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Faa ho yuet yuen (2004)
Winner takes all.
A frantic royal family seeks to regain its honor by marrying off its young princess. But finding her a prospective mate who is up to snuff is the least of their worries; finding anyone who can bear to be in the same room with her is downright impossible owing to her unfortunate and mysterious birth defect-- an incomprehensible bodily odor. At their wits' end, the emperor and empress send a proclamation throughout their land to find the man who can cure her and become her husband. Enter an aspiring aromatherapist, Richie Jen (here listed Richie Ren), who is driven by a passion to validate his life's work. But he isn't the only one who has set his sights on the prize-- there's plenty of other palace intrigue going on beneath surface. But, with the aid of a young woman played by Miriam Yeung and her fishmonger friends, Jen(Ren)is determined he can succeed.
Light weight comedy with some moments of downright silliness and beautiful costumes and sets.
Meng ying tong nian (2004)
Nice little film
I'm not entirely sure why I passed on this film when it landed in my city. Perhaps it was a busy schedule or perhaps it was the blatant comparison to the Italian "Cinema Paradiso" in the advertising used for this film.
With all due respect to the "CP", while the two films share an early common thread of a young child with a passion for movies (with a requisite "single mom" in a small town), these two films should not really be compared side by side. The desire and temptation toward comparison would be deceptive and misleading to most expectations of most potential viewers. Indeed, they are very different stories. Nor should "CP" used as a benchmark for all films which have a child character that enjoys going to the movies. Not that it isn't without merit, but, rather, again, this is a different film with a very different feel. The Italian film was meant to have a big emotional bang; this Chinese film, however, goes the restrained route of slow, emotional realization.
We meet our heroine, Ling Ling, as she commits what appears to be an act of senseless violence-- striking a bicycle-riding man on the head with a brick. Then as the wounded victim (Mao Dabing) confronts his assailant we are utterly confounded by her silent, dogged insistence that he go to her apartment and feed her fish-- it is she who should be owing him redress, not vice versa. Dumbfounded, the victim agrees and there begins a journey back into the events that led up to Ling Ling's seemingly incomprehensible action against him. It is this backward shift of gears that forces a discovery of character revelation which goes beyond a simple childhood love of film.
As Dabing sifts through Ling Ling's possessions (most notably her diaries), he comes to learn how life sometimes has a peculiar way of coming full circle; events which may seem random and senseless are not always necessarily what they seem to be. And, in many ways, as the plot unfolds, this is actually a small film about forgiveness and reconciliation. In this respect, it seemed vaguely reminiscent of the Chinese film "Seventeen Years".
Enjoyable little film -- a tale of family, friendship, loss, and reconciliation-- which should be allowed to stand on its own merits and not be unnecessarily thrown into a comparison with other films for the sake of marketing. This a decidedly Chinese film.
Fung lau ga chuk (2002)
Even if the best of families...
Delightful comedic Hong Kong romp about the perils of young love and how things can get out of hand when family mixes into the mix.
Candy Lo plays Kaka, a young would-be misfit, who manages to land a job at a company because of an unexpected letter of recommendation from a family fiend. On the way to the interview, she meets Sang only to discover later that he is her new boss. He is from a wealthy, flamboyant family who are superstars of the HK social scene, while she is strictly working class. As an unlikely and unexpected office romance begins to blossom between the two of them an even more unexpected complication pulls a dark cloud over their relationship. When Sang's father learns of the pending engagement, he is delighted until he learns Sang's fiancée's identity then immediately orders his son to break off the engagement-- all because of a family secret. Jilted without warning or reason, Kaka nearly goes crazy with grief until yet another family secret explodes on the scene and complicates things all the more.
Lies upon lies reveal an almost incomprehensible tangled web of deception that just may never become unraveled. And, just when it seems like everyone will go mad, even more unexpected secrets boil to the surface. In the end, things are not always what they seem...or, are they? A seemingly ordinary premise takes some downright crazy twists and turns and serves up some truly genuine laughs. This is truly one off-beat film, but definitely one good for a laugh.
Hung wun chiu yun (2003)
As luck would have it...
It's all about luck-- literally. Poor Miriam Yeung (Hung)is the reigning poster child of bad luck until she enlists the aid of legendary feng shui expert to turn her life around. The master Lai Liu Po (Tony Leung Chiu Wai)agrees to help her even though he has been warned it's risky to do so. Can his feng shui break the curse set forth by his nemesis-- the evil numerologist Crab Duen (Ronald Cheng)? A surprisingly engaging foray into what can only be called "feng shui romantic comedy". Major points for originality and sheer goofiness that sustain most of this light weight piece, though it does stumble a little toward the end. Yeung and Leung Chiu Wai have an enjoyable chemistry and clearly had fun making this little oddity of a film.
A very offbeat but oddly sweet, breezy little comedy.
Baak nin ho hap (2003)
Silly but kind of oddly sweet
Silly but kind of oddly sweet, this is typical lightweight romantic comedy that HK loves to make. It is also the type of film that Sammi Cheng seems most comfortable with-- playing the goofy, misfit who stumbles along an offbeat path to love. In this case, she is highly skilled but unworldly herbal healer and martial arts expert. The twist here is that she (May) must learn to love and feel its loss to achieve mastery in kung fu so that she can save the Omei temple from its former leader and her deadly intentions.
After curing Tiger, May realizes that he is the perfect man to "love her and leave her" and give her the power to defeat her foe. Grateful for the cure, Tiger agrees with her offbeat plan. But, as always, the best laid plans have an uncanny ability to go awry and what starts out as a simple, not-strings-attached agreement becomes more complicated that either bargained for.
Misfits are Sammi's strong suit and she is able to pull it all off from her naive/socially inept healer through her transformation to worldly woman with a kind of kooky charm. Koo's role isn't much of a stretch for him and he has played it many times before and since. But, together they do make a reasonably good odd-ball team.
On the whole, rather pleasant, lightweight fare with a couple of rather humorous scenes-- such as Sammi's dinner with the family. Not a continuous stream of belly laughs, but oddly sweet in its way.
The path of true love is never a straight road.
Love discovered and lost is but one of the themes of this lavish Shaw Brothers' rendition of an old Chinese tale.
Western audiences might find it confusing to find that the male romantic lead, Jia Baoyu, is played by a female-- but this is merely to show an excessive of sensitivity and tenderness, as well as a childlike innocence. And, while it might take a little getting used to, Brigitte Lin does a successful job in pulling it off.
The movie plays like an opera. And, indeed, it does share a number of the characteristics of both Western and Chinese opera-- again with great success, but the plot moves along through both dialogue and song. The depths of the emotions chartered here are quite dramatic, and maybe a touch melodramatic, but that is a good representation of human nature, particularly in matters of the heart. There is an invariable drama to love which supersedes all reason. The primary plot of the slow realization of a first, true love is nicely set off by the secondary plot of jealousy and deceit among the family and its servants. It might almost seem heavy-handed, but a strong cast, boasting strong performances cares it off flawlessly.
Newly remastered in lavish colors, this film is a true treasure in every sense of the word. Clearly, one of the Shaw Brothers' best.
Gon chaai lit feng (2002)
Fire without spark
A Chinese doctor/herbalist has the uncanny ability to discern a problem with just a superficial touch on the pulse and look at the tongue. This little romantic comedy about such a person could benefit from such an exam.
Although many of the ingredients for success are here, something doesn't quite gel. Koo has played this same type of role many times, and, in watching this movie, I was instantly reminded of Koo and Sammi Cheng in "Love for All Seasons" -- another movie about a handsome player who gets hooked up with a misfit female Chinese medicine practitioner with a talent for Kung Fu. In both films, the player has his sights set on the successful beauty while the misfit heroine pines away for him. While nowhere near as wacky as "Love for All Seasons" (2003), "Dry Wood, Fierce Fire" (2002) lacks the incredulous "convincibility" of the Cheng-Koo film and the goofy charm that inexplicably existed between the guileless Cheng and worldly Koo. Yeung here seems to get off to a well-intentioned but false start. The humor is thin and seems unable to sustain the plot shortcomings.
While a fan of Yeung's music, I confess I thought this was the first Yeung film I'd seen and that it may have been her first film-- apparently, it wasn't. She had appeared previously in Feel 100% II (also with Sammi Cheng) but something had rendered her presence in the earlier film a blank in my mind. I think that's because while quite pleasant, Yeung is not as dynamic as the screen demands her to be-- at least here. Pity. A touch more over the top goofiness and she might have nailed it. But she does come close at times, just not quite enough. At times, she seemed downright uncomfortable in character. She never owned it, nor did she seem to be enjoying it the way she should have been.
I think there is an inevitable, uncomfortable comparison to Cheng here. This is the type of film that Cheng thrives on. Moreover, Yeung's "new hair cut" and reddish tint when her character makes the great leap forward are all too identifiable with Cheng. The fault isn't all Yeung's, tepid writing and some pacing problems are evident, stranding the potential comic romantic misfire in a state of perpetual kindling. On the whole a not so bad, mildly sweet little movie that might have been a little more.
5.5 out of 10 for a good solid, supporting cast and some moments of tempered sweetness.
Sun giu yu gwai (2004)
Love among the misfits...
Joey Yung(Yammie) stars as a former ugly duckling who grows up to be a wacky pet groomer and gets taken under the wing of a socially stunted but successful restaurant owner, Lau Ching Wan (Hugo). While Joey has shed her outward childish gawkiness, Lau is forever reminded of his shortcomings by a large facial birthmark. Apart, life has kept both shy and guarded but once an unlikely friendship strikes up between them, everything begins to change. Their sense of timing, however, may prove to be their undoing.
While the basic plot premise is as old as love itself-- the pangs of unrequited love, the sheer wackiness of Yammie and Hugo and their supporting cast of quirky friends-- particularly YY (the fascist police woman) and Butt (the pining artist)-- give what might have proved a tired old tale a refreshingly enjoyable spin.
Yung again displays that she has a potent and endearing screen presence-- particularly in her youthful flashbacks-- that makes you want to see more of her. Aided by a cast of well-seasoned comedic actors and an odd-beat script, this is one light and breezy HK comedy that bears repeat viewing.
Just wish there had been more of Yung's goofy schoolgirl.
Zheng hun qi shi (1998)
It's a jungle out there
It's a jungle out there
The Personals is a movie for anyone who hasn't yet found what they're looking for or who remembers how tough it can be to find it. Rene Liu plays an eye doctor who's become disaffected with her present life and is craving something more namely love and marriage. She's attractive, has a good job, and a decent apartment. Up until now she has done everything she's supposed to do, but it just hasn't worked for her. She's still alone. Now, she decides to take the extreme measure of advertising for a husband in the personals. The search leads her down the slippery slope of the modern dating scene whose universal quirkiness transcends the boundaries of all industrialized societies.
As a parade of diverse characters respond to the ad from obnoxious to bizarre to tragically pathetic (old coots, odd birds, pervs, nerds, frauds, conmen and salesmen), she starts to wonder if her standards are too high? And, watching the film you have to wonder Do you have to settle for what's there and what you may not want because of social expectations? In Hollywood's hands, this little film would have become a relentless string of crude and infantile jokes and sight gags contrived to make us groan, but instead, this Taiwanese tale serves us up a quietly understated, poignantly humorous look at the dating scene. No matter where the film might have been set, you're sure to hear a ring of truth to it. At one time or another, we've all been there whether we like to admit it or not.
Might be a little slow paced for some, but, on the whole, a solid little film with which most people will find something to identify. And, whether shy, bewildered, desperate, panicked, or outraged, Liu's performance is surprisingly sympathetic and often quite engaging.
Faa tin hei si (1993)
Fun in the Sung...dynasty...
Long ago in old China family matriarch, Madame Chow, sets about the task of marrying off her troublesome children, the ne'er-do-well Chow Tung and his gambling addict sister, Gut (Sandra Ng). The marriage arrangement based on an old promise seems like it might hold the solution to the greedy Gut's money problems, but when the prospective groom's financial situation doesn't live up to Gut's expectations she sends him packing after humiliating him and nearly giving her mother a stroke. The shunned groom then sets off to reclaim his lost honor with aid from a cursed hag, Jinx, even as Tung & Gut scheme to get back into their mother's good graces.
Meanwhile, the father of the town beauty, Snow White (Rosamund Kwan), also seeks to marry her off. Unhappy with her prospects, she goes on the lam looking for excitement and is smitten by traveling magician Leslie Cheung. Snow White decides to trick her father into letting her marry the man of her choice. But complications arise when Tung decides he should be the one to make Snow White his bride.
Filled with the usual anachronisms, a touch of gender-bender humor, mistaken identities, lots of silliness, singing and kung fu, it's yet another lunar New Year comedy. Still, with Sandra Ng, Rosamund Kwan and a tricky Leslie Cheung in the cast there are more than a few laughs to go around.
Gau sing bou hei (1998)
To the Nines...
Two wily brothers descend upon an unsuspecting town with the sole purpose of corrupting it and reaping the profits, while the third and youngest brother, Leslie Cheung, finds himself playing the love game with the town beauty and the town of Choi Hung will never be the same.
Ninth Happiness is yet another silly lunar New Year's comedy and a musical of sorts to boot, stuffed with wackiness from end to end. Oh, yes, and a little kung fu too. There's no real rhyme or reason to it because it's not meant to have any. This film was done purely for entertainment purposes even if it sometimes pushes things a bit at times.
Leslie Cheung is always fun to watch even in the slightest fare which is what Ninth Happiness is, and Amanda Lee is particularly goofy as the lustful family maid.
All in all a fairly fluffy piece which leaves little to the imagination but manages to find some laughs along the way.
Ga goh yau chin yan (2002)
happily ever after?
People make wishes every day, but just imagine what would happen if someone with the power to grant a wish actually heard yours? The old adage of being careful about what you wish for definitely comes into play as Sammi Cheng, after an accidental encounter with some former snotty schoolmates, decides the answer to all life's troubles is to marry a rich man.
Sammi starts off with a mild charm as a happy-go-lucky village girl you want to root for. She's got a quirky best friend (too bad she didn't have more scenes!), a lazy father, and a job that's probably far from every girl's dream. Like Cinderella, she has her share of drudgery but she's got it better. She's also got it worse in that her prince charming just doesn't quite cut it. Richie Ren may drive some girls wild but there's definitely something amiss here-- mostly a miscast. In fact, his scenes are sometimes quite hard to take. Pity.
But for Ren, this movie had some decent elements. It's preposterous and silly-- it is meant to be romantic fluff, after all, and lightweight stuff is what Sammi does reasonably well.
Gui ba shi (1995)
You can't get a seat on the last bus run of the night to save your life, unless you're a ghost. The innocent victims of a tragic accident must remain to finish their earthly business, but one in particular, Ling-Ling, has a special mission. Before she can move on, she must make her peace with the past and the boyfriend she quarreled with before her death.
Enlisting the aid of the only many willing to drive the phantom passengers, Ling tries to make one last contact with her old flame but will the restless spirits of both the living and the dead let her have her wish? Clearly, there's more than one person interested in settling an old score.
A curious mix of horror, romance and triad films but not without its moments...
Sam sei goon (1992)
A movie with a real kick...
There are many kung fu comedies involving lawyers and corruption, but none I've ever seen has the kind of kick to it as this movie does.
The plot of this film is not exactly new ground for Stephen Chow, but the most inspired element of this movie is Anita Mui as his bossy, pregnant kung fu wife. That alone should prompt the undecided to give it a try. She is downright hysterical and for me, at least, stole the movie right out from under Chow. I consider this one of her more delightful roles. With every high kick, she raises the bar in what would be just another comic Chinese lawyer/corruption tales. Somewhat better than "Hail the Judge".
Luen seung ngei dik chong (2003)
This may just be the weakest of Sammi Cheng's romantic comedies because so much time was spent diverging from Sammi's plot line. Sammi does a reasonable job as a scandal sheet reporter and no doubt enjoyed seeing what life was like on the other end of a tabloid headline for a change. Louis Koo is decent as a heartthrob cop when he's not foaming at the mouth. But pitting Charlene Choi (from Twins) as Sean Lau's (Ching Wan Lau) love interest seems alarmingly illegal. She also looks too much like his teenage daughter to make things seem wholesome. He's way too old for her and her overly juvenile antics. She might be old enough but she looks and acts here like she's barely in high school.
It's almost as if the writer was combining two movies in one (Cheng & Koo; Choi & Lau) and couldn't decide which was the primary plot line. Maybe if less time had been devoted to Sammi's ex-boyfriend and his jail-bait flame and more time on Koo & Cheng this would have been a stronger film.
Plagued by silliness and what seemed like an interminable stretch with Lau and Choi, it does have some good moments with Sandra Ng doing what she does best-- stealing laughs. Not the worst, and there are worse ways to spend to your time.
Wan pak ng chai (2002)
Giving up the ghost
A somewhat playful foray into the world of ghosts and Chinese opera as the ghost of a long-dead Cantonese opera diva returns to tie up the unfinished business of her former life with the aid of her most recent male incarnation.
Despite some unnecessary silliness in parts, this light-weight comedy has some quirky charm particularly in Joey Yung's long-dead gender-bender Giselle. But this is a ghost story and probably not for horror fans. No blood and gore here just the occasional wistfulness over what might have been and what could be for both the living and the dead.
Despite a somewhat simplistic and, at times, weak plot Joey Yung makes the most of her role and is the real reason to see this film. There are a few intriguing but light-weight moments about the backstage activities of Chinese opera. However, the trials of Giselle's contemporary reincarnation are a bit perplexing and are really just a backdrop for the heart of this movie.
Nice costumes and a moderately amusing film.
Xi chu bawang (1994)
Buried treasure: love & politics
I don't believe this film was ever released in the US-- a pity. It's just the stuff that western junkies of Chinese history love: a semi-bio pic from ancient China full of treachery, deceit, love, lust, and all the elements that make lovers of drama smile.
Gong Li as Lu Zhi gets another chance to shine in a deliciously would-be villainess role. It's not that she's heartless, she just feels the need to protect her turf. When that turf is unwittingly encroached upon by the saintly Rosamund Kwan (in one of her best roles), Gong Li gets down and dirty to settle the score. Taking her cue from the old adage, "keep your friends close and your enemies closer", Gong Li befriends her oblivious and naive rival, Lady Yu, with every intention of destroying her. But that's not all...
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned and Gong Li is determined that no one will get the best of her in this game of love and politics-- not even her own lover or his rival. Pitting hearts against hearts, friendships against friendships, allies against allies, Lu Zhi's character realizes ambition combined with revenge may be the most powerful force on the face of the earth. It might even be able to change history.
This movie has something for everyone: battles, triumphant parades, treachery and moments of romance. Most of all, there is some fine acting and an interesting plot full of twists and turns. It may not be the best epic ever made, but it is definitely worth a look. It is a bit long in run time, but lovers of Gong Li and Chinese history should find many scenes to be very enjoyable watching. Find it if you can.
Qin yong (1989)
Pure fantasy - 2 Gong Li's for the price of one
If you've only seen Gong Li's big epics, this movie will come as quite a startling surprise... but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Everyone needs a change of pace from time to time and this film definitely falls into that group.
This is definitely not the Gong Li that most westerners know but there is something about Gong Li's dual turn as a naive, ancient court lady and her haughty 1930s two-bit actress reincarnation that will definitely prompt a double-take. It's almost like two different movies rolled into one: the first an ancient love drama, the second twentieth century silliness with some intriguing costume choices. There are tears and laughter, almost like Gong Li was trying to poke fun at herself.
Watched with the right type of expectations, this fantasy filled movie is reasonably enjoyable purely escapist fare.
Wu ji (2005)
What's wrong with this picture??? Less would have been more
When I heard this was the Chinese entry for the Oscar race I couldn't wait to see it. But...it was a mistake for China to bet all its money on this one. China has done much better. Kaige Chen has done better (Emperor & the Assassin), but he's also done worse (Temptress Moon). This is definitely a case when less would have been more. A smaller budget would have prompted a higher standard of creativity and craftsmanship.
This picture has been plagued by bad luck and over-hype as lavish as its inflated budget. It seems as though it was almost rushed into release. Even as Wu Ji it was nominated for a Golden Globe, the buyer of the US distribution rights promptly backed out of the deal after the re-cut. So, what's wrong with this picture? There are definite problems here... namely a little too much emphasis on special effects especially in the beginning and special effects of dubious quality. And then there's Nicholas Tse whose inanely villainous portrayal is nothing short of idiotically juvenile. And then there are some curious plot questions that never really get answered. In short, cohesiveness and continuity are quite lacking at times.
The core of the story is good-- promises made, promises broken, betrayal and deception; the pitfalls of human weakness--a lot like Chen's Emperor & the Assassin in that respect but there all similarities and parallels end. The Promise's presentation is a way too cluttered-- like a fantasy run amok. And, in the end, it is a fantasy-- not high drama. It strives for depth but more often than not only treads water.
It does take a while to get itself together and it doesn't always succeed, but at some point rather late in the game it seems to find some semblance of stability and ends better than it starts. If only it could have found its rhythm earlier. Recommended for some good cinematography sequences and costumes. Not the worse film, but definitely one not to be taken too seriously. Enjoyable performances by Dong-Kun Jang and Hiroyuki Sanada, but with the exception of precious few scenes, Cecilia Cheung is primarily just along for the ride.
Yeogo goedam II (1999)
More than meets the eye
Better than average film for its genre, but there is clearly more going on here than meets the eye. Yes, it's another-- at times gory-- high school horror flick, but the difference here are the girls... from the two leads to their supporting cast clique there is a sense of realism that is sometimes lacking in horror films. These girls aren't just stock characters as they very well could have been. Instead, they come off quite natural even if there is nothing natural about what's going on at their school. Whether good or evil, they are played with a genuineness that sometimes makes you think you're eavesdropping on actual conversations.
And while there are definitely some horror clichés, it is, after all, yet another high school horror flick(!), it just feels different this time. Maybe that's because for much of the film the horror is lurking in the background, taking a backseat to the girls. In fact, the basic plot of star-crossed lovers could have worked just as well in a more conventional teen-drama without any real blood and gore. The haunting musical score adds just the right positive note.
There are some third act issues which might leave you scratching your head but the character study of teen girls at their best and worst leading up to the climax is more than worth the effort.
Chung Mou Yim (2001)
Bizarre doesn't even begin to describe this film, nor does off-beat. A shallow emperor, a determined warrior princess and one very foxy women who keeps switching back and forth like a ping-pong ball.
But to be honest, it is a funny little film in every sense of the word I confess, this was the very first time I'd ever seen Cecilia Cheung, Sammi Cheng or Anita Mui in a film but I have to say the sillier it got, the more it grew on me. Special mention should be given to Mui who has her hands full with role playing and the same goes for Cecilia Cheung. And even if it teeming with divas, this twisted tale has a truly off-beat charm and in this case, a little charm goes a long way-- at least far enough to keep you with it to find out where it will go next.
Sau sun nam nui (2001)
More like Love "To Go"
Sammi Cheng can be goofy, annoying and sometimes downright charming. In this movie, I suspect she's a bit of all 3.
There are times when this movie is downright silly and I'm not entirely sure if that's a great thing or not. Personally, one of most enjoyable scenes of this film is when she sees her former sweetheart at his concert and loses it-- you kind of have to see it to believe it.
The big moral to this movie is 1) that looks can be deceiving and 2) don't judge a book by its cover. Sammi's eccentric acting style is nicely balanced by Lau's performance. But there are times when both seem too much for words. In the end, however, a quirkiness runs throughout the film which is its saving grace-- otherwise there were times when it could have turned dangerously unfunny. On the whole, however, it is a definitely an off-beat romantic comedy.
Ngo joh ngan gin do gwai (2002)
Smile-- nothing to be scared about
Having seen a number of Asian horror films and Asian horror-sillies I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this. Much to my surprise, silly as it is at times, I got hooked.
I've never quite known what to make of Sammi Cheng. But I liked this film even if her character isn't exactly the most likable when you first meet her most unexpectedly at her husband's funeral. In fact, learning that she is the sudden mystery widow of a wealthy man whom you never really see is just one of a number surprises here. And it's also one of the biggest surprises to the dead man's family and former girlfriend who are not just beside themselves with grief, but also horror at the thought of her and her seemingly appalling ways. And that is probably the only real "horror" here-- and that is how it should be.
But, as the title says, there is more here than meets the eye-- like a left eye which inexplicably starts seeing ghosts. This is NOT the great Cantonese flick "The EYE" nor is it meant to be. ANd it isn't a would-be knock off. It is, at its heart, a supernatural romantic comedy-- but if Sammi's vision allows her to see ghosts, love makes her blind.
The primary ghost in question has a distinctly juvenile charm and is at times obnoxious, but the mother-in-law and, most notably, ex-girlfriend may just be the most delightfully scary critters around and always the ones who want to scream. In fact, they are a scream.
This is a light and breezy tale but a surprisingly nice diversion. Like its central character-- Sammi (May) this quirky little film has an equally quirky redeeming quality in the end.
Best Actress (2000)
Something lost in translation
5 actresses with 5 big secrets who are so determined to keep them in the closet that they lie, cheat, steal, deceive, betray and are even capable of murder. It is a cutthroat business and the plot is full of delicious promise. But---
Alas, not nearly so WICKEDLY funny or as shamelessly sassy and satirical as the book. Based on one of the most delightfully naughty books ever written about Hollywood, something was definitely lost in the screen translation which retained the great premise but somehow lost its way.
Cast does a worthy effort with what was given to them, but the script is awkward at times and lacks the spirit of mischievousness that was so endearing in the novel. Too bad, what a true gem this would have been if it had been truly faithful to the spirit of the book BUT the danger of lawsuits might have been too hot to handle!