moment of Romance.

He and senior writer Wai Ka-fai joined up to direct the film, starring singer/actress Sammi Cheng and veteran actor Louis Koo.

Set against the magnificent forests and snow of Shangri-La, Yunnan province, the film revolves around a lovelorn woman mourning her dead husband, and a movie star hiding from a failed marriage.

The picturesque scenery and the chemistry between the two lead actors make the film memorable. It opened on Thursday.

Mainland director Sun Zhou presents I Do, a comedy that centers on shengnu, which refers to unmarried women older than 30.

"When a 30-something woman has a successful career and easy life, what else does she need?" the heroine of the film shouts. "I need a man."

She is courted by two men - her first lover who disappears for seven years and then returns suddenly and a millionaire who likes to cook for her.

The film will give shengnu a lot of encouragement, especially after the Spring Festival family reunion, when their parents likely nagged them for not having married yet.

For those women watching the film with boyfriends or husbands, it provides a textbook for the man beside them on how to be a perfect lover.

The film premieres on Friday.