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2 Young - Movie Poster
Original Title:
Jo sok

Hong Kong 2005

Drama, Romance

Derek Yee

Fiona Sit
Jaycee Fong
Anthony Wong
Eric Tsang
Candice Yu
Teresa Mo
Hiu Siu-Hung
David Chiang
Lam Suet

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2 Young

Story: Fu (Jaycee Fong) is interested in the 16-year-old Nam (Fiona Sit). Everyday he waits in front of her school, an exclusive expensive girls' school, to see her, but never has the courage to approach her. One day Nam invites him to a school-party, where a lot of things go wrong: Fu isn't actually allowed to turn up, but he eventually manages to flee.
From now on, Fu and Nam meet frequently. Nam is a spoilt girl, who is very rarely allowed to go out. But at the moment her father (Anthony Wong), a famous lawyer, is on a business trip with her mother (Candice Yu). Enough time for Nam to get to know real life.
Fu, being from poor circumstances, shows his new girlfriend a whole new world. But the two adolescents are very careless. Nam gets pregnant…
This news also gets through to Fu's minibus-driving father (Eric Tsang), and his mother (Teresa Mo). They want to reach an agreement with Nam's family somehow, but Nam's father is furious.
The two lovers don't see another way out and run away from home. With their friends' help, they live in an old and deserted house in the country. They are ready to get the baby and to provide for it, so Fu starts to look for a job. But he has to realize that he has bad prospects to get a job without a certificate or any training at all. For the two adolescents, the serious, merciless part of life is about to begin…

Review: "2 Young" somehow arouses the unpleasant feeling that you have already seen this story in one way or the other. Yet, director Derek Yee manages it once again to supply even such an uninventive story with the exact amount of authenticity and honesty needed to make the movie work and to support the movie's message in a reliable way. The reason why this works so well is the way Yee, once more, gives proof to his incredible eye for the casting. Yes, the two leading actors are pop stars, but it is really hard to find two young actors in Hong Kong these days, which are not already pop stars at the same time. Astonishingly enough they do their job pretty good, nevertheless, the real stars of the movie are the supporting actors, namely Anthony Wong and Eric Tsang. But more about them later on.

2 Young - Film Screenshot 11

With Fiona Sit a new Cantopop-Star is born. Even a good-looking one, the term "cute" may be the most fitting, what that matters. No wonder, that it didn't take long for her to get the leading role in a movie. "2 Young" is her debut and, on top of that, even a very good one. If she keeps choosing her roles this way, she will be more than just the never ceasing, bugging appearance of a popstar, like the Twins are, in the latest HK-Blockbuster. Nam is a young, spoilt girl, who grew up well sheltered in her rich parents' house and who always had to follow her fathers will. She has no real friends and she is the living proof for the fact that money alone doesn't make happy. But that doesn't make her want to depressively pack everything down. On the contrary, she is a very fun-loving, positive-thinking person. Once in a while she rebels against her parents, respectively her father and she regains her strength within her aunt's and uncle's support. But when she finally gets pregnant, there is of course a serious argument with her father and she doesn't find another way out but to run away from home.

It's amazing, that from now on the rich girl of all people has to make sure, that the money Fu earns isn't flung away. She seems to be able to put up with her sudden poverty. Sometimes Nam as well as Fu leave the impression that they only pretend to live a real life, but in fact they make every effort to built up a good home for their baby.

2 Young - Film Screenshot 12

Jaycee Fong, also known as Jaycee Chan is a musician and furthermore no one else but the son of international action star Jackie Chan. His debut in "Twins Effect 2" was, to put it mildly, somewhat disappointing, but now he proves, that he could really have a future in this business. As the son of a simple labor-family, his father only wants him to have a good graduation. But Fu prefers to play soccer with his friends and is too lazy to learn for school. But as he meets Nam and she gets pregnant, he is willing to accept his responsibilities in life. He wants to go to work and care for his girlfriend and their child, but that's not as easy as it seems. He has to put up with horrible working conditions, a lousy pay and even gangsters. In the end, he doesn't keep any of the jobs very long and he has to realize, that real life is not that simple.

Derek Yee ("Lost in Time", "One Nite in Mongkok"), as already mentioned, doesn't create something new with this story, but with the simplicity he uses to portray the two adolescents' lives, the movie has a believable, thrilling and sometimes even touching effect. The two leading actors really do grow. At some point, they have to realize, that in fact there is really not much they can talk about with each other, but nevertheless they are bound by an honest love, even if it only seems to be strengthened by their child. Life is really hard and the two of them have to find out about it in every aspect. Even if they truly want to accept responsibility for themselves, they're still too naive and simple-minded and do not have enough life-experience to be successful with what they do. The argument with Nam's parents is also very believable and Yee deals with the interesting subject that especially when parents try to smooth the way for their children, so that their future will be better than their own, children feel patronized, rebel and choose an entirely different path. Nobody seems to be perfect in this story and that's what makes the movie so close to reality.

2 Young - Film Screenshot 13

The last time Anthony Wong and Eric Tsang stood in front of the camera was in "Infernal Affairs 2", where they showed ill will towards each other. This feud gets a continuation in this movie, even though on an entirely different level. Wong fascinates as a well-known lawyer, who's almost horrifying in his severity and with his solemn face. Wong's acting-intensity always keeps fascinating me, because even if you always recognize him due to his extraordinary look, every single time you think you have an entirely different person in front of you. Eric Tsang convinces as the loving father, who though having to drag his son over the coals a lot of times, is quite funky and has also an emotional touch to him. Together with his wife, played by Teresa Mo, he brings up a joyful, loving family. Furthermore, the supporting roles offer a lot of additional well-known faces to marvel at, like Hiu Siu-Hung, Candice Yu, Lam Suet or Shaw-Brothers Star David Chiang. They all got one thing in common with the leading roles. At any time, they are as believable as real life.

"2 Young" gets a bit tacky and predictable with its court-scene at the end. Needless to say that you have to find out that Nam's father isn't a bad person in the end. Sadly, some of the dialogues seem a bit hackneyed, but in particular the scenes beforehand, for instance the one where Nam starts talking with her yet unborn child about her doubts, entail some kind of strong magic. It's as usually. Yee takes average ingredients and creates an incredible tasty dish. With him as a director, the TV-Drama-Story doesn't seem as bad as it could have become, and good actors make the movie even work on a dramatic level. All in all, it's really worth a recommendation.

(Author: Manfred Selzer)
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