“Love in Space” offers a Chinese take on a Hollywood-style multi-strand film, easily clearing the low bar of something like “Valentine’s Day.” Though it doesn’t exactly have pretensions toward the rhythms of real life, the film does nail the breezy movie feeling of a buffed-and-polished romantic comedy.
The story, directed by Wing Shya and Tony Chan, follows three sisters and their mother through various romantic complications — Mom’s a lonely widow, one sister is a film star recently voted worst actress, another is a germ freak falling for a garbage man and yet another is an astronaut alone on a space station with the guy she has a crush on.
The filmmakers’ wit and bravado is on display from the very start of the film, when they use “The Blue Danube” not for the graceful irony of “2001: A Space Odyssey” but rather for an actual look of longing and love from one person to another, albeit as they float gently about a spaceship.
Circumstances on Earth find the suitors of two of the sisters declaring their love via television broadcast (it makes sense within the story, honest). Having become tongue-tied and beginning to ramble, one is cut short by a broadcaster who admonishes, “Keep it simple.”
Even with all its complications, audiences can certainly understand that this Chinese faux-Garry Marshall film manages to hit the connection point of sweet and ridiculous, heart-felt and high-concept that so many Hollywood rom-coms fail to translate.
“Love in Space.” No MPAA rating. Running time: 1 hour, 43 minutes. At the AMC Atlantic Times Square 14, Monterey Park; AMC Puente Hills 20, City of Industry; AMC Santa Anita 16, Arcadia.