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The Doctor in Spite of Himself
Year: 1999
Director: Lau Kwok-Fai
Producer: Raymond Wong Bak-Ming
Writer: Raymond To Kwok-Wai, from the play by Molière
Cast: Cheung Tat-Ming, Ada Choi Siu-Fun, Christine Ng Wing-Mei, Lai Yiu-Cheung, Simon Lui Yu-Yeung, Tsui Kam-Kong, Leung Wing-Chung, Hui Siu-Hung, Donna Chu Kit-Yi, Chan Kwok-Bong, Max Mok Siu-Chung, Gigi Fu Ming-Hin, Raymond Tso Wing-Lim, Ko Lam Sang, Chan Yee-Fong
The Skinny: Good theatrical comedy can be translated into any language. However, it still needs to be well-directed, well-acted and well-produced.
Review
by Kozo:
     The classic play by Molière gets reimagined into a wacky costume comedy from Raymond Wong and Raymond To. The result proves that good situation comedy can overcome all cultural and language barriers. The result also proves that the source material isn't necessarily everything. Cheung Tat-Ming plays the eponymous doctor, who's actually a woodcutter by trade. Thanks to various shenanigans, he gets mistaken for a doctor by some upper-class family who needs him to cure their daughter. He plays along, and manages to cures the daughter and generally solve the problems of everyone in striking distance. And he acts wacky.
      Ace source material aside, the problems that lie with The Doctor in Spite of Himself are your more typical Hong Kong ones. The comedy is uneven, and consists of too much shtick and even more mugging. Cheung Tat-Ming is an amusing comedian, but he's no Stephen Chow. This project seems tailor-made for Chow's comedic talents, but he obviously had other things to do (Tricky Master, anyone?). Cheung manages to carry the film well enough, and his co-stars give game performances, but by film's end it all seems like a random bunch of wacky crap that amounts to little. By now, the tried-and-true platitudes of this sort of classic comedy come off as overused and hackneyed. And unless something truly inspired happens (which it doesn't in this film), the final feeling is one of mild, but disposable amusement. (Kozo 1999)
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Mei Ah Laser
Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
image courtesy of AznFilms.com
   
 
 
 
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