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April 7, 2010

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Road trip is a tale of two halves

OF all the films screening at local theaters these days, Hong Kong female screenwriter-turned-director Ivy Ho's light-hearted comedy romance "Crossing Hennessy" will be of particular interest to movie buffs tired of action-packed flicks or fantasy films.

The film, set in the backdrop of Hong Kong's colorful and bustling Wanchai district, where Hennessy Road divides the area into two halves, is due for release on Friday.

It tells the story of a store owner and the quiet, stubborn "girl-next-door" who are set up on a blind date by well-meaning relatives, despite the fact that they're both in love with other people.

But gradually the two fall in love with each other.

"The film is not merely a modern love story," director Ho says. "I try to discover and explore the complex and delicate human relationship of modern urban life through a series of interesting scenarios."

Hong Kong's Hennessy Road was, in her eyes, a fantastic location.

It is not only a mirror to Hong Kong's grassroots and vigorous urban life but also a metaphor of the possible barrier between two different people, just as it divides the district into two halves.

"The two parts boast opposite charms, one is modern and beautiful, the other is old and nostalgic," director Ho says.

"Sometimes it needs just a little courage to go beyond one's past and open your heart to others."

The comedy is Ho's second feature film after "Claustrophobia." Previously, she rose to fame as a screenwriter for the highly acclaimed "Comrades, Almost a Love Story" directed by Peter Chan.

The movie also marks a return to the big screen for singer-actor Jacky Cheung who has not starred in a film for several years, and for actress Tang Wei, who has been missing from the big screen for a period of time after appearing in Ang Lee's "Lust, Caution."

"It is the first time I have starred in a comedy film," says Tang. "I was deeply touched by the heartwarming script. Additionally, I try to speak my own Cantonese dialogue. It was an amazing experience to collaborate with Cheung and director Ho."


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