Everyday is Valentine
Fully expecting a bloated and smaltzy romantic
tale due to the title, cast and cover photo, I found myself pleasantly
surprised by the often comic and off beat tone of this film. At times it
feels like it is headed into potential maudlin territory but then it pulls
itself back with a lovely moment of ludicrous quirkiness. Then after watching
it, I realized that this effort was directed, produced and written by Wong
Jing – and I was just as surprised that the film hadn’t really wandered
into the Wong Jing world of toilet humor and scantily clad women. Instead,
it finds itself sort of straddling the stylistic worlds of Wong Jing and
Jingle Ma – not really willing to let itself completely go – but also unable
to maintain that smooth, glossy Jingle Ma feel with any seriousness. This
apparent indecisive approach makes the film less than successful in some
respects – and yet I quite enjoyed sections of the movie and found it reasonably
There is something about this that reminded me
of a Stephen Chow film - it has certain aspects of his brand of mou-lei-tau
comedy buried within and I could easily have seen Chow playing the main
male protagonist. Unfortunately, it was instead Leon Lai playing this character.
Not that Leon is bad mind you – he is just Leon. I have seen a few comments
opining that this is one of Leon’s best performances, but to me Leon’s
acting is always the same – it is just the role that changes. In some instances
his minimalist method of acting plays well while in other instances it
looks awkward and out of place. Whether he is an Internet guru (Sausalito),
a triad killer (A Hero Never Dies), a lonely immigrant (Comrades: Almost
a Love Story) or a high-tech thief (Skyline Cruisers) he plays the character
pretty much the same. Sometimes it works (Comrades, A Hero) sometimes it
doesn’t (Sausalito, Skyline). Here his character – OK – is a smooth talking,
glib, manipulative yuppie who is renown for his ability to lie. Chow could
have eaten this role up, but though Leon looks a bit uncomfortable at times,
he does bring a boyish, puppy charm that plays well and makes his character
He is the sort of guy who will lie on almost every
occasion – and it makes him a perfect real estate salesman. He can lie
quickly and imaginatively under any circumstances. So when his long time
girlfriend, Kristy Yeung, gives him the heave-ho with his friends watching
– he secretly picks up a slice of lime, squirts it in her eye and then
writes out a check to pay her back for some money he borrowed. To his friends
of course it appears as if he broke up with her, she is crying and he gave
her a check as a break-up gift! Kind of sleazy, but you sort of wish you
could think as fast as that.
He soon runs into Cecilia Cheung who is . . .
well . . . Wonderful. Literally. This is her name (both Leon’s and hers
are not English translations from Chinese – OK and Wonderful are really
their names) and her character is in fact pretty damn close to wonderful.
This is the most I have liked Cecilia since Fly Me to Polaris - her character
is very sweet and innocent – so innocent that she has yet to biologically
reach puberty! The fact that she is so wonderful is especially amazing
if you consider her parents – Ng Man Tat (in a role that also recalled
Stephen Chow) and Yuen King. The resemblance is not easily discernable!
She has just discovered that her long time boyfriend has cheated on her
and swears that she will never love a man who lies. She soon is swept off
her feet of course by Leon – a professional liar. Romantic complications
One of these complications is the wealthy man-eating
sexually ravenous Pinky Cheung who devours the screen as well as Leon.
She makes Leon her little love toy to the point of total exhaustion on
his part. Poor Leon, my heart is bleeding for him! Entering also into the
fray are Hui Sui Hung (Leon’s boss), Lam Suet (the Mainlander), Cheung
Tat Ming and Matt Chow (his friends), Moses Chan (Cecilia’s boss), Natalie
Man-yan and Kitty Yuen (Cecilia’s friends) – and in cameos Eric Kot and
The romantic angle of the film never really works
– there isn’t that much chemistry between the two leads and the film often
goes off into other tangents leaving the romance behind. But it is really
these comical tangents that bring the most enjoyment and make the film
more than just a corny romance – Leon lying, Leon always telling the truth,
selling off Pinky’s undergarments as those of celebrities, a sudden disco
dance in the middle of love making, mentally handing the sexual baton off
to another of Pinky’s lovers, a triad’s knife stuck in a table. These moments
of absurdity come from nowhere – other than the mind of Wong Jing – and
surround the love story with enough comical antics to make you realize
that you are not suppose to take it all very seriously.
My rating for this film: 6.0
Distributed by Universe
The transfer is quite good for the most part
- a bit dark on a few occasions.
Cantonese and Mandarin language tracks
There is a trailer for this film and for Hit
Team, Lavender and Forever and Ever.
The subtitles are Chinese or English.
Star files on Leon Lai, Cecilia Cheung and
There is a Making of Section that lasts about
8 minutes but has no sub-titles. It is worth watching though for the slap
Cecilia gives Leon and how much it cracks her up once she is out of camera