Love Saturday – Love (2012) and Romantic Prelude (2009) Movies

It is a rare occasion that I watch romance movies. It is even more rare for me to watch 2 in a row! I don’t even know what possessed me to watch either of these movies. One was definitely for Okada Junichi after finishing and liking Special Police – SP drama from 2007 but the other one I just happen to come across it and decided to watch for Eddie Peng. So, are they worth watching? Read on!

Love (2012)
Shu Qi as Fang Rouyi
Ruan Ethan as Xiao Kuan
Chen Ivy as Yi Jia
Zhao Vicki as Jin Xiaoye
Chao Mark as Na Mark
Kuo Amber as Xiao Ni
Peng Eddie as Ah Kai

Eight lonely souls search for the companions that will make their lives complete in this ensemble drama set in Taipei and Beijing. The captain of her college cycling team and a devoted daughter who’s never too busy to lend a hand at the family restaurant, Yi Jia finds her future getting complicated after learning she has gotten pregnant by her best friend’s Ni’s boyfriend Kai. As tempers flare and emotions run high, the expectant mother ponders terminating the pregnancy to avoid any further conflict.

Meanwhile, Ni’s father Lu wrestles with his commitment to glamorous actress Zoe Fang, who’s currently embroiled in an affair with her husband’s handsome yet distant business partner Mark. Upon crossing paths with sweet, socially awkward waiter Kuan, Zoe ponders giving up the limelight in favor of true love.

Subsequently returning to Beijing to consider purchasing a lavish new home, wealthy Mark finds himself strangely taken with Xiao-Ye Jin, the slightly-older older real estate agent who carelessly breaks her foot during the grand tour. When Mark offers assist her by giving her son a ride, he senses a substance that’s been missing from his pampered life, and begins to wonder f he may have been looking for love in all the wrong places.

My Thoughts
I was really surprised at how well this ensemble was put together. As each of the stories unfolded, you couldn’t help but be drawn into them. As I was most familiar with a lot of the actors from various dramas and movies, I was looking forward to seeing how well they acted together. Mark and Vicki had to be the cutest couple for me. Their interactions were definitely the most comical from their first meeting and him tossing her over the wall (by her request) until the ending and especially their moments that they dealt with her son. Mark and little kids equal great moments! Of course, the Ni/Yi Jia/Kai relationship had you wondering how that was going to end.

As I watched, I thought about what would I do if my best friend slept with my boyfriend and got pregnant. I was waiting with bated breath to see how that turned out. Can I admit I cried with the 3 of them at their resolution? Movie, how could you do that to me? Even hard core me was happy for them! Even though Fang/Xiao’s ending was pretty predicable, you cannot help be surprised as Xiao represented an entirely different type of man that Fang usually pursued. Overall, all three stories were quite enjoyable and showed us how we could work through a relationship; good or bad to the bitter end. Man, I could have used these lessons years ago.
Here’s the trailer:

Romantic Prelude (2007)
Okada Junichi as Satoshi
Aso Kumiko as Nanao
Okada Yoshinori as Himuro
Tanimura Mitsuki as Akane

Nojima Satoshi is a photographer who wants to photograph scenery but currently works for a modeling agency where he takes picture of his best friend, a model in his 30, Shingo. One day, Satoshi decides that he no longer wants to put up with what he doesn’t want to do, and sets out to go to Canada to shoot pictures of the Canadian scenery.

Living next door is a woman, Nanao, also approaching her 30, who is too busy with her work at a flower shop to consider dating. One day, a man working at a convenience store nearby stops by her flower shop and confesses his feelings for her.

Satoshi and Nanao know about each other’s existence by the sounds their neighbor makes through the thin wall. Even though they do pay attention to the sounds next door, they actually have never met each other, or make any attempt to meet the other person. The movie tells two separate stories that happen in parallel and focuses on the lives of two people approaching their thirties, and the doubts they have about work, life, and love.

My Thoughts
Open ending? I didn’t think so. I thought it was a great ending and I’ll explain why. I really enjoyed this movie as it was more about friends who grew up together but not knowing where the other was. I was really surprised at the turn of events in the movie. At first, I was annoyed with Akane and her insistence in barging into poor, unsuspecting Satoshi’s life as she waited for Shingo to return but sadly, it took Satoshi’s final statements to her that I understood her character more. As far as Nanao, I just wanted to choke the Convenience Store clerk’s neck? I know. You’re wondering why. But, this is one time you have to watch the movie to find out. While others won’t like the ending as much as I did but here is why I liked it. Satoshi and Nanao both had dreams and it was obvious from the ending that they were allowed to pursue those dreams before their life together. While it would have been nice actually seeing it but I think what the writer/director was going for was presenting the “wall” to us this time and we being privy to the conversation only time and not the visual. How clever is that?
Here’s the trailer:

MDL Rating: I gave both movies a solid 8.0 because I just rarely do romances and I liked both of these.

So how do you spend your “Love Saturdays”?

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