Elixir of Love
China Hong Kong 2004
Directed by Ip Kam-Hung.


Richie Jen is a one man Bath & Body shop in imperial China, developing perfumes, soaps, and the like and testing them on a family of fishmongers (Eric Kot, Lam Suet, and Miriam Yeung) for the ultimate prize: being the one to de-scent the princess, who has reeked since birth, a sufferer of the rare Severe Atypical Reeking Syndrome (or SARS, and in the best jokes of the film, the imperial court takes anti-SARS measures very familiar to residents of Hong Kong). The utter absurdity of a love story based on trying to make the girl stink less keeps the movie entertaining, despite a less than stellar performance by Miriam Yeung. Richie Jen does his best to keep things going, though, and opines at one point, "If our love should stink, then let it reek for a million years." Still, despite their best efforts, ELIXIR OF LOVE does seem to drag out for about a half hour too long. A HK/China co-production. Similar in style, spirit, and production to CAT AND MOUSE (2003, HK) and THE LION ROARS (2002, HK). I would have added another star if it was shown in "smell-o-rama," for which this would be the perfect film. Include a little scratch and sniff card in every DVD case -- oh, yes, what a great marketing opportunity lost.

Rating: Marginally Recommended (Marginally Recommended)

Posted by Peter Nepstad on November 14, 2004.


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