Since he’s one
of the only bankable stars left in HK, Andy Lau has
taken it upon himself to flood the theaters with star
vehicles. Unfortunately the byproduct of the larger
output is expected: bad movies. Fascination Amour
is a perfect example. Designed solely to make money
during the Lunar New Year, this fluffy romantic comedy
rests solely on Lau’s able shoulders. Sadly, the filmmakers
didn’t give him a proper character.
Lau is a spoiled playboy
who’s on fiancée number 8 - and makes sport of getting
rid of them. With his entourage (including an amusing
Anthony Wong) in tow, he boards the cruise ship Fascination
with the intent of ridding himself of his latest set-up.
However, he didn’t count on falling for heiress Sandy
(Ishida Hikari) who is - no surprise here - the only
girl who can withstand his “money buys all” attitude.
Things aren’t that simple - she’s losing her fortune
and won’t let money buy her. Lau must prove that he
can be a normal guy so he follows her ashore with
a backpack and $10 in his pocket.
At this point, the film manages
to right itself for some appropriate sappy soul-searching,
but the hour leading there is interminable. The film’s
other romance is incredibly uninteresting, and the
running gag of married couple Raymond Wong and Christine
Ng reliving scenes from Titanic is without
a doubt the most cloying, artificial comic device
yet seen in a Hong Kong film.
On the plus side, Ishida
Hikari gives a charming performance, allowing us some
hint as to why she's worth pursuing. The same really
can’t be said for Andy Lau. While his screen presence
has grown in recent years, he still looks uncomfortable
playing a shark. It’s hard to see him as the dirty
bastard everyone takes him for because he’s...well...Andy
Lau. At least the ship is nice looking. (Kozo 1999)