LAFF Film Review: It’s Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong (★★★)

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Charisma is an interesting power that actors have at their disposal. When used properly, an actor with charisma can render you completely unable to look away from the screen and elevate even the weakest material. Jamie Chung and Bryan Greenberg are two actors how have within them this kind of charisma. Both are incredibly likable on-screen and in movies like Its Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong, they both employ their energy to convince us to go along with the ride. It’s a bit of a bumpy one, though the movie does manage many moments of cinematic joy which is no surprise given the talent involved.

It’s Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong is like a wonderful small trip into the missed connections section. Ruby (Jamie Chung) is on a business trip to Hong Kong and is scheduled to meet some friends. This is a task that proves tough as it’s her first time in the city and like many of us she experiences the failings of technology, her phone GPS won’t work. She gets directions from an ex-pat Josh (Bryan Greenberg) and rather than go it alone, she takes him up on his offer to show her how to get there. Instantly the duo is drawn to each other, but things take an awkward turn and it seems their dalliance is to be just a fleeting experience. That is until a year later, when they meet on a ferry and despite their best intentions, find themselves falling into a rhythm that forces them to confront the choices they’ve made in life.

Many people will come out of this movie thinking about films such as the Before series, an intimate character drama that features an interesting location and two people having conversations. It’s Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong finds a kinship with these movies and uses it to its advantage. There’s something magical about watching two souls connect and Emily Ting manages to mine the script for what its worth. The only issues come when the script tries to reach too far in the life motivation/existential stuff. It’s much better when the script presents us with the situations that force the characters to act. The one year time jump is a brilliant stroke that allows the first meeting to have a weight and the actions afterwards to feel real.

As I mentioned above this movie really works on the strength of Chung and Greenberg, who happen to be a couple in real life. They don’t rely on their real life chemistry to do the heavy lifting, instead finding ways to explore their characters. While much of the film is centered around talking, it’s what these characters don’t say until they have to that make the film strong and Greenberg and Chung find the truth in these moments. These two keep the movie humming along nicely and make It’s Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong a delight.