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The Lucky Guy
Year: 1998
Stephen Chow, Eric Kot and Kristy Yeung
Director: Lee Lik-Chee
Cast: Stephen Chow Sing-Chi, Ng Man-Tat, Eric Kot Man-Fai, Daniel Chan Hiu-Tung, Sammi Cheng Sau-Man, Kristy Yeung Kung-Yu, Shu Qi, Sandra Ng Kwun-Yu, Lee Siu-Kei, Tin Kai-Man, Lee Kin-Yan, Joyce Chan Yin-Hang, Danny Wong Shu-Kei, Wong Yat-Fei, Vincent Kok Tak-Chiu, Bat Leung-Gum, Joe Cheng Cho, Wong Jing
The Skinny: Stephen Chow phones in his performance in this average Lunar New Year comedy that can elicit laughs but also mystifying stretches of sheer silence.
by Kozo:
     This Lunar New Year film from Lee Lik-Chee is a typical Lunar New Year comedy with some funny bits amidst all the schmaltzy hijinks. As usual, there are three guys, three girls, and a patriarch who needs to have a problem solved. Ng Man-Tat is owner of the Lucky Cafe, who’s facing the possible liquidation of his beloved cafe by a bitchy businesswoman (Sandra Ng). Tat’s son Nam (Daniel Chan) is a reporter who befriends runaway heiress Fon-Fon (Shu Qi), and decides to use her for a hot story. 
     Meanwhile, waiter Fook (Eric Kot) falls for Fanny (Kristy Yeung), a sweet secretary at a local kung-fu school. He’s inexperienced at dating so he turns to fellow waiter Sui (Stephen Chow), AKA: the “Prince of Egg Tarts.” He’s a renowned lothario who practices the “highest stance of courting girls,” i.e. he only wishes to court them, not succeed or fail. Sui's secret is that once upon a time he wronged his first love, Candy (Sammi Cheng), who’s now a nurse at a local hospital. Guess what happens. 
     Wildly uneven, the film’s success depends on who’s onscreen at the time. The Daniel Chan/Shu Qi story is the most trite, trying and uninteresting despite Shu Qi’s effectively cute performance. Conversely, Eric Kot’s romance with Kristy Yeung is interesting only because his type of cartoonish, lovably buffoonish character works in a film like this. Sammi Cheng and Stephen Chow never get a chance to work up some real chemistry, but their scenes do the most in the least amount of time, which is surprising since their entire story was stolen from an episode of Friends
     Sadly, Chow seems bored much of the time. I would say he used about a tenth of his total talent in this movie, which is frustrating because he can raise the level of nearly any movie he’s in - and he was paid $17 million HK dollars, so some effort might be in order. However, just as in last year’s All’s Well, Ends Well ‘97, he seems to be having fun with only the wacky stuff. When the schmaltz hits, he looks embarrassed and clearly begins to phone in his performance. 
     As a whole the film has some enjoyable moments, but it gets dragged down by too many syrupy climaxes - a common occurence that usually dooms these cheesy Lunar New Year films. After ninety minutes of sustained wackiness, how can we take actual emotion seriously? These films are essentially live-action cartoons which are tolerably lame, given the correct context. If you view this as live-action shojo manga, then you’ll have a decent time. Aside from the world-class babes (All three of the female leads are “it” girls, and understandably so), the occasional inspired gag is all you can look forward to.
(Kozo 1998)
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Mei Ah Entertainment
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

image courtesy of Mei Ah Laser Disc Co., Ltd. Copyright ©2002-2017 Ross Chen