Love in the Buff


What do you do when you fall in love with someone who is absolutely wrong for you? That’s the crux of writer-director Pang Ho Cheung’s Love in the Buff, sequel to Love in a Puff, a huge hit in China in 2010. In the first film, cosmetician Cherie (Miriam Yeung) and her younger boyfriend, ad exec Jimmy (Shawn Yue), began their affair while each was involved with someone else, and their relationship served as a springboard for biting commentary on young go-getters in modern Hong Kong. This time around, the larger commentary is still there, but the focus is even sharper on the couple at the film’s center. Cherie and Jimmy have moved on to new prospects that, on paper, are much better suited for them, but they can’t let each other go. As they bicker, break up, sneak around, and slowly come to settle the question of whether they have a shared happily-ever-after in their future, Buff, a comedy, proves smarter on the subject of love than a host of dreary dramas. With a combination of bathroom humor, satiric digs at everything from rom-com tropes to dating rituals in modern China, and a brusque manner of everyday speak that would make Carrie Bradshaw blush, Buff gels into a surprisingly moving look at the machinations of the heart.

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