For Your Heart Only

Though this 1985 Cinema City offering has all the initial earmarks of a typical teenage romantic comedy, it eventually takes on a surprising dramatic resonance that was fairly effective and adult in nature. There are also a number of very solid acting performances from some now well known stars, but done here when they were still fairly young, and one from an actor much better known for his stunt and action skills.
A young and pouty Leslie Cheung appears almost to be in training for his Yuddy role in Days of Being Wild. Charming, selfish and narcissistic, he plays with women like most of us do with spare change in our pocket. He moves into his friends low rent tenement apartment along with his other friend Meng Hoi. One of the small pleasures of this film is the lack of glamorizing the living conditions of the characters – every one is stuck taking buses, being low on funds and living in small cramped spaces. Another nice bit is that though the young characters are going through the process of growing up and becoming independent, their parents still play an important role in their lives.
One morning Loletta Lee – wearing a very fetching nightie – gets locked out of her apartment in the hallway. She is staying with her friend Bonnie Law and both are nurses at a nearby hospital. Of course, she bumps into Leslie who immediately puts her in the firing range of his pretty boy sleepy-eyed charm and sweet Loletta is clearly no match for his romantic come ons. On the morning after, Leslie brushes her off like leftover cake crumbs and the look of pain and sadness that fills Loletta’s face is heart rendering.
Meng Hoi meanwhile develops a crush on Leslie’s sister, Ann Bridgewater, but Leslie doesn’t want anyone messing around with his innocent sister. Ann looks stunning in this smallish part – like a leggy colt unsure of herself – and Meng Hoi gives a very appealing performance as a sensitive guy falling in love with Ann, but not wanting to offend his friend. He soon learns though that he may be dying from a kidney disease and this possibility leads to some emotional resolutions.
The film has some good touch points, small scenes or moments that feel real and have an emotional impact – Bonnie giving Leslie hell for taking advantage of her friend, Loletta surprisingly being hugged by her mother rather than scolded, Meng Hoi facing his mortality square in the face.
For those who track the career of Loletta Lee – and her short foray into Cat III films – this is an intriguing missing piece to the puzzle. In most of her early work for Cinema City and then her later family comedies with D&B Loletta was the very picture of impish virginal innocence. Here though in this fairly early film in her career, Loletta has a few fairly racy scenes – one that involves water and no brassiere – and it gives hints of things to come!

My rating for this film: 6.0