All U Need Is Love review: A light-hearted comedy to temper the COVID-19 disaster

Lim Yian Lu
·3 min read
Julian Cheung (left) and Louis Cheung (right) as triad leaders in All U Need Is Love. (Photo: Shaw Organisation)
Julian Cheung (left) and Louis Cheung as triad leaders in All U Need Is Love. (Photo: Shaw Organisation)

Length: 90 minutes
Director: Vincent Kok
Cast: Louis Koo, Julian Cheung, Jackie Chan, Tony Leung Ka-fai, Eric Tsang, Louis Cheung, Michael Hui, Chrissie Chau, Carlos Chan
Language: Mandarin with English and Chinese subtitles
Release info: In theatres 22 April (Singapore)

3 out of 5 stars

A Hong Kong production featuring quite a number of well-known actors, All U Need Is Love is essentially a reflection of the COVID-19 situation, but with a humorous spin to it. The story centres on Grande Hotel, which has to undergo a lockdown as it has been visited by coronavirus patients. As a result, all the hotel guests have to be quarantined for 14 days, and begin to forge bonds during this difficult period.

The most interesting element of the movie is none other than its star-studded cast. From Louis Koo to Julian Cheung, Jackie Chan, Tony Leung Ka-fai and Eric Tsang, the list seems never-ending. Even Yuen Qiu has a cameo as her best-known character Landlady from Kung Fu Hustle (2004)!

Like a double-edged sword, the problem with having that many stars in one movie is that the potential of the actors cannot be fully utilised. In fact, too many of them have a role to play, such that their screen time is very limited. It is kind of like watching a movie full of cameos.

However, given that All U Need Is Love is actually a charity project to help the Hong Kong film industry workers, who are affected by the pandemic, it is more acceptable and understandable why veteran actors like Francis Ng and Gordon Lam would be cast as coronavirus patients who only appear at the beginning of the movie.

The movie can be seen as five sub-plots loosely tied together under the premise that they all happen at Grande Hotel: the story of a couple (Luk Wing and Cecilia So) who will be getting married at the hotel; the story of the hotel manager (Carlos Chan); the story of the hotel’s boss (Michael Hui); the story of two triad leaders (Julian Cheung and Louis Cheung); and the story of two men (Tony Leung Ka-fai and Eric Tsang) who are looking for an extramarital affair.

The plot does not possess any depth, but is simply a comedic portrayal of the coronavirus prevention measures, such as implementing a lockdown, practising safe distancing, and wearing masks. The movie begins with a short-lived action scene iconic of Hong Kong films, then tones down drastically to introduce slapstick humour, a re-occurring gimmick in the rest of the movie.

To sum it up, you can catch many well-known Hong Kong actors in All U Need Is Love, but don’t hold any expectations for its plot. After all, it is merely a charity project. Stay for the credits roll though, which shows some behind-the-scenes with the theme song If Love Is In Your Heart, sung by famous Hong Kong singers including Jacky Cheung, Andy Lau, Hacken Lee and Joey Yung, and even Cantopop band Grasshopper. Here's the music video of the song:

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