"Love Generation HK" would have worked better as a drama, which is how it starts, than as a comedy, which is where it quickly ends up.
The one central problem here is the whole drama vs. comedy thing. The film jumps from one to the other in a heartbeat and it simply doesn't work. The comedy is not funny enough and the drama is not poignant enough.
The film starts off well, by setting an excellent mood that perfectly captures the couple's busy everyday life. Then things turn more than a little crazy when, during a meeting Bill has a daydream where he jumps up and strangles the Japanese businessman sitting in front of him. From this point on, the film looses any credibility.
I don't mind when a film turns to comedy like this, but the conflict arises when we're still expected to take things seriously now and then.
The character of Bill is a problem as well. The films basic premise calls for the couple to break up. So when Maggie breaks up with him, he doesn't object! She's basically saying to him that if he wants her he's gonna have to make some more money. But he's completely calm during this scene. Personally, I would have yelled a bit. Later when he discovers that Maggie's going to Hong Kong, he lies to Joey (who wants him back) so that he can go visit Maggie without breaking up with Joey. It must admit that I lost everything for him at that point.
The Maggie character is a problem all to itself.
The whole story begins because Maggie wants to have success. Fair enough, I can accept that. But why the hell does she end up a gangsters wife? It doesn't even seems like she has a job anymore. She's a trophy wife, and while Peace seems nice, and genuinely want to go legit, he's hardly the natural choice for a solid mate. She's even set up special rules for Peace which he must follow, or he'll be dumped. What kind of relationship is that!?
Her choices makes Maggie look more than a little shallow. Her only focus is money - by which she judges success - and she's quick to consider dating Bill again when she realises he's rich.
From the moment Bill and Peace meet and we realise that the two men are now rivals, Maggie shuts up. She doesn't even complain when the men fight over her like a piece of meat, and when one of them hands her over to the other, she doesn't seem pleased or anything.
Moon is the only really sweet character, but why she should fall for Bill is beyond me. He treats her as a secretary, nothing more, and he evens ask her to help lie to Joey so she doesn't know he going to see Maggie. She sees how he treats women, and still she in love with him. Go figure.
Ann Lee is very sweet as Moon. Carina Lau is indifferent as Maggie. But Leon Lai is a real problem as Bill. He doesn't have enough depth for a part like this. A good actor could pull off this difficult character who, quite frankly, is a bastard most of the time. But it takes good timing and clever cheeky attitude, and Leon Lai has neither. Don't get me wrong, I like the guy. His smooth cool style lends itself well to films like Skyline Cruisers and Heroic Duo, where the countless precarious situations hardly register on his face. But in a film like this we want him to react! That's the whole point. Otherwise how that we identify with his problems, or even be on his side?
As for Shu Qi, she is cute as hell, but if she expects to be taken seriously she should steer clear of roles like this. Her part is small, and she never really gets a chance to shine. She does look great in a cowboy hat. Oh, and the first time we see her, she's sitting in a pool.
This is a love story without any sense of passion, and the bottom line is that it doesn't work. How could it? All that's a stake here is love and feelings, and when everybody's so shallow, and everything ends up being played for laughs, there's nothing left.
"Love Generation Hong Kong" is a hard film to recommend. It's not exactly bad, it is, however, a missed opportunity.