Movie Reviews

'Café. Waiting. Love.': Giddens Ko needs a new recipe

By Travis WongMovies - 04 September 2014 10:00 AM | Updated 12:22 PM

'Café. Waiting. Love.': Giddens Ko needs a new recipe

Cafe. Waiting. Love

Our Rating

2/5 Stars

The film adaptation of Giddens Ko’s book, ‘You Are the Apple of My Eye’, was a runaway hit in 2011. Sincere and nostalgia-filled, it charted the almost-love affair of a young couple.

So will he hit bull’s-eye again with the adaptation of another one of Ko’s books, ‘Cafe.Waiting. Love’?

Not so skilful this time. It has nothing of the sincerity and honesty of ‘Apple’, despite an appealing cast that includes Hong Kong actress Vivian Chow. 

The story: While clearing out journals of former members, university freshman Siying (Vivian Sung) discovers a journal that leads her to the titular cafe. Intrigued by the journal’s author, she takes up a job waitressing. 

The cafe is populated by a few quirky characters, including the emotional cafe owner (played by Chow) and the barista wonder Abusi. There, Siying bumps into the school clown and repeat student Ah-Tuo (Bruce Zeng).

Too bad that Siying has eyes only for the doe-eyed stranger, played by Marcus Chang, who looks like he stepped out of a Korean TV serial. 

Nonetheless, Ah-Tuo and Siying keep crossing paths, and the two of them become good friends. Despite pledging his affection for her, Ah-Tuo ends up trying to help her pursue the mysterious stranger. 

It’s not too hard to predict how it all ends, with happy endings strewn all around.

The two-hour-long movie could do with some better editing, including a prolonged showdown with gangsters that featured unconvincing fight sequences. 

JOKES FALL FLAT 

Too many jokes fall flat as well, and are then repeated ad nauseum. Unlike in ‘Apple’, where the humour flowed naturally, most of the gags and scene shifts in ‘Café’ are shoved right in your face. Ko’s script is hardly subtle.

One of the characters figuratively takes a bullet for someone, just to prove that, well, he would take a bullet for her.

The only upside is the young and talented cast, who try to make the most of what they have been given. 

Newcomer Sung is certainly one to watch out for, though veteran Chow does not quite redeem herself in her role as a melancholic cafe owner who lounges around the cafe like a moody cat. 

The film might have fared better if it dared to embrace the silly, like the Hong Kong mo leitau genre of comedy made popular by Stephen Chow. But instead, it leans more towards the romance department to please the same fan base as ‘Apple of My Eye’.

The end product is just a very highly manufactured concoction, and far too sweet to swallow.

‘Café. Waiting. Love’ is now showing in cinemas


Travis Wong is a film loving geek who got his start from frequented video shops in JB. He frequented movie theaters more often than school, and received his cinematic epiphany when he watched 'Taxi Driver'. While not driving a cab, he haunts DVD shops, and he currently has the largest remaining collection of VHS tapes and Laserdiscs in the country. 

Movie Photos

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  • Café Waiting Love 2014
  • Café Waiting Love 2014
  • Café Waiting Love 2014
  • Café Waiting Love 2014
  • Café Waiting Love 2014
  • Café Waiting Love 2014
  • Café Waiting Love 2014
  • Café Waiting Love 2014
  • Café Waiting Love 2014
  • Café Waiting Love 2014
Café Waiting Love
  • Café Waiting Love

    (2014)
  • Rated
    PG13 /
    Genre
    Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • Language
    Mand
  • (2 Reviews)