Love in Space

Before I get started on my next set of themed posts (and be warned, it is not going to be pretty), this little film was bought to my attention.  The cast alone made it a must watch, although I was pretty certain it was going to be little more than some enjoyable fluff.

Love in Space” tells the story of the three daughters of Mary (Xu Fan), an elderly widow who now finds herself with a lot of time on her hands due to the success of her Daughter’s careers.  Rose (Rene Liu) is an Astronaut, Lily (Kwai Lunmei) has moved to Australia to pursue her dream of being an Artist, whilst Peony (Angelababy) has become an Popular (if not very good) Actress.  Sadly, all are very unlucky in love, and this film follows their latest attempts to complete their lives.  Rose is drafted in at the last minute to join the 2 man crew of a Space Station, only to find the other crew member is her boyfriend from 10 years ago (Aaron Kwok), with whom she had a messy break up.  Lily, crippled by OCD and a fear of germs meets Johnny (Eason Chan), who works in his family Refuse business.  Peony, after being voted the worst actress, decides to go all method, and starts work at a cafe to gain experience for her next role, and meets and falls for a poor waiter (Jing Boran).  All the while, Mary herself is being courted by one of Peony’s assistants.  Will the girls find love in the strange and unusual environments?

As you can tell, this is an ensemble piece, moving between the four distinct storylines (some of which conclude together), which is both the strength and the weakness of the film.  No one story is probably enough to carry an entire movie, but with four in play, there is the feeling that not one of them gets enough screen time to really get any emotional connection with the viewer.  Sure there are moments of humour and sadness and drama, but at the end of the day, it all seems terribly lightweight.

The most disconnected story is of the couple in Space.  It is actually really well done, with two people forced to confront what happened in the past, and in a situation where it has to be resolved.  Yet whilst the special effects are really well done, I never really bought into the relationship.  There is also a lack of realism here (seriously, you think a couple that have had a relationship would be sent alone into space, and moreover – there does not seem to be anyone other than us watching over them?).  It is a shame, as I really have enjoyed everything I have seen these to in in the past, and the filmmakers have tried really hard to make this convincing.

Kwai Lunmei is someone I will watch anytime and anyplace.  Yet again, this story feels under-developed, and possibly is the one that could have stood on its own.  The story never really convinces just how crippled she is by her OCD and fear of germs, as she certainly seems able to go out and live a life of sorts.  I doubt someone really crippled by these conditions would get involved in the Radio competition which enables her to meet Eason Chan again.  Chan however is very good – he is someone who has grown on me a lot recently.   The Australian setting confused me – it seems to have no real bearing on the story at all.

The third story is probably the most familiar of the three (with one party having to pretend to be someone they are not), and actually the one I enjoyed the most.  Angelababy is not someone I have seen act before, but she plays it very well indeed.  I’m not totally sure I buy the actual romance itself, but it was the one story that actually got me a little emotional.  I will say that the film that we see her starting film on looks infinitely more interesting than the one we are actually watching!

The film is perfectly decent, and not offensive or horrible in any way.  It is just a tad too predictable, and maybe all too sweet and wholesome.  At not point did I feel there was any threat to any of the relationships, and not one of the characters had any real depth to them.  It really could have done with a touch of darkness, maybe a failure amongst them all.  There are a couple of very funny moments, and certainly a few sweet smiles were raised.

It is nothing more than OK in the end, which is a shame, because a cast like this is very hard to come by.  If you like British Rom-coms like “Notting Hill”, or “Love, Actually”, then you might enjoy this a little more than me.  It gets a mild recommendation mind you, if for nothing more than the star-gazing opportunities.

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