At the start of the music movie (as TVB calls it), we see San / Kelly (Kate Tsui) in a wedding dress.
Thank you for helping me remember a memory I should not forget.
I’m only an ordinary woman. I just want a simple, normal relationship. Why does God play such a big joke on me?
If our memory is lost, does love still exist?
We find out that San was in a car accident.
Fast forward to the present (3 years later), she struggles to get out of bed while her fiancée John (Chris Wang) is downstairs preparing breakfast for her.
[Her ringtone is funny – it has John repeating saying “Marry me” in English, Mandarin and Cantonese.]
She finally wakes up and he reminds her if she doesn’t get out of bed now, she’ll be late for work. She rushes downstairs and sweetly hugs John from the back.
Kelly: Why do you have to propose to me everyday?
John: I’m afraid that… my little baby whom I picked up from the side of the street… if she regains her memory she won’t care about me anymore. So pitiful, no one will want me.
Kelly: You’re the one who saved me. Because of me, you can’t ride your favourite motorcycle anymore. So you are the only person I will marry.
She rushes out the door as she’s running late for work. John tries to run out to remind her they have to go to the bridal shop later that day for gown fitting. We see that John can’t walk properly (I’m guessing it’s due to the accident he now has a disability?)
John: I’ve never thought about getting married, until I met her.
Kelly works as a tour guide. Her job for the day is to meet someone at the train station and take them to their hotel. That person is Lee Ji Ho (James Wen). He’s shocked when he sees Kelly. She welcomes him to Kuala Lumpur like any other client, but when she holds out her hand for a handshake, he immediately hugs her.
San, I’ve searched for you for three years. Do you know how I’ve spent the last three years?
Since Kelly (San) has lost her memories, she has no idea what he’s talking about and tries to divert the focus to their itinerary for the day. They arrive at the hotel and Kelly explains the facilities etc. Ji Ho thought since they haven’t seen each other for a long time, as least they can have dinner together. But Kelly is completely feeling the awkwardness, saying she’s busy and leaves.
That night, Kelly arrives at the bridal shop where John is already waiting for her. As she’s trying on the dress, she can suddenly hear someone say,
If you want to get married, we’ll get married. OK?
As long as you’re happy, nothing else matters.
She thought John was talking to her. But he wasn’t saying anything. Those words and other fragments of her memories start coming back. She faints.
At the hospital, the doctor tells them there’s nothing wrong with Kelly. She fainted because her blood sugar was too low. But he mentions there’s something which might be triggering the damaged part of her brain, so she may regain her memories. (Really, the technical details are not important here? The way the doctor explains it doesn’t make much sense. LOL)
John asks Kelly if she remembers someone she loved from her past, will she still marry him? She simply replied, “I’ve already chosen you. It wouldn’t change.”
The next day, Kelly meets Ji Ho. He heard about her fainting and is worried about her. He comments that her health has never been that well and she should drink less coffee. But she replies she never drinks coffee. She asks him where he wants to go, and he suggests he become the tour guide for the day.
As he drives her around, Kelly asks him where they’re going and makes the comment that she’s tour guide, not a tour companion. He’s puzzled again, saying it’s already been three years, can she stop being mad at him?
(Can we pause for a moment here and wonder why Kelly couldn’t connect the dots and figure out he’s someone from her past? He keeps mentioning the “3 years ago” thing, does that ring a bell?)
She asks him whether “San” Is his ex-girlfriend? He finds this conversation unbelievable, but tells her anyway, their story.
In my life, she’s the one I love the most. But I’ve also hurt her the most.
She’s an optimistic person, full of positive energy. We always have something to say to each other. She’s a children’s story writer and a great storyteller. Everytime I feel down, San will always tell me lots of stories to encourage me.
He was in debt at the time and was hiding in different places. San was always with him by his side. The train station was like a home for them. With no money and no future, San paid for their living expenses which made him feel useless. So the better she treated him, the more he pushed her away. When her story books sold really well and she used the money to pay off some of his debts, he got angry at her. San held out a wedding ring but didn’t say anything, while he got even angrier exclaiming he didn’t even know where he will be tomorrow, so how can he marry her? What kind of a man is he if she has to buy the wedding ring?
[End of Flashback]
Kelly sheds a tear as she listens to their story. He asks her – you’re San, right? But Kelly looks away avoiding the question, it must be impossible because she has no memory of it.
Kelly drives home, thinking about what Ji Ho said. She’s upset while Chris tries to comfort her. When Chris asks her what’s wrong, she just brushes it off and said she’s probably hungry.
Ji Ho calls Kelly to the train station. She doesn’t want to hear any more of his love story because she’s getting married soon. But Ji Ho pleads for her to stay, just for a while. He tries hard again to get her to remember. Three years ago, at this station he waited to propose to her but she never appeared.
In two days, he’s going to Argentina for the next five years for work. He has been working hard for the past few years because of her. He asks her whether she’s willing to be with him again. Kelly just keeps repeating she is about to be married and doesn’t remember. She is growing ever more confused and leaves.
[ Another Flashback]
Ji Ho didn’t find her by coincidence. A friend had been helping him to look for San and he told her someone looks a lot like her. So he deliberately asked her to be his tour guide.
[End of Flashback]
As Kelly is driving, she loses concentration and a car crashes into hers. As the car crashes, she remembers everything she had with Ji Ho.
Why does God have to play such a joke on me?
At the hospital, John tells her she was unconscious for two days. Kelly cries and asks John what she should do. He immediately knows she remembers everything. He tells her Ji Ho dropped by but he’s leaving KL by train in half an hour’s time. So Kelly decides to go and see him.
(OK She just had a pretty serious car accident and she can walk out of the hospital like that? Shouldn’t John at least drive her there?!)
Kelly: Why didn’t you propose to me today?
John: I’ll do it when you come back.
Kelly: You must wait for me.
John: Of course I’ll wait. I’ll wait whether you come back or not. Didn’t I say – I’ll wait for you for the rest of your life? Did you forget?
Kelly: I also said – You’re the only person I will marry. Don’t forget.
Kelly runs towards the train station – while her memories with both men flashes across her mind. (Melodramatic music! Slow motion running! She looks rather awkward there! She’s wearing silver shoes?) We see the train door closes, while Kelly cries as the train leaves since she thought she missed Ji Ho.
Lee Ji Ho, I didn’t break our promise! I came to find you! I only want to tell you I wasn’t angry. I won’t force you to get married. I won’t force you to do anything you don’t want! I only want to be with you!
(Sorry, I try not to insert too much commentary in recaps but anyone who has watched any dramas / movies would know he hasn’t actually left right HAHAHA.)
She turns around and Ji Ho was standing there. She runs to hug him. She tells him she remembers everything and asks him what she should do.
John is a good man. I made lots of broken promises in the past. Now I’m leaving. There’s somewhere I promised to take you. Are you willing to go there with me?
(I think it’s a closed theme park or some sort…) He took her there because she once said she loved the city lights, that way, she will never feel darkness.
They sit on the carousel. Nothing is said between them but through their voice overs, we hear that Ji Ho lets go of San, wishing her happiness with John while San/Kelly, also wishes he can continue living happily.
Kelly / San voiceover: In this life, it’s hard enough to find someone you love. And me… I found two. If I had to choose, I would choose to give up. In a love triangle, I don’t know how to continue. I can only leave.
We go back to the beginning where you can see a bride and two grooms. They all say “I do” but Ji Ho is the one who says “I do / I’m willing to wish you happiness” as he walks away.
Thank you for helping me remember a memory I should not forget.
To get in the mood of this music movie, you really have to listen to the theme song of this story, Unforgettable (愛莫忘) by Joyce Cheng. I think the song really suits the tragic mood – makes me rather emo listening to it.
The ratings for this was 18 points, which I guess was okay since it was on a Sunday and it’s nearing Chinese New Year. I’m so glad no one was dubbed in this, Kate speaks Cantonese while James and Chris speak Mandarin. Is that weird? Not really? Since I expect each actor to speak their own language? If their mouths are moving but it’s a language I wasn’t expecting, that’s even more weird. There’re a few lines here and there where Kate speaks Mandarin while James/Chris speak Cantonese, but that just makes it more endearing LOL. (Oh yeah, I do give brownie points for Mandarin speaking actors who try to speak Canto in their cute accent HAHAHA.)
For a short story (running time was only 44 minutes, no ads?) this was done pretty well. Although if they’re shooting this in another country, they should try to add more about KL into the story (besides the “Hey, we’re at the Petronas Twin Towers!” shot and they’re eating Bak Kut Teh! just for the sake of it.) But I can’t complain really, I liked this a lot for what it is and definitely wished it was longer! Would’ve been perfect if TVB could make this one like “Seasons of Love” last year, where they had 4 stories each lasting 5 episodes? At least that would give them more time for development.
For the record, I probably lean towards Kate/James more than Kate/Chris BUT then both couples had potential. Maybe it’s because the Kate/James scenes were concentrated towards the end so that’s what I remembered when I finished watching?
One of the main attractions of A Time of Love was the mix of HK actors with those from other countries. The Chris/Kate/James trio is a new, refreshing collaboration and I hope now that we’ve opened the door, there will be more opportunities for TVB to make these multi-national (?! lol sounds funny) productions in the future. I totally don’t mind this Canto/Mando mix thing HAHAHA.
Next week’s story is at Singapore with Charmaine Sheh and Kenneth Ma. Looking forward to see it!