Chi ming yu chun giu
Hong Kong, 2010, 103 min
Boy meets girl during a cigarette break, unaware that his loose-lipped colleagues have just shared the details of his recent, embarrassing split from his girlfriend with his crew of fellow smokers. They all feign ignorance when ad man Jimmy (Shawn Yue) arrives and offers a light to cosmetics saleswoman Cherie (Miriam Yeung). “You’re Jimmy?” she asks knowingly. A connection is made, and a hip, Hong Kong–style modern romance ensues. Although Cherie is a few years older and already has a boyfriend (albeit an unappreciative one), her fledgling courtship with Jimmy is given an opportunity to grow when a friend’s social media blunder and an intercepted text message abruptly bring her existing relationship to an end. Not quite prepared for what comes next, Jimmy and Cherie willingly move forward into an uncertain future. Despite its nicotine-centric plot, liberal use of Cantonese profanity and focus on a fast-tracked relationship that takes place against the backdrop of a sometimes gritty urban setting, there is a distinctly innocent feel to Love in a Puff. Director Pang Ho-cheung keeps this romantic comedy lighthearted and the interactions between Jimmy and Cherie simple and sweet. Interspersed throughout the film and credits are a series of humorous mini-interviews with both lead and supporting characters, à la When Harry Met Sally, shot with a shaky handheld camera and an occasional boom microphone in the frame. The characters talk about love and each other, demonstrating that when it comes to human emotions, no translation is required.