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Nicholas Tse
'But Always' turns romance into a syrupy mess
'But Always' turns romance into a syrupy mess

The Chinese import "But Always" is such a mawkish romantic melodrama you half expect one of its ill-fated leads to declare, "Love means never having to say you're sorry." But that would be positively profound compared with most of what passes for sentiment here. Spanning several decades in the lives of two longtime friends — from their childhood and young adulthood in Beijing to a more passionate reconnection later in New York City — the film is certainly earnest in its attempt to create a kind of lushly ardent mini-saga. Unfortunately, writer-director Snow Zou lays on the treacle — and the tragedy — with such a heavy hand it sucks all the...