Reviewed by YTSL
What a cast this good-natured romantic comedy
has! Among those individuals in it that I can identify are:
Nina Li Chi, Carina Lau, Pauline Wong, Crystal Kwok, Jeanette Lin, Woo
Fung, Ray Lui, Simon Yam, Derek Yee, Leon Lai and Charlie Cho! Apart
from Ms. Lin (the actress who was the star of the 1957 Asia Film Festival
Best Picture award-winning film that this 1989 work is a remake of [See
Paul Fonoroff's "At the Hong Kong Movies", 1998:15]), we have here the
future directors of the immensely popular "C'est la Vie, Mon Cheri" and
the well respected "The Mistress", someone who has gone on to win four
HKFA Best Actress nominations, someone who is consequently got established
as one of the four Cantopop Sky Kings, at least one popular star actor,
and the woman whose current main role is that of Mrs. Jet Li.
When FOUR LOVES was made though, many of its younger
personalities were still a few short years away from major fame.
Correspondingly, some of their performances in this comedic show may come
across as being less than top notch. Also, the film -- which centers
on the romantic pairings sought and made by four young women (the daughter
of the family is played by Carina Lau, her cousins are portrayed by Pauline
Wong and Crystal Kwok, and Nina Li Chi plays someone who came to the younger
cousin's rescue in one instance and then got majorly aided in return by
her) who become sisters of a sort after the occurrence of a tragedy here
and a piece of good fortune there -- could generally strike one as not
very technically polished as well as culturally sophisticated.
However, FOUR LOVES' four main actresses more
than compensate for this by putting the amount of effort, enthusiasm and
heart that they do into their parts. Carina Lau -- as the fiery,
feisty and athletic Hsiao Chun -- and Nina Li Chi -- as Pei Ling, the nightclub
girl with the big breasts and other feminine attributes which makes her
a veritable magnet of men, including those who supposedly are the boyfriends
of another of the females -- definitely have the flashiest (and funniest)
parts. However, Pauline Wong is also good as the quiet woman nicknamed
the "Lady of Ice" by some not very nice fellows at a party where she meets
a suitor (played by a young as well as already suave-looking Simon Yam).
Interestingly, although Crystal Kwok's character starts off as a pig-tailed
schoolgirl, hers is the one that most quickly finds the love of her life
(who comes in the form of Leon Lai no less!).
As an ensemble, these four women complement one
another. They also get fine support from Jeannette Lin (as the matriarch
of the family), Woo Fung (as the affable father), Ray Liu (as Hsiao Chun's
suitor, Robert -- check out his fashion disaster outfits as well as his
fencing duel all over the house with Carina Lau!), Derek Yee (as the mannerly
widower and father of two young daughters, Mr. Ching) and those others
of the cast with smaller roles in the movie. My personal choice of
highlight sequence of FOUR LOVES would be that which involved more than
one or two of the actresses and actors: Specifically, the dance performances
which took place on Pauline Wong's character's birthday. I can easily
see though that for some viewers, it would alternatively be that in which
Nina Li Chi appears and poses in a red swimsuit that optimally shows off
her physical form!
Those looking for major sizzle might do better
to look elsewhere than FOUR LOVES though. Rather, there generally
is an innocent and old-fashioned feel to this film, that can make it seem
like it really did come from further away in time than the 11 years ago
now as I write this review (in November 2000). Unfortunately, it
also is probably the case that the days are gone in which Hong Kong movie
makers could do such as assemble this kind of quality cast for a single
non high-budget -- as well as not high concept -- movie like this one.
As such, productions like these are ones to treasure, especially for those
HK moviephiles who have come to look upon some of the now familiar faces
as almost being like family.
My rating for the film: 7.5