This relatively obscure 1995 Cheung Man production
starring a very unstylish (at times) Lau Ching-wan and a very sleek Cheung
Man turned out to be a fairly amusing tongue in cheek romantic comedy.
Though the action taking place on the screen often veers between farce
and parody, the actors play it completely straight up which adds to the
absurdity and humor of it all. The film takes turns poking fun at a number
of subjects from Japanese soaps to male bonding films.
During his acting career, Lau Ching-wan has
gone through a number of image changes and has looked very different from
time to time – whether it be his recent more elegant appearance, to his
often rumpled everyman look, to the menacingly bald specter of The Longest
Nite – but rarely has he sported a style as unattractive and downright
goofy looking as he does here. It’s amazing what a hair-do (or hopefully
in this case a wig) can do to make someone look better or in this case
so much worse. This wig – which appears to be pilfered from a French peasant
leading some Marquis to the guillotine during the French Revolution
– simply envelops him like an alien infestation. I suppose one should applaud
an actor for being willing to look so ridiculous, but it’s hard for the
viewer to concentrate on anything but Lau’s hairpiece. Fortunately, about
one third of the way through the film he undergoes a style change.
In the meantime of course we do have Cheung Man
to stare at. I’ve always appreciated her cool icy distant beauty but I
have never really warmed up to her as an actress. Her lively, long thick
eyebrows that seemingly ride herd over her lovely cheekbones, deep set
eyes and slightly cruel mouth are always worth keeping track of in a film
– but one never senses that she ever really gives herself to a role. She
is an interesting and unusual female in the HK film scene. At one time
she was Stephen Chow’s favorite leading lady until they had a falling out
and apparently her curt manner has put off a number of other people as
well. She is one of the few HK actresses that I can think of though that
has attempted (without great success) to push her way into the nearly male
preserve of producing and directing.
Lau Ching-wan and his friend Lawrence Cheng are
garage mechanic slacker types – but Lau has a hidden genius for engineering.
All it takes is Cheung Man and a broken heart to bring it out. He accidentally
meets her and is immediately smitten and tries to court her by growing
a field of roses. Her wealthy parents though move away and Lau can’t locate
her. So he becomes amazingly rich by developing a new type of car engine,
changes his hair style, buys some new suits and tries to track her down.
When he does though, she is married to the very sleazy Michael Wong. Wong
is clearly up to no good – but it seems as if Lau perhaps will only be
able to find love in dreams provided by a magician.
None of this sounds particularly funny I must
admit – but the film is constantly full of sight gags, parodies, pratfalls
and so forth – and the cast manages to keep a straight face throughout.
This film is far from fall down funny – but I found it consistently amusing
My rating for this film: 7.0
Distributor - Mei Ah
The transfer is fine and the colors are excellent.
As far as additions go? Nada, zip, the big
goose egg - Mei Ah doesn't even bother with a menu!
Subs - Burnt on English and Chinese
I had no problem in reading the subs