Fri, Mar 06, 2009 - Page 17 News List

Romance tames the beast and director

By By Ho Yi  /  STAFF REPORTER

VIEW THIS PAGE Known for his phenomenally successful tough-guy action fare, Hong Kong’s Andrew Lau (劉偉強) returns to the big screen with Look for a Star (游龍戲鳳), a romantic comedy film about a business tycoon and a cabaret dancer.

Though locked and loaded with a stellar cast that includes Andy Lau (劉德華) and Shu Qi (舒淇), the blockbuster director fails to establish his name in the chick-flick sphere with this effort, because he is unable to save the formulaic story line from making a, well, formulaic film.

In Look, Andy Lau plays the handsome, charming billionaire named Sam, while Shu plays the perky Milan, who works as a cabaret dancer and croupier to make ends meet. The two quickly fall in love after a chance encounter in a Macanese casino.

However, Milan, a romanticist who longs for love rather than fame and fortune, begins to have doubts when she uncovers Sam’s true identity.

The prenuptial agreement forced upon Milan by Sam’s mother, and his connivance in the accord, leaves the bride heartbroken.

Besides the main story focusing on how Sam and Milan overcome the odds, two subplots, which involve Sam’s secretary Jo (Denise Ho, 何韻詩) and Lin Jiu (Zhang Hanyu, 張涵予), an honest worker from Shandong Province as well as Sam’s chauffeur (Dominic Lam, 林嘉華) and single mother Shannon (Zhang Xinyi, 張歆藝), are introduced as variations on the rich-guy-marries-poor-girl drama.

Director Lau ingeniously sets the film mainly in Macau, whose Portuguese-style churches, cobbled streets and grand casinos provide a fanciful feel.

But the footage of Shu and Andy Lau scooting around the city’s enchanting vistas isn’t enough to lift the film from mediocrity. Crosscutting three plots, the narration feels messy and is at times incoherent, while plot devices such as a televised confession of love and the appearance of a cockhorse in a park appear tired and contrived. VIEW THIS PAGE

FILM NOTES

LOOK FOR A STAR (游龍戲鳳)

DIRECTED BY:ANDREW LAU (劉偉強)

STARRING:ANDY LAU (劉增華) AS SAM, SHU QI (舒淇) AS MILAN, DENISE HO (何韻詩) AS JO, ZHANG HANYU (寂涵予) AS LIN JIU, DOMINIC LAM (林嘉華) AS TIM

RUNNING TIME: 116 MINUTES

LANGUAGE:IN CANTONESE AND MANDARIN WITH CHINESE AND ENGLISH SUBTITLES

TAIWAN RELEASE: TODAY


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