Yesterday You Yesterday
This peculiar title makes little sense to me,
but it certainly is not as strange as the literal Chinese title “Remember
... Banana Ripe Time III Falling For You”. Just wanted to get that
title in this review somewhere!
I can’t say I am particularly enthusiastic
about this film. It is harmless enough yuppie fluff - but it is enclosed
in a narrative form that attempts to give it more weight than it really
has. It is a typical coming of age comedy/drama in which the protagonist
only wants to chase after girls, but eventually learns some lessons about
life and about himself.
We have seen it all before and this UFO film
felt very derivative of the American TV show - The Wonder Years. It has
the same whimsical mood and it is structured in the same way – in which
an older inner voice is always present to give a different perspective
to what is actually being said or done. Lau Ching-Wan narrates the older
Most of the actors are completely unknown to
me, but were probably the best thing about this film – very natural, very
charming and very attractive. The script though had nothing new to say.
John Tang goes off to University where studies
are initially the last thing on his mind. His girlfriend has gone to Canada
to study and so the decks are all clear. He finds University to be a very
easy place to meet girls and he is soon doing quite well. He unfortunately
has to share his dorm quarters with a roommate who spends most of his time
pleasuring himself (on the top bunk bed!), but eventually moves on to a
blow up doll. Ok whatever.
One day an older journalist student interviews
John on the street and he is fascinated by her worldly sophisticated ways.
Yeung Ching is quite a beauty and I was a bit taken with her as well. The
film then focuses on their relationship over the next few years as he attempts
to move it from friendship to something more meaningful. The film
follows this progression or the lack of it in a very casual manner and
there is no real focus to the story. It just glides from one scene to another
and the years skip by. As interesting as Yeung appears to be, the film
never really paints a picture of her beyond this mysterious care free spirit.
I found myself getting increasingly impatient
as the film went on and nothing really ever happens. That’s probably what
the director was intending this to be – a slice of life film with few if
any dramatics beyond what all of us come across in our lives - but I was
completely uninterested in what happens to these characters.
Now what I think I may be missing in terms of
enjoying this film is that it is apparently the third film in a series
– the other two being Yesteryou, Yesterme, Yesterday (1993) and Over the
Rainbow Under the Skirt (1994) both with Tang in them. Perhaps having followed
John growing up in these earlier films, it would have made this feel a
bit more meaningful.
Eric Tsang gives his usual (as of late) terrific
supporting performance as John’s father.