6.2/10
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Chuen sing yit luen - yit lat lat (2010)

The whole city is burning up during the hottest summer on record. Tempers flare, irrational feelings erupt and the impossible becomes possible. And in every corner of the city, love explodes like fireworks.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ah Wai
...
Wah
...
Li Yan (as René Liu)
...
Wasabi
...
Ding Dong (as Da S)
Yihong Duan ...
Leslie Guan
Xinbo Fu ...
Da Fu
...
Xiao Fang
...
Xiao Qi
...
Master Chef
Michelle Wai ...
Zhou Yuan Yuan (as Michelle)
...
Tattoo Master
...
Uncle Fai (as Gordon liu)
Zhuoyan He ...
Factory Girl Xiao Li
Jinshan Liu ...
Grocery Shop Boss
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Storyline

It is the hottest summer on record. A chauffeur and a foot masseuse romance through text messages, unaware of each other's identities. An innocent factory girl asks her admirer to stand outside in the heat for 100 days to prove his love. A sushi chef prepares the perfect meal so that the food critic he loves will stay with him forever. A blinded photographer must locate the beautiful model he insulted. An old man desperately searches for an antique light bulb for the shrine of his late wife. And each night, an air conditioner repairman challenges a mystery girl to a road race. When a blackout spreads across the city, the city turns to chaos. Can love shine through? Written by Fox International Productions

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

summer | heat | holiday | first love | See All (4) »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild thematic elements and smoking | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

11 February 2010 (China)  »

Also Known As:

Hot Summer Days  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
'Hot Summer Days' is an energetic, imaginative, visual treat
1 April 2011 | by (LA Area) – See all my reviews

Directed by Tony Chan and Wing Shya, Hot Summer Days is romantic comedy which takes place in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shenzhen, consisting of seven intertwined love stories in the middle of the hottest summer on record ever. There's a story about a chauffeur and a foot masseuse who encounter each other through accidental text messaging, a young man who makes a bet to see if he can date a pretty factory girl, an air-conditioner repairman who chases a mysterious motorcycle girl with his moped, a sushi chef and a food critic, a boy fish and a girl fish inside an aquarium, an arrogant photographer who goes blind, and a story about an old widower who rents out beach umbrellas.

When one mentions a romantic comedy with multiple stories intertwined, the first film that would likely pop to one's mind would be Love, Actually. Well, that film wasn't particularly deep (not that most romantic stories of this kind usually are), but it had an ensemble cast that helped things along. In a sense, Hot Summer Days is its distant cousin, but takes place in the summer instead of winter. With the extreme summer heat also come extreme emotions and flaring tempers. If Love, Actually emphasized warmth amongst a cold, sometimes lonely, landscape, everything in this film is bright, loud, cramped, hot, and crowded.

This film is a quirky, visual marvel of contrasting colors and is full of energy. From the beginning, there's a surreal CG element to emphasize the extremely hot weather, with wobbly buildings in the background literally melting like popsicles at certain points. Another noticeable uses of CG involve a love story between a male fish and a female fish talking inside a restaurant aquarium. They are not of Pixar-quality nor are they realistic, but it works just enough to service the plot. They are overlooking another relationship going on outside their tank between a sushi chef (Daniel Wu) and a pretty critic (Vivian Hsu). These and other moments emphasize the quirky, limitless, and imaginative borders of these stories, while showing both simplicity and complexity of romance. It is nice how they're not afraid to occasionally just throw in the kitchen sink (as long as its plumbing services the story). I found these elements freeing and refreshing. Advertisement

From the beginning, visual elements and scenes come quick and are jumbled together like a collage. Characters are introduced quickly. I really appreciated the diverse color palette of the cinematography. Warm to cold tones are scattered throughout the film. Majority of the scenes are quite urban, with contrasting saturated colors emphasizing the diversity of it all.

Given that the film juggles seven different stories, some of the characters have simpler and more easily recognizable personalities. One of the more detailed of these stories involves a chauffeur, Wah (Jacky Cheung), and Li Yan (Rene Liu), a piano-playing masseuse, who communicate only by text when one receives an accidental text message from another. They become pen pals (through their texts) in a sense, with Wah lying that he's a Ferrari driver and Li Yan claiming to be a concert pianist. The actors do a fine job, personifying their roles with much charm. Some of the small moments with Wah and his daughter are quite poignant.

As are most romantic comedies, one can predict most of the outcome. Thankfully, the film makes that journey palatable and fun. For the most part, the energy is consistent. Even though many of the stories have a certain conventionality that is familiar, there are also many details that are clever and original. Clocking at 93 minutes, very little time is wasted—after all, there are seven stories going at once. The characters are charming and beautiful to look at, the stories have certain innocence, and the general mood is positive, yet bittersweet. Even if familiar, it is a novel and charming piece of work.

More of my movie review updates can be found at http://twitter.com/d_art


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