I’m a tough guy. I eat nails for breakfast. But goddamnit am I a sucker for a good, quirky love story. In Anthony Ng’s “212”, we witness the lives of several New Yorkers as they struggle through their loneliness, pining away for someone to share their lives with.
Enter Seth and Viv, two lonely souls who meet and shyly flirt with one another in a laundromat. When they finally get the nerve to set up a date with each other, Seth blows it due to a busted watch. Later, Seth pleads his broken watch case to Viv even though she doesn’t want to have anything to do with it. She wants to toy with him a bit first before accepting his apology, and she does so by telling him that she’s leaving for Europe, but she says that she may stay in touch. A couple of days later, Seth starts receiving audio tapes in the mail. The tapes contain Viv’s tales from Europe. Seth becomes addicted to her recordings and falls in love with this girl who he thinks is traveling across Europe, but is actually making these recordings at home, in New York.
Meet Vincent and Lana, a couple living as strangers. Vincent tries his best to get close to his live-in girlfriend, but finds his attempts futile as she’s too busy gabbing on her cel phone…possibly to a new love interest.
And then there’s Antonio and Ama. Ama is still wading in depression due to a recent break-up, reading a self-help book as she works at a photocopy shop. Antonio is the Mr. Fixit who comes in and repairs the broken down copiers. There’s a language barrier between the two, as Antonio really doesn’t speak any English, but that doesn’t stop an interest growing between the two late night workers. Ama becomes more and more fascinated with Antonio and his infrequent trips to the copy shop to fix the occasional copier just isn’t enough for her, so she decides to break a few things in order to try and get to know him better.
The lives of these characters intertwine as they attempt to get their love lives in order, making for one very entertaining, and even soothing, romantic comedy.