Love in the Puff and Love in the Buff are two movies from 2010 and 2012, respectively, directed by Hong Kong’s Pang Ho-cheung (彭浩翔). Their Chinese names are 志明與春嬌 and 春嬌與志明, and they can be best categorized as romantic comedies.
The two movies’ plot fundamentally revolves around Jimmy’s (志明) and Cherie’s (春嬌) love-story, all the while poking fun at and criticizing both Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese society.
(Love in the Puff, Part I) Due to the indoor-smoking ban passed by the Hong Kong government in 2007 many office-workers and salespersons had to resort to “outside-gatherings” to get their quick nicotin-fix, and subsequently used these short breaks from work for socializing and chit-chatting. Jimmy and Cherie met at one such gathering. At the time Jimmy was working in an advertising agency, and he had just broken up with his girlfriend. Cherie on the other hand was a salesgirl in a cosmetics-shop. During the course of the first movie the two of them become a couple.
(Love in the Buff, Part II) Unlike with Love in the Puff, the sequel Love in the Buff’s scenes in Hong Kong are very limited, and almost the entire movie is set in Beijing. After Jimmy and Cherie had been in a romantic relationship for several months already (they had moved in together, laughed together, argued with each other) Jimmy received an offer to go to Beijing – and the two of them broke up (in fact, there is more to their break-up, but I don’t want to spoil any relevant details). What about Cherie? Due to Cherie’s head-company pulling out of Hong Kong she also is transferred to Beijing: What could possibly go wrong? What could possibly happen?
When talking about actors’ performance in these two movies I believe Miriam Yeung’s (楊千嬅) and Shawn Yue’s (余文樂) stellar performance is what will likely stay in people’s minds the longest. On top of that, both Jimmy’s and Cherie’s friends are played by fantastically hilarious supporting actors and actresses, albeit at times on the borderline to rude and dirty humor – but isn’t that what makes Hong Kong what it is?
In the second part Love in the Buff it is Yang Mi (楊冪), Jimmy’s girlfriend in Beijing, whose performance I feel compelled to elaborate on further: Not only is she fabulously beautiful as Youyou, but I also like how she doesn’t fail to win over the audience in this modern movie (though her historical dramas are worthwhile watching, too!)
Director and Conclusion
In my view direcotr Pang Ho-cheung (彭浩翔) has in no way failed to deliver to the Hong Kong audience two extraordinary comical yet deep and subtle movies. For anyone interested in Hong Kong society I believe that watching these two movies can be very meaningful, particularly the first part: Love in the Puff might very well allow you to develop a deeper understanding for this city which so many people love and hate at the same time.