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Stolen Love
AKA:: Stolen Summer
Rain Li and Raymond Lam
Chinese: 別戀
Year: 2001
Director: Alan Mak Siu-Fai
Producer: David Chan
Writer: Felix Chong Man-Keung
Cast: Raymond Lam Fung, Rain Li Choi-Wah, Margaret Chung Lai-Kei, Cheung Tat-Ming, Wyman Wong Wai-Man, Wong Yat-Fei, Joe Ma Wai-Ho, Lee Fung, Fire Lee, Soi Cheang Pou-Soi
The Skinny: Marginally entertaining romance that feeds off its photogenic stars and little else. The plot devices and big revelations don't add much weight to an already fluffy exercise.
by Kozo:

Hot young stars are the order of the day in director Alan Mak's new romance Stolen Love. Hot young hunk Raymond Lam stars as Rick, a successful architect who discovers he may have a forgotten past. He gets hit by a car while lost in thought over an advertisement featuring Angela Lok (Rain Li), a popular novelist. When he awakes, he finds he's lost his creative abilities. Only when he's near Angela does the spark return. So what does he do? He moves into her building, of course.

However, it isn't that easy. Rick's current project is supposed to tear down Angela's apartment building, evicting her and the local residents (including Wong Yat-Fei and Wyman Wong). She fights him at first, but as you'd expect, her defenses wear down and the two become friends. Even more, Angela senses a hidden past between she and Rick, too. The two resolve to discover more about it, and along the way their feelings grow for one another.

The set-up for this high-schooler romance is exceptionally elaborate, promising at hidden plot points not revealed until the final ten minutes of the film. Until then, all we can do is satisfy ourselves with pretty people mugging for each other and the camera. Watching Rick and Angela fall in love is passably entertaining, but not much else. Rain Li's acting is extremely raw. She's pretty, but her acting consists of pouting and throwing cute fits, much like every Hong Kong ingénue does in their first big role. Raymond Lam fares better. His presence is well-suited to this sort of romantic fluff, and boy does he have attractive hair!

However, despite whatever joys pretty people bring, the movie is just a collection of plot devices geared to bring the characters together. After a minor crisis (They want to tear down the building!), we get to discover what the big mystery of their stolen past is. And...well, I can't give it away because Ain't-It-Cool-News demands that reviews be spoiler-free, but I will say that the big revelation smacks of deux ex machina. It certainly explains everything, but it's simply fiction justifying fiction.

Director Alan Mak has made two fluffy romances in a row now. One wishes he could get back to the jazzy cool of Rave Fever or the entertaining bloodshed of A War Named Desire. Mak does throw in a sly reference to Rave Fever by having Joe Ma appear as the same character he did in that. What it means is anybody's guess. Rave Fever wasn't really that popular, so referencing it seems to smack of self-indulgence and nothing more. (Kozo 2002)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Golden Harvest Home Video
Cantonese and Mandarin Language
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
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image courtesy of Golden Harvest Home Video
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