Summer Breeze of Love

What can I say? The Twins! They are like human Hello Kitty toys waiting to be hugged. They are like cotton candy waiting to be eaten. They are like fluffy socks waiting to be folded. They are like warm soup waiting to be slurped. They are like downy comforters waiting to be crushed. They are The Twins. The biggest, most popular and headiest rush to hit Hong Kong since opium arrived in China back in the 1800’s. They took over Hong Kong faster than the Japanese did in 1941 and plan on occupying it longer.
Gillian Chung and Charlene Choi
They are everywhere and everything. Every magazine, TV show, street corner, phone booth and triad hangout is blazoned with images of the Twins. Twin T-shirts, lunchboxes, cell phones, soap, tissue, heroin, rings, lighters, shampoo, champagne, missile launchers are all on sale in Temple Market with a picture of the smiling Twins saying “buy me”. Perhaps their Twin condom ads (“try me on for size” and “are you man enough to do it twice?”) seemed to be going a bit far – but in Hong Kong there is no telling how far the Twins can go. Whether they are here to stay or their popularity is as fleeting as Mona Lisa’a smile is hard to judge at this point.
So just who are The Twins? I don’t honestly have a clue. I had made a conscious point of avoiding reading anything on them, but sooner or later everyone is sucked into the vortex of their PR machine. Like the film “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, one morning we woke up and they were just there and every girl in Hong Kong had to be like them, had to dress like them and had to eat like them (favorite food – crackers and chocolate). After extensive research (I checked one web site), it appears that they were models that the great Idol in the sky plucked out of obscurity and made into pop superstars.
There are two of them to no surprise – Gill and Sa or their English names Charlene Choi and Gillian Chung – but shockingly they are not twins! Not even related. I feel so exploited. They don’t even look much alike except they are both short and fluffy. I don’t even know if they were friends (or are friends). This was a better marketing job than Moses convincing the slaves to cross the desert (we have no food or drink but trust me). They put out five albums – all became platinum, did sold out stage shows, crossed over to film (Charlene in Heroes in Love and Funeral March; Gillian in U-Man) and have had more web space devoted to them than to Princess Diana and Anna Kournakova combined. Now they finally appear in a film together for the first time and the cinematic world holds its collective breath. Could they be the next Robert Redford/Paul Newman, Chow Yun Fat/Danny Lee, Gene Wilder/Richard Pryor, Mickey/Minnie?
Well not exactly. Still, I have to admit that though I came into this movie ready to smirk all the way through – damn if I didn’t find them quite adorable and endearing. I don’t know if in real life they are cocaine snorting head freaks who enjoy paddling each other in private – but on the screen they come across as just the sweetest teenagers in the world with just enough sass and young sex appeal to not be cloying or annoying. They play two very ordinary teenagers who feel the pangs of first love crawl up their leg and bury itself in their stomach.
It seems that director Joe Ma has a particular interest in chronicling young love. I am not sure if this is an obsession of his or he simply likes the sound of the cash register ringing, but some of his previous efforts as a director or producer on the subject have been First Love Unlimited, Love Amoeba Style, Feel 100%, Over the Rainbow Under the Skirts, Love Paradox and LOVE . . . Love. He always treats the subject in a sensitive, but humorous manner and stays away from the banal crudities that many films on young love wallow in. This is certainly the case here, as he makes no attempt to exploit them (their naked lesbian shower scene was done very tastefully I thought and was really essential to the narrative) or to have them be Twins like in the film. He gives them distinct but every day personalities.
They go by the names of Kammi and Kiki (so cute!) and both tentatively approach the subject of love for the first time. Kiki (Charlene) is swept off her feet by a kiss from Tsui Tin-Yau (from Gimme Gimme and a pop star himself in a band called Shine – geez I feel so with it!), but he turns out to be a self absorbed playboy type with girls strewn over him like the wash line on laundry day. Her little heart is broken. Kammi (Gillian) has her heart go a flutter when she spots Dave Wong. This little romance is to say the least a bit creepy because he is twice her age and a complete social misfit. In any movie but this one, you would expect to find body parts being stored in his freezer – so Kammi’s feelings are a bit hard to understand. But isn’t love always. Anyway he finds it impossible to reach out and her little heart is broken too. There isn’t much more to it than that but its done in a simple slice of life manner that has its charms.

So the vital question has to be raised – which Twin do I like best? Gillian or Charlene, Charlene or Gillian, Gillian or Charlene – my head is spinning - one minute it is Charlene, the next it is Gillian. They are both soooo cute. What a conumdrum. Charlene likes sucking in her lower lip when she is troubled; Gillian kind of wrinkles her nose. I think in the long run the lip sucking thing would become very annoying but you can never wrinkle your nose too often – so I have to go with Gillian for now. But two minutes from now it may be Charlene. Ah to be young again. And rich as hell like The Twins!

Btw – just in case you believed me for a second, I was joking about the shower scene! Oh, and the condoms too.

My rating for this film: 6.0