If you want something a little different in comparison to most romantic movies out there, but isn’t so different it is weird or off-putting, you may want to check Already Tomorrow In Hong Kong. For there isn’t your usual meet, one does something stupid, and then they through sheer luck or stupidity, they get back together. No, this movie wants something more natural, with a tad bit of happenstance, and a whole lot of chemistry.
Characters & Story (with Commentary)
Both Ruby (Jamie Chung) and Josh (Bryan Greenberg) find themselves in Hong Kong for work. For Josh, he is a banker when we first meet him and Ruby is a toy designer. Ruby though is just in Hong Kong for a few days while Josh has been in the city for a decade. But in one night, it all seems perfect until Josh reveals something which proves timing is perhaps everything. Which is the main obstacle of their relationship: Timing. For while they seem meant to be, there are so many things complicating them getting together. Leaving them both asking of themselves, and one another, if they are willing to remove the boundaries? For while they strangely may have met by chance twice in a lifetime, there is no guaranteed 3rd chance and no sure way of knowing if the obstacles keeping them from committing to one another may be gone within another year.
A Natural Kind of Love: The beginnings of Ruby and Josh to me just seemed so organic. You have a guy trying to clear his mind, get his thoughts together, and at the same time there is this girl, first time in Hong Kong, and she is lost. He, as a kind gesture, helps her navigate Hong Kong to meet her friends, and you fall in love with the idea of them and there is just this chemistry. One which you don’t see too often for it seems most films and shows are more about pairing two attractive people and hardly at all about chemistry.
A Realistic Problem: Between Ruby being LA based, and just visiting Hong Kong, to Josh being an expatriate, who seems pretty much settled in Hong Kong, and then the issue of who might be dating who, there are realistic obstacles to Ruby and Josh’s potential relationship. Also, as noted in the next bullet, there is also this desire in Ruby to not perpetuate a stereotype, in terms of Asian women with White men, and it makes it seem like what is written here isn’t some wild, and embellished, love story, but something which perhaps could happen. Granted, Ruby and Josh’s second meeting probably wouldn’t be the most likely, but with all someone can find on the internet nowadays, and with Ruby likely having social media accounts, who says Josh couldn’t try to find her.
Social Commentary: I found it interesting, as we got to know Ruby and Josh, that the film touched on the topic of immigration, in terms of Ruby’s parents being immigrants and yet Josh, who has been in Hong Kong for a decade, calling himself an “expat” and trying to present it as a difference. Also, I liked how Ruby acknowledges, questioned, and spoke on how uncomfortable she was about the idea of a young Asian woman with a white man and all that could mean, from an Asian woman’s perspective.
Fully Developed Leads: There is so much given to us about Ruby and Josh that it is amazing it is all done within an hour and 18 minutes. We know their current occupations, their ambitions, where they come from, how they got to where they are today, we learn about their dating history, get to understand their personalities and so much more. Something I feel, with movies which have more central characters, we miss out on. For, often in movies with supporting actors, often the woman gets the short end of the stick and is underdeveloped in order to support the growth of the male lead. With this film, though, they are on equal footing and it is quite refreshing.
The Sights and A Touch of Hong Kong’s Culture: Similar to Hit The Road: India you are given a visual sense of what Hong Kong maybe like as a tourist. But, unlike Hit The Road: India, Josh is well versed on the location so it isn’t just a lot of beautiful shots with no background. Josh will tell you what this building is, what is significant about this street, and as much as he is giving Ruby a tour, you almost feel like you could follow in their footsteps and rediscover the places they go to.
The Ending: To put it simply, you aren’t given closure.
On The Fence
Never Seeing “The Obstacles” To Gauge Who We Like More: Thus far I’ve been a bit vague about it, but one of the major issues for Josh and Ruby is their significant others who aren’t necessarily their perfect matches. Which, unfortunately, is something we are more so told than get to see. Something I’m iffy about if only because, in Ruby’s own words, the two of them are emotionally cheating. Yet you aren’t sure whether you should see them as terrible people for even flirting with the idea of quickly jumping from one person to another or if you should be fine with it since their current relationships are unfulfilling.
Final Thought(s): Worth Seeing
Outside of the ending, and us not getting to meet Daniel or Sam, there isn’t much to not like about this film. Which, considering how quick to criticize I can be on here, is saying something. For Chung and Greenberg have excellent chemistry and banter, and even with how you know it is wrong they both are committed and flirting, a part of you figures it is fine for these two were meant to be. Something I don’t feel like a lot of movies or shows have nowadays for, as noted, most visual media is about two separately attractive people than one pair who are attractive, and enviable, together.
Hence the Worth Seeing label for Ruby and Josh’s relationship is the stuff of dreams and wish lists in your middle school notebook.