Romancing in Thin Air

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Romancing in Thin Air
Romancing in Thin Air poster.jpg
Directed by Johnnie To
Written by Wai Ka-Fai
Yau Nai-Hoi
Ryker Chan
Jevons Au
Produced by Johnnie To
Wai Ka-Fai
Zhang Guoli
Shi Dongming
John Chong
Starring Louis Koo
Sammi Cheng
Cinematography Cheng Siu-Keung
Edited byDavid Richardson
Allen Leung
Music by Guy Zerafa
Distributed byMedia Asia Films
Release date
  • February 9, 2012 (2012-02-09)
Running time
111 minutes
CountriesHong Kong
LanguagesMandarin, Cantonese

Romancing in Thin Air (高海拔之戀 II; lit. "High-Altitude Romance II") is a 2012 Hong Kong-Chinese contemporary romantic drama film directed by Johnnie To, and starring Louis Koo and Sammi Cheng. [1] [2]



While onstage to receive an acting award, Hong Kong screen god Michael Lau (Louis Koo) proposes to his mainland co-star, Ding Yuanyuan (Gao Yuanyuan). At the paparazzi-packed wedding reception, however, the bride runs away with her first love, coal miner Zhang Xing (Wang Baoqiang).

Michael goes on an alcoholic bender, and has the unlikely coincidence of tumbling into the back of a truck bound for Shangri-La County, in northwest Yunnan province, China. At Deep Woods Hotel, a ranch-style guesthouse 3,800 metres up in the mountains, the lovelorn Michael falls seriously ill with altitude sickness and is nursed back to health by owner Sue (Sammi Cheng) and the local doctor (Tien Niu).

Sue was a onetime art student from Hong Kong who worked there while studying in China and fell for the place and its owner, Yang Xiaotian (Li Guangjie). Seven years ago, Xiaotian went into the vast forest surrounding the guesthouse to rescue a young boy and never returned. Hoping he is still alive, Sue continues to run the place with two assistants.

Michael sobers up and discovers that Sue was an early member years ago of his international fan club. A flashback reveals a parallel romance in which Michael was instrumental in bringing Tian and Sue together. The two bond. Meanwhile, Michael's manager, Barbara (Huang Yi), is still anxiously trying to trace him. And one day, a raggedy rucksack belonging to Xiaotian is found in the forest, and Sue's hopes rise that her husband is still alive. [3]



Maggie Lee of Variety wrote: "A superstar and his erstwhile fan develop a high-concept romance when thrown together in an inn two-and-a-half miles above sea level in Johnnie To's gorgeous-looking escapist [melodrama]". Lee compared it to his previous film "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" calling it "still overwrought but less calculated than the earlier effort" saying it would likely appeal to Valentine's day audiences but not to To's action or arthouse fans. [2]

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  1. Marsh, James (31 January 2012). "Review: ROMANCING IN THIN AIR marks a welcome return for Sammi Cheng". Twitch Film . Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  2. 1 2 Lee, Maggie (9 February 2012). "Review: Romancing in Thin Air". Variety . Retrieved 2021-01-01.
  3. Elley, Derek (23 March 2012). "Romancing in Thin Air". Film Business Asia. Retrieved 2013-07-03.