Karaoke killed the Canto-pop song.
At least for the first thirty minutes of this
film I found myself enjoying the yuppie ambiance and the music business
environment. It felt fresh and was delving into an area that has interested
me of late. Why is it that all the new Canto-pop singers are so attractive
– and why do so many of them sound alike? Unfortunately though, instead
of aiming for He’s a Woman, She’s a Man quirky comic feel, the film catches
a morose case of the “A Star is Born” syndrome and goes into a depressing
tailspin that it never recovers from.
Alex Fong is a famous Canto-pop writer and producer,
but his compositions now sound old fashioned and no singers are interested
in singing them. Leslie isn’t returning his calls and the young crowd mock
him with snide remarks behind his back. Fong rails angrily at the modern
day singers with little talent – bland products of the pop idol machine
– and the songs that are geared to performing in karaoke lounges.
He can’t change his style though and his prospects look a bit bleak – though
he still manages to live quite nicely. His girlfriend does a mental calculation
of his future net value and takes a powder for Canada.
While nursing a beer in a neighborhood bar, he
looks up from his worries into the large brown sympathetic eyes of Yoyo
Mung and like most of us is bewitched instantly. Yoyo serves large welcoming
smiles along with the beers and Alex is soon courting her and making friends
with her senile grandmother, Helen Law Lan. In a karaoke bar of all places,
he hears Yoyo sing and sets her up for an audition. It turns out to be
a good news/bad news scenario – they love Yoyo but they hate his music.
Oh oh, you know where this film is headed and it makes a beeline for it
with the charm of a plastic fork.
It is a shame because there was some good chemistry
between Alex and Yoyo and it had the makings of a solid romantic comedy
– but once Alex gets all surly and his lower lip takes on a life of its
own the film becomes a turgid and unrelenting trip to the predictable.
The main pluses here are a lovely portion of Yoyo – she has pools of emotion
in those eyes of hers – and an enjoyable sound track with a number of songs
As a point of interest, the old band that Alex
meets in Taiwan is led by Joe Junior – a famous HK pop star in his
is a link to Tim’s Another Hong Kong Movie Page review of this film and
within his review (which is more positive than mine) there is a link to
some cool old album covers of Joe Junior.
My rating for this film: 5.0
Distributed by Universe
The transfer is fine.
Cantonese and Mandarin language tracks
There are 8 Chapters.
The subtitles are in either Chinese or English
- and are easy to read.
There is a trailer for this film and ones for
Take 2 Love Connection.
Star Files - Alex Fong and Yoyo Mung.