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Let's Sing Along 

"Are you gonna make that face all day?"

Anita Mui takes lessons from Dayo Wong in Let's Sing Along

Chinese: 男歌女唱  
Year: 2001
Director: Matthew Chow Hoi-Kwong
Cast: Anita Mui Yim-Fong, Dayo Wong Chi-Wah, Chin Kar-Lok, Hui Siu-Hung, GC Goo Bi, Chapman To Man-Chat, Wong Yat-Fei, Crystal Tin Yui-Lei, Candy Hau Woon-Ling
The Skinny: Occasionally amusing but ultimately incoherent karaoke comedy with fun yet grating performances from Anita Mui and Dayo Wong.
by Kozo:

The world of karaoke is the subject of Matthew Chow's bizarre comedy. Anita Mui stars as Chu Wai-Tak, a mousy OL (office lady) who is actually the Queen of Karaoke. Sadly, nobody knows this because she can't muster the courage to sing in front of others, and since boyfriend Chin Kar-Lok left her, she's been in a bit of a rut.

Chu works with King Wong (Dayo Wong), a loquacious self-proclaimed King of Karaoke, who has no problems acting like a complete ass in front of others. Both try out for a karaoke contest, but only Chu makes it in, despite choking up and puking during her audition. It seems one of the judges is her romantic rival, and wants to see her choke in front of a larger audience.

Despondent, Chu turns to King Wong for training. Having lost his job and apartment, King moves in with Chu to teach her the ropes. At first, the two grate on each other, but as the lessons continue the two form something oddly romantic. Still, Chu doesn't seem to be getting anywhere and the karaoke contest is right around the corner. And now the issue of romance pops up, threatening to ruin their budding friendship and her chances at the contest.

With a plotline like that, writers Dayo Wong and Matthew Chow have given themselves plenty to work with. Already a humorous prospect, karaoke is a subject deserving of a scathingly funny workover. With the focus on Cantopop and a few familiar tunes (Danny Chan Bak-Keung, Kelly Chan Wai-Lam, and LMF songs all make an appearance), the filmmakers could have found a way to truly skewer Hong Kong's pop obsessed population.

Unfortunately, the film never truly capitalizes on the subject. Too much time is spent on office shtick and overacting by both Wong and Mui. The two eventually find a middle ground where things work, allowing their annoying performances to give way to some form of endearment, but director Matthew Chow can't find a way to pull the film together. The whole thing never really coheres, and we're left with mismatched scenes and dangling jokes.

Some funny stuff does come up here and there. The karaoke scenes (especially Wong Yat-Fei's cameo) play very well, but the overdone characters have a hard time gaining sympathy. The actors give game performances, but without a proper structure to work with, their efforts are wasted. As it is, this movie is an OK curiosity, but it fails at being a coherent, entertaining whole. (Kozo 2002)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

image courtesy of Chinastar Entertainment Group Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen