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The Leap Years 2008
Description: Li-ann, a dreamer, is a powerful believer of the soul friend theory and rejects all men, especially her greatest mate KS, till she falls in love with Jeremy, at first sight. They tour Chinatown, Singapore, together on February 29 1980. Unfortunately, she is heartbroken when he says her he is engaged. He decides to create up to her by meeting her same time, same place, each leap year. Their love spans twenty years, as they realize the pain of love until they take the leap of faith...and the leap of love...
Released: 29 Feb 2008 Director: Jean Yeo Writers: Alain Layrac, Catherine Lim (novel), Fina Torres, George Walker Torres Actors: Jason Chan, Joan Chen, Ananda Everingham, Nadya Hutagalung Genres: Romance
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The Leap Years Reviews:

The Leap Years, aka Leap of Love, was a long process in the making. Having tracked this film for a number of years now, it is going to create its debut this year premiering exactly on Feb 29 no less. While there were the usual production woes, I thought that this was one of those projects that remain in development hell, and given the overlong trailers being played in the cinemas - I didn't time it, but it was more than 3 mins long - I thought it would be one of those that would sink instantly upon release, despite having international flavour with the casting of Joan Chen and Ananda Everingham. Well, the nice news is the Singapore's first English language romance film passes the litmus test.Based on the novella by Catherine Lim, The Leap Years says 2 stories in parallel, but both centered on Li-Ann and her mates through a period of 16 years (4 leap years in total), consisting almost each boy-finds-girl-loves-loses-etc plot mission you can think of. And for the most parts, it was almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy of a fortune teller's tip to Li- Ann on her love being one like the wind, which delivered yet other set of clichés like Windows Cafe, mini toy windmills, and moments where long hair gets swept away like Bollywood movies.Li-Ann now had three actresses portraying her. The first is Beatrice Chia, who only provides the narration. The second, Wong Li-lin as Li-Ann in her 20s-30s, and Joan Chen testing the same character, actually much older. Chen had only a bit role though, which probably didn't challenge her in the acting department, and the short storyline is about her trying to search some reconciliatory factors with her teenage daughter, and you realize that she probably missed the type of close-knit mother-daughter relationship that she had when younger, and trying very difficult to replicate.Wong Li-lin anchors the whole film with her heartfelt portrayal of Li-Ann. Forget about her dismal large screen debut in the horrid German film which had her almost sleepwalking through it like a zombie. This one showed what she can do, without succumbing to acting pretty unnecessarily. Her Li-Ann has never dated and has been holding out for someone special, and possibilities upon Ananda's Jeremy at an al fresco cafe one day. So the usual minigames folks enjoy begins, with her putting some Irish 29th Feb tradition to the test, and he plays along, towards the target of setting up a blind date.Naturally not everything is as rosy as it seems, since the minigames ended after a magical outing together, with their pledge of meeting at the same zone at the same time, each leap year on her birthday. Cliché lines receive thrown about, like the frequently used one about better to have loved and lost than to never had loved at all, but the key theme here is about patience. If you deem him or her special, it's well worth the wait, isn't it? Only fools rush in, as they say. So do expect lines being spouted explicitly which might create you cringe a little, or implicitly suggests something that you'd probably already know of, from the wise old sayings of those who have been there and done that.It's almost like a typical romantic chick flick with the whispers of sweet nothings, promises made, and the quintessential scenes of shopping and lots of clothes. The soundtrack is chock full of lovely ballads by Corrine May, and you'd probably would be enthralled by how familiar territories become quite the romantic backdrops in the movie. Familiar also applies to the helping cast, with the likes of Nadya Hutagalong and Vernetta Lopez testing nice friends, as does Qi Yu Wu as KS (Kiasi? Kiasu? Kana Sai? Anything but actually).I thought KS was a source of inspiration for those out there still carrying torches for others. It was an simple anchor mission for me to dive right into the movie, with the classical example of loving someone who obviously doesn't love you back, and there comes a mission in time where you have to wake up and realize your futile efforts. The reality of it is harsh and cruel at that mission in time, but to be able to search strength and pick yourself up, that's quite an achievement in itself.The Leap Years borrows its strength from Catherine Lim's story, and goes to present that no doubt the clichés are abound, this is something of a Singapore film to be proud of - with a mix of homegrown and international talent, and a storyline that's purely on love and romance, and not hybrids like romantic-comedies or romantic-tragedies. Love is in the air, and for gimmick's sake, I would suggest this to be watched on the 29th of Feb, and see if you purchase into that Irish folklore. I would enjoy along though... but actually to have someone create that proposal.. ha!


I would tell that The Leap Year exceeded my expectation as a local production. With very artistic camera shooting, pretty scenes, in the heart of town, along with nice casts and a easy storyline nicely written.Though I gotta tell that the present can be quite a drag, yet at the same time, there wasn't enough features to fill in the gaps, I personally search the whole film cute enjoyable and it was able to hold me looking forward to the scenes ahead.The present has a great blend of music, sung by Corrine May, lyrics and scenes matches and its very well picked and played. That is a PLUS to the show. For those who enjoys a easy love story, with artistic style in directing and a relate-able love storyline of a typical love-no love with light-hearted endings, this is a gotta watch show! This will be THE film to watch for couples, especially on the 29th of February.


I gotta preface this by telling I am a large romantic. Hence I really wanted to like this film. So I'm writing my thoughts to save the rest of you from the disappointment I felt watching it. The Leap Years says the destiny-filled tale of Li-Ann who falls for the suave Jeremy and they commit to meet each leap year. A very romantic premise, based on a nice short storyline and with a cast that doesn't feel like you're watching yet other Jack Neo flick. Then why oh why is it so bad? Firstly, I feel the filmmakers thought they were shooting a melody video, because they chose to replace storytelling and any real emotions with cheesy montages, predictable actions and clichéd lines. I am both upset and embarrassed to have been one of the first several in Singapore to watch The Leap Years, but those of us in the cinema would accept that our muffled groans at the cringe-worthy performances spoke volumes. My hope was to watch a romantic film that would surpass Forever Fever, the greatest Singaporean romantic comedy so far, and The Leap Years does not even come close. Some blogs have named it The Crap Years which is harsh but ultimately true. Don't waste your cash or your emotions like I did. The film will create you give up on love forever.



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