Emily Ting’s film It’s Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong has recently landed a distribution deal, and the full trailer was released just in time for the real life nuptials of stars Jamie Chung and Bryan Greenberg. The happy couple were wed on Saturday in a Halloween ceremony, and have said that the film is remarkably similar to the their own love story.
The film has been officially selected by a dozen film festivals after debuting at the Los Angeles Film Festival, with particular praise going to towards the fact that both the director and female lead are women of colour. We can’t really pull off “yaaas” without sounding foolish, but we will say a hearty “hurray” and raise a glass to more WOC in mainstream film.
Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong tells the story of two strangers, Chinese-American expat Ruby and American expat Josh, who meet when Josh helps Ruby find her way to Lan Kwai Fong. They end up spending the night walking around Central discussing their hopes and dreams, but part ways after a misunderstanding. The film then picks up a year later, when they bump into each other again on the Star Ferry.
While the concept of a film about two strangers exploring a city and falling in love may smack of Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise trilogy, Already Midnight in Hong Kong also bears some similarities to Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, which also explored the theme of strangers bonding over their shared expat status in Asia. Early reviews have commented that despite the superficial similarities to both Linklater’s and Coppola’s films, Already Midnight in Hong Kong is considerably lighter fare, without the existential undercurrent of Before Sunrise and more romance than Lost in Translation.
Regardless of the content, we were blown away by how beautifully Ting and her director of photography Josh Silfen have captured Hong Kong, doing justice to not only the photogenic harbour and SoHo, but also the purple vinyl seats of a Citybus and the gaggle of partiers outside Stormies. We may roll our eyes when New York is described as “almost a character” in films, but we did get kicks out of the sheer screen time that Ting and Silfen gave quintessential Hong Kong imagery like streetside dai pai dongs, the Mid-Levels escalator and our beloved neon signage.
The duo’s visual ode to Hong Kong has even sparked comments speculating if the film was sponsored by the Tourism Board, but we think it’s perfectly normal to be captivated by Hong Kong, don’t you? If you’re interested in an Ephron-esque romance filmed in a bokeh-laden visual style, check out Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong when it’s released on on-demand services in February next year. Ironically, there have been release dates announced for the American markets but we’re yet to hear if the film will be screened in Hong Kong theatres.