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Break Up Club (Fen Shou Shuo Ai Ni)

The emotional roller-coaster of falling in love is never felt so keenly as the first time it happens. Barbara Wong, who has achieved great success with films capturing the mood of Hong Kong’s young generation, unites two of its brightest talents and delivers a funny, touching and ultra-modern romantic comedy that will make you want to fall in love again, for the first time.

Joe (Jaycee Chan), a young man with little ambition in life, is devastated when his girlfriend Flora (Fiona Sit) breaks up with him. By chance he discovers the website “Break Up Club,” which claims he can be reunited with his girlfriend as long as he is willing to break up another loving couple. Joe immediately breaks up his best friend’s relationship, Flora returns to him and everything seems perfect. That is, until Flora breaks up with him again.

Joe tells his tale to filmmaker Barbara Wong – who plays herself in the film. When Wong gives Joe a camera to film his relationship with Flora to prove that the “Break Up Club” is real, he captures the everyday joys and pains of his first love. Flora, however, while undeniably in love with Joe, is growing increasingly frustrated with his continuous lack of motivation.

Chan and Sit have an irresistible chemistry onscreen and give outstanding performances that prove they are more than pop idols. Drawing on her experience as a documentary filmmaker, Wong blurs the line between fantasy and reality, interspersing the narrative with meta-moments of non-fiction. Convincingly using both documentary techniques and improvisation, she captures with wonderful naturalism the endless energy of a young couple madly in love, and the inevitable problems that arise.

By not shying away from portraying Joe and Flora as flawed characters, “Break Up Club” is a brutally honest and moving film about the end of one’s innocence and the understanding that love is ultimately about the sacrifices one must make. [Synopsis courtesy of Giovanna Fulvi, Toronto International Film Festival]