FilmSlashTV: The Kung Hei Fat Choy movie
BY BURL BURLINGAME / email@example.com
Chinese New Year is, naturally, a bigger deal there than here, and the Chinese issue movies at that time to cheerfully reflect the anniversary. This is the Year of the Dragon, and so we have the latest installment of the ongoing “All’s Well, Ends Well” series, a kind of Cantonese version of the British “Carry On” films. “All’s Well, Ends Well 2012” actually ends with all the characters lined up, as if for a curtain call, wishing the audience a happy and prosperous Dragon year. Kung Hei Fat Choy, everybody!
“All’s Well, Ends Well 2012″
Now playing at Consolidated Theatres Pearlridge 16 and Ko’olau 10
What goes before that sign-off is an upbeat and thoroughly goofy take on modern romance. The “All’s Well” movies are pretty much Hong Kong’s version of “The Love Boat,” a roundelay of interconnected albeit individual stories, all focused, like a laser sight, on the antic possiblities of romantic comedy. The 2012 edition is even goofier and funnier than in years past.
The thread connecting the tales is a faintly creepy Web site that matches up men and women, but only so the men can do chores the women can’t, and the men receive a hug in return. This is beyond platonic, more like sexless good-neighborliness, but hey, these are grown-up men and women (even if they act like kids) and sex and attraction is going to blossom. Unleash the dragon!
What we have here is a nebbishy romance author (Chapman To) who maintains a desperate fiction with blind ballerina (Lynn Xiong) that he is the Incredible Hunk; a sexy photographer (Kelly Chen) who baits a dim-witted (and beneath her class) construction worker (Louis Koo) into posing for the kind of pictures you see in fireman calendars; a divorce lawyer (Ramond Wong, sporting a pencil moustache) who seeks to reconnect with his estranged daughter by pretending to be the father of a confused heiress (Yang Mi) to scare off unsuitable suitors; and — most successfully — a middle-aged, wannabe rock star (Donnie Yen) who hooks up with a dejected (and middle-aged) former girl-band almost-star (Sandra Ng, who is, frankly, hilarious).
There is absolutely nothing subtle about the production, which operates like a Cantonese Three Stooges on a neon-colored bender. Which means you’ll often laugh out loud, and then wonder why you did.
Burl Burlingame is a features reporter at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter.