Totally fluffy and more than a little uneven, Elixir of Love is still an entertaining, beautifully-shot comedy. Miriam Yeung and Richie Ren are an appealing couple, and the film provides more than its fair share of charm, if not actual cinematic quality.
More pre-packaged Lunar New Year crap for the masses! Elixir of Love features attractive popstars, a fluffy premise, and oodles of feel-good laughsâ€”a virtual blueprint for standard Lunar New Year fare. Miriam Yeung and Richie Ren are the popstars, the premise is a fairy tale about a princess and a pauper, and the laughs are a patchwork of minor satire, benign physical comedy, and tired bathroom humor. For director Riley Yip (Just One Look, Metade Fumaca), this seems like a real step down. However, Elixir of Love also features wonderful production design, and beautifully-photographed scenery that simply leaps from the screen. The actors themselves are fun too, and generate good screen chemistry. Elixir of Love is far from an ace motion picture experience, but the minor charm and genial tone makes for a suitably fluffy diversion.
Miriam Yeung is the Princess of China, the first female in a long line of royal male offspring, thus making her a precious commidity. However, she stinks. Cursed with something called SARS (Severe Atypical Reeking Syndrome), the Princess' B.O. is enough to send any and all suitors running or to a self-imposed early demise, despite the fact that she's sweet, charming, and looks like Miriam Yeung. At a loss for solutions, the Emperor offers up a contest: to have doctors, mystics and/or assorted quacks show up in an attempt to cure the Princess of her smelliness, the prize for their efforts being the Princess' actual hand in marriage and presumed favored status in the capital. Not surprisingly, many apply.
Directed by: Riley Yip
Cast: Richie Ren, Miriam Yeung Chin-Wah, Kenny Bee, Eric Kot Man-Fai, Lam Suet