Thanks for Your Love

Reviewed by YTSL

Considering the kind of filmic pedigree possessed by some prominent members of this film's cast and crew, it makes some sense that this (ostensible) romantic comedy would contain references to some of the memorable elements of "Days of Being Wild".  For example, that its star, Andy Lau, did appear in Wong Kar Wai's second as well as first directorial efforts.  And this 1996 offering's scriptwriter, Jeff Lau, not only was the producer of "Fallen Angels" but also the director of the Wong Kar Wai executive produced "The Eagle Shooting Heroes".

The fact of the latter Lau having also wrote the script of Stephen Chow's "All for the Winner" -- viewed as a "God of Gamblers" parody the way that "The Eagle Shooting Heroes" is supposedly the fun-making version of "Ashes of Time" -- as well as the comedy- and action-packed "Fong Sai Yuk" may help account for the references being featherweight in terms of their import to the plot of THANKS FOR YOUR LOVE.  On the other hand, it is really unexpected -- and disappointing -- that the dialogue and scenes involving a legless bird that has to fly, a woman named Mimi and seeks to append much symbolic prominence to a particular minute shared by a man and woman comes across as so clunky here.  And the difference in quality -- as well as style -- between the scenes of Andy Lau dancing alone in his apartment here with Leslie Cheung doing the same in "Days of Being Wild" is so huge as to become rather embarrassing (While I will admit my being generally much more partial to Leslie Cheung than Andy Lau, I honestly think that most other people will reach similar conclusions when given such direct comparisons).

If only that was the only embarrassing and disappointing portion of a work that also stars -- okay, I admit it:  I chose to watch the movie mainly because she was in it! -- Rosamund Kwan in the kind of role that requires a transformation from uptight prude to sexy woman that Chingmy Yau does ever so well (so much so that people can forget that it takes some acting talent and range to believably -- or at least charmingly -- enact; while viewing it, I must admit to comparing the not untalented Rosamund Kwan's performance unfavorably with Chingmy Yau's best actress nominee-garnering one in the actually sweet "I am Your Birthday Cake). Don't get me wrong:  Rosamund Kwan does look good (as usual!) and amuses to some extent in THANKS FOR YOUR LOVE.  There are also scenes when she almost threatened to warm the cockles of my heart.

But IMHO, neither the woman who's impressed in several Tsui Hark classics (She was in "Once Upon a Time in China" and "Swordsman II") nor Andy Lau could save a hardly high concept movie that:  Started promisingly; but then segued into way un-PC territory for about ten minutes (a woman who reacts to being touched by men -- even her fiancé -- by whacking them was kind of funny, her attempts to combat this had the potential to be intriguing, a scene in which -- following the advice of a counselor -- she gets tied up in a bid to counteract her reaction to him -- and its aftermath did make me hoot with laughter...but then came truly uncalled for jokes about non-Asian people, homosexuals and AIDs (though -- thank goodness for small mercies -- not together)...); before settling into general lameness by actually managing to be both formulaic and slipshod.  Ditto re others in the cast that included Deannie Yip (who, playing Rosamund Kwan's character's fairly amusing mother, came out best from this mess), Anita Lee and Michael To.  And while cameo appearances by Yuen King-Tan and Maria Cordero were welcome, they really didn't have enough to do more than quickly register their appearance in what must have not been that low budget a production.

N.B. Yes, this IS the same movie as that which a reviewer on Joseph Fierro's encyclopedic Hong Kong Cinema website described as "the underrated film of the year"!  And I will register my heartfelt hope that his/her comment that "this film's poor box office results is proof that Hong Kong tastes have changed" is absolutely true and that this development bodes well for the future.

My rating for the film:  4.0 (not so much because of the bits that appalled but for the large portions that left me cold)