Bakery Amour (2001)

Reviewed by: i am b
Date: 01/12/2003

its a light hearted and cute movie but i dont think Michelle and Francis matched well..the movie dragged on a bit but had its moments

Reviewed by: mejones
Date: 03/21/2002
Summary: VERY enjoyable!

Francis plays a bit of a fish out of water, top man (chief) of his small Hakka village now living in the big city with dreams of becoming a private detective. He moves in with his nephew, William So, who lives upstairs from Michelle Reis. William and Michelle have been pen-pals for years and all of their interactions were very cute, such as grocery shopping where he buys jars of baby food explaining that since he was deprived of them as a child he's making up for lost time! Both William and Francis are a bit quirky in this movie but strike you as the kind of people who are completely genuine, honest and good hearted. When Francis comes upon a tin of letters left by the former tenant he reads them, realizing they were mailed to one "Lok To" from her boyfriend Gala in Paris. At this point he doesn't know that "Lot To" is his neighbor which causes some embarassment when he figures it out. But what to do about the letters? Especially now that he's read them all? Detective wannabe that he is, Francis concocts a plan to reunite the lovers. Since Gala is due to return to Hong Kong any day now, he'll be sure to stop by the old bakery where he and Lok To used to work. Problem being, the bakery is closed and she is unemployed. No problem, Uncle Jet (as he's called) will buy the bakery, hire Michelle, proceed to make her white loaf famous and that way, when Gala returns, he's bound to be reunited with her.

As any film goer will realize, OF COURSE Francis' plan will work, but only with the hitch that he falls for Michelle in the process! How will this complicated love... well, it's far more than a TRIANGLE as it evolves... work out? If you haven't already seen it, I'm not telling! I will mentioned that while it's a really great little film, it DOES go astray a bit in the middle when the shift focuses to the return of Gala and his relationships with both Michelle AND Stephanie Che! I suppose, though, that one might look at this as a study in contrast between his slimy character and the upstanding Francis (along with William, the sidekick!). Highly recommended.

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 01/14/2002
Summary: Average

The first point I want to make, is that I really wish movie makers in Hong Kong would stop copying each other so much. What I mean by this, is that so many people are naming their movies in French. The script is not much better either, another romance film is all we needed. But there are advantage which makes this slightly better than I thought it would. Firstly, there is a real feeling of romance throughout most of the film, either meaning the actors were very good, or the script was more detailed than I first thought. Michelle Reis I must say seems to look more and more attractive, which helps cover up the poorer parts of the story. She is a good actress for sure, and I think she will become more and more popular next year too. Francis Ng hasn’t lost it either, his acting ability has always impressed me, and although this is nothing special for him, he still brings a great performance.
This is not one of my more favorable movies of 2001, but it’s not too bad.

Rating 2.5

(This rating is based on the years release and genre, I’m not comparing it to older or newer films.)

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: danton
Date: 01/03/2002

What a pleasant little film!!! Francis Ng and Michelle Reis give nicely restrained subtle performances, and while the story is certainly a little formulaic, the whole tone of the movie is so warm and feels so real that I bought into it wholeheartedly. If you like romantic comedies, this is a good one.

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 12/23/2001
Summary: Pretty good

This is a nice romantic drama which doesn't take the usual " i definately know what's going to happen next" to this film. A movie which keeps you wanting to watch to see how it ends.

Though not the best romantic movie around, this movie does do well in setting up situations and the critical part is that the actors pull it off.


Reviewed by: Trigger
Date: 11/20/2001
Summary: Michelle Reis is hot.

Bakery Amour is another romantic comedy starring Michelle Reis and Francis Ng. Francis Ng is the oldest in a large family and is quite strange. He longs to be a private detective. He happens upon a stack of love letters when he moves into a new flat. He soon discovers that the letters were intended for Michelle Reis and that she never recieved them. Upon reading them he discovers that her boyfriend who is living in France has been sending them (99 letters) over the past year and hasn't heard a single reply. His final letters mention that he's giving up on sending letters and that he figures her love for him has faded away. He decides to buy the bakery that they both had worked in before and offer her a job there in hopes that he can reunite the two lovers. In the process he falls in love with her. blah blah... it's quite silly and Frances is just a creepy freak.

I gave it a 5/10 and I don't really have much of an opinion on it.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: magic-8
Date: 10/23/2001
Summary: Nice Guy Wins

Stephen Lo's "Bakery Amour" is a mild mannered romantic-comedy that hits all the right notes. Francis Ng and Michelle Reis find themselves involved in an interesting romantic triangle with Conroy Chan. Ng plays the geeky, nice guy, who wants to help Reis reunite with Chan, playing a rich bad boy. The more that Ng helps Reis to rekindle her affair with Chan, the more he becomes smitten by her. Chan on the other hand is dating another girl, Stephanie Che, at the same time. All of the relationships become enmeshed in complications that prove to be humorous and quite distracting.

Lo does a fine job in getting uniformly good performances from all of the cast members. "Bakery Amour" is one of the few movies where William So really shines in a supporting role. Thankfully, Lo stays away from the cloyingly, schmaltzy synthesizer music. A funny moment in the film is the dialect within the dialect, Hakka and Cantonese, which will probably be more enjoyable for native speakers.

"Bakery Amour" is a nice change of pace from the recent spate of over-produced, formulaic action films. And, at least in this film, the nice guy wins out over the bad boy.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 10/21/2001
Summary: Pleasant without being particularly exciting

BAKERY AMOUR (2001) - Starring Francis Ng (Quite possibly the coolest man alive) and Michelle Reis (Quite possibly the most beautiful woman alive) in a pleasant enough romantic drama. Francis' character is a naive old-fashioned and ultimately child-like man from a small village, who for reasons that are explained in the movie sets up a bakery with Michelle Reis' somewhat vulnerable character. Affection starts to build, but then Michelle's ex arrives back on the scene to complicate matters. Did very little for me overall, but then affairs of the heart are something that have very little resonance for me these days (sniff!). I liked Francis' character, and it's never unpleasant to watch Michelle Reis or Stephanie Che, but I didn't have much interest for their story. The sappy English-language love songs used throughout were a big turn-off too.

Reviewed by: Sasami
Date: 07/20/2001
Summary: Worth Seeing

Not a bad movie for its genre. Some of the sequences with Uncle Jet were quite funny. Francis Ng did a great job in this movie, conveying a character whose simple look at life and humanity made him quite loveable.

Midway through the movie though, the focus of the plot moves to Michelle Reis' relationship with her old boyfriend, and it immediately gets a little tedious and boring. I kept wishing they'd just go back to Francis Ng, since he seemed to make every scene a little brighter.

Overall though, this was not a bad movie by any means, and well worth the money spent to rent it.

Reviewed by: future113
Date: 05/17/2001
Summary: rating: 4/5: I liked it, worth buying

I just watched Bakery amour last night and thought it was a really good movie, i'd recommend it. The lead actress was cute and the side kick 'Chanty' is funny. 'Uncle Jet' was ok, nothing spectacular. The story itself is interesting, it's about a guy who goes to france and sends letters to his girl friend but she doesn't get the letters since somebody steals the letters from her mailbox because they like the stamps. Anyways, 99 missing letters and 1 year later, she finally gets a letter from him... what happens next you'll have to watch the movie and find out :)

Reviewed by: Yellow Hammer
Date: 05/10/2001

This very romantic movie was released in HK just in time for Valentine's Day.

Lok To (Michelle Reis) has an apartment buiding that she rents out to long time penpal Chanty (William So), a newly graduated architect. Uncle Seven (actually Uncle Jet in the DVD) (Francis Ng), who is a wannabe detective, also moves in with his nephew Chanty. Both Uncle Jet and Chanty are from a Hakka village in Yuen Long, lots of Hakka is spoken in the movie. Uncle Seven is an extremely nice guy, the kind of guy you cheer for in a movie, and wants to help Lok To reunite with her first love Gala (Conroy Chan). He indirectly does this by opening up a bakery shop that specializes in white bread (hence the Chinese name of the movie, which literally translates to 'Love White Bread'. However, Gala already has a girlfriend Ching Wai (Stephanie Che). During this time, Uncle Seven falls in love with Lok To as well.

A very well-written movie that plays out very well. Francis Ng as Uncle Jet once again shows his wide range of ability in a very well-acted role. Surprisingly the movie did not do all that well at the box office. Great movie for watching with a female.

Reviewed by: GenXcops_Jack
Date: 05/02/2001
Summary: not bad, could of been better

thats all i really have to say. not too spectacular or memorable. thats it.

Reviewed by: David Harris
Date: 04/19/2001

It's always nice to see an actor try (and succeed) in roles that the public isn't used to seeing them in and in this film Francis Ng proves once and for all I think that he is capable of playing more than just bad guys!

His is perhaps the best performance in the film although William So and Michelle Reis are also worth watching (So particularly). I'm a sucker for a romantic movie and so I enjoyed this a lot.

If you loved things like "Fly Me To Polaris" you'll like this. It isn't quite a truly great film but is certainly great fun - worth a watch.

Reviewed by: trenty
Date: 04/13/2001
Summary: Familiar plot but well done.

"Bakery Amour" made me thinks of previous romance attempts on big screen due to the same old love triangle plot involved. However, the result is still convincing to the audience.

We were introduced to a pair of old time pan-pal Chanty (William So) and Lok To (Michelle Reis). Chanty rented a space above Lot To but then later we realized that Uncle Chat (Francis Ng) moved in with him too. Surprisingly, Uncle Chat found out there were 99 letters in his nephew's closet. After reading all letters, Uncle Chat realized that they were from Gala (Convoy Chan) to Lok To. Due to the fact that Lok To worked at a bakery store across the street long ago, Uncle Chat planned to buy that bakery in order to reunite Lok To and Gala when Gala comes back from France. However, when Uncle Chat finally sees Gala, he realized that his plan isn't as well as he planned because he fell in love with Lok To.

Although the plot looks simple and easy to understand what is going on but there is a mislead of focusing in between. When we first introduced into the story, we were standing at the viewpoint of Uncle Chat. However, when we reached the second half, the focus of character changed to Gala's side. As a result, it was not attractive at all and it reflected a slump by the director.

As to the performances, Francis Ng had his leading role in this movie as a villager who now lives in the city. His character here obviously changed from his previous movies as a gangster look. Also, his naive but warm-hearted character did deliver a good performance to the plot and the audience. Besides Francis Ng attempts to his new-look character role, however, other actors/actresses were at their average performances. Yet, another role by Michelle as the lead actress was great but her performance still not good enough to deliver a better character in the movie.

To conclude, although there is a slump involved in the direction but the overall story did recovered. Besides that, the movie is an enjoyable one and a good one for your romance collection.

Reviewed by: Paul Fonoroff
Date: 03/07/2001

Hong Kong's middle class lovebirds would seldom consider going on a date to a movie with a Cantonese accent, preferring Gwyneth and Ben or Julia and Hugh to the local crop of stars. Bakery Amour attempts to fill the void, a rare Chinese film made specifically for Valentine's Day. The results are not unlike the white bread baked by the protagonists, mildly tasty and slightly bland but with a certain freshness.

The team of director Steven Lo Kit-sing and producer/screenwriter Canny Leung Chi-san have created a confection that, in the "best" Hollywood tradition, too neatly ties up all the loose ends of a tangled romance. The novelty is less in the story than in the casting and setting. Francis Ng, who has become typecast in eccentric punk roles, reveals an innocence and sense of humour that have been largely absent in his more recent characterizations. As a New Territories villager now living in the big city with his architect nephew (the always likable William So Wing-hong), Ng is neither a naive hick nor a sophisticated slicker but a down-to-earth fellow with an innate sense of justice and romance. In customary big screen fashion, he opens a bakery in order to reunite a neighbour (Michelle Reis) with her ex-boyfriend (Conroy Chan). In the process he falls for the beauty himself, with a predictable happy ending.

One of the more interesting scenes takes place in Ng's home village, where a traditional birthday celebration is held for his mother (Law Lan, in an atypical non-ghostly role). They speak in the local dialect, though even non-linguists can tell that some of the actors are hardly proficient. No matter, for it is engaging to see a way of life too often ignored in the almost exclusively urban Hong Kong cinemascape.

Michelle Reis is beautiful, as always, but not as comfortable on camera as in Flowers of Shanghai or When I Fall in Love...With Both. A more subtle performance is provided by Stephanie Che as the "other woman," a part which the scriptwriter refreshingly rends of excessive theatrics. All parties involved in the love triangle/quadrangle possess a maturity scarce in Hong Kong love stories. The picture closes on Valentine's Day 2001, and should leave starry-eyed viewers in a contented if not particularly inspired mood.

2 1/2 Stars

This review is copyright (c) 2001 by Paul Fonoroff. All rights reserved. No part of the review may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: Paul Fox
Date: 02/19/2001
Summary: Bakery Amour Serves Up Nicely.

Bakery Amour is one of those typical Hong Kong semi-sweet love stories.  In terms of creativity it offers nothing new that the romance genre hasn't served up before, but what saves the film is the top notch performance by Francis Ng.

In recent months, Francis has moved into fresh directions with the roles he has taken.  With 'bad-guy' roles dating as far back as 'The Bride With White Hair" (1993) and beyond, it is nice to see him finally receiving his due as a leading man.  His recent adoption of more quirky and less stereotypical roles, as in the films "Clean My Name Mr. Coroner", "The Lord of Amusement" and his outstanding performance in "Juliet in Love" have proven he has what it takes to stretch beyond the role of the villain.

Bakery Amour also features good performances by the rest of the cast, but Stephanie Che's role stands out the most among the supporting characters.
The story itself is well written although it follows some of the standard love triangle plot devices.  The only bad loaf here is the fact that the about midway through the story switches focus from Uncle Chat's character to that of Gala, who is indeed far less interesting.

Lacking a larger budget the cinematography is nothing special, but some of the dialogue is spoken in traditional Hakka dialect which brought forth some amusing chuckles from the audience.  The film's music is pleasant and one need not fear being barraged with with a Canto-pop ballad at every emotional moment.

Perfectly timed for a Valentine's Day release, Bakery Amour is a welcome treat for anyone seeking refuge from the recent junk food in current Hong Kong movie houses.

Overall review rating : 3.5

Review by Paul Fox

Location:  UA Shatin
Time: Saturday 17  February   2:00pm