A self-promotion music video To call Love @ First Note a movie, is very much an overstatement and while it isn't exactly boring, the film never rises above its music video status and the result is just borderline average. In a perfect example of product placement at its most obvious, is director Dennis Law promoting his own film, Fatal Contact which was due to come out 2 months after this one. In the karaoke room, Justin and Kary, spoke about why they want to watch Fatal Contact, the scene is so obvious that it is laughable. While other directors like Johnnie To uses product placement in a more subtle manner, Dennis Law prefers to tell the audience directly in the face that this is the product we are trying to sell right now. With every shots that goes with out spoken lines, being cultivated by singing from Alex Fong, Kary Ng and most notably Justin Lo, it is not surprising that the movie is more about its actors trying to promote their singing career rather than acting. Perhaps the best thing is the random "here and there" appearance by Neo's favourite Miki Yeung, whose silent cameo steals the show. It goes without saying that there is a big problem, when the best thing in the movie is a silent cameo.
Justin Lo in his big screen debut (when you discount his cameo in Miriam Yeung's 2 Become 1), is by no means an actor. While his singing is undoubtedly the best of the trio, Justin tries too hard to be likable and comes off rather tedious. With that being said, it must be noted that this is probably a role tailored made to Justin Lo only and some marks must be given for his mother and son chemistry with Tien Niu. The duo is able to play off each other extremely well and allowing some occasional fun for the audience. Next up is Kary Ng, while she has changed her outlook, Neo still can not change his perspective on her. Perhaps she can sing a bit, but she definitely pales in comparison whenever she stands next to the likes of Stephy, Theresa and even with just Miki roaming in the background. In addition, the chemistry between Kary and Justin or Alex, just isn't there, or may be Neo is just bias about her.
Adding to the mix is the stone faced Alex Fong, who never seems to be able to replicate his career best display in last year's surprise package, I'll Call You. With performances like Dating a Vampire, Love is Not all Around and this, Fong is certainly not heading the right direction. However, Lam Suet continues to be the most underrated supporting actor, as he eases off the cobwebs with just the right execution as a drunken dad trying to let go of his past. Tats Lau Yi-Tat once again, shows why he is the most effortless comedy around and along with Miki Yeung's cameo, almost seems to be a par above the current material.
Dennis Law is not a good director, but it is worth wondering how much control he has in this production, when the likes of Paco Wong are pushing the commercial buttons. Director Law does improve a fair bit in his next outing, Fatal Contact, but on this material alone, he seems more concern about the product placement, than actual camera work. With that being said, Love @ First Note, never ceases to be bore, or perhaps it is aided by the audience wanting to hear the next popular song. Still, this film falls short even to be defined as a movie, but as far as music videos are concerned, it is probably good enough. (Neo 2006)
I rate it 6/10
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