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Summer Holiday
Chinese: 夏日的麼麼茶


Richie Ren and Sammi Cheng

Year: 2000
Director: Jingle Ma Chor-Sing
Cast: Sammi Cheng Sau-Man, Richie Ren, Vincent Kok Tak-ChiuAh Niu, Michael Wong Kwong-Leung, Echo Chen Ho-Jun, Vincent Kok Tak-Chiu
The Skinny: Sammi Cheng is great and Richie Ren isn't bad either. Too bad about the director. Charming stars and a great location overcome a formulaic script and pedestrian direction. This isn't a great movie but those who dig the actors and undemanding romantic silliness will go home happy.
   
Review
by Kozo:

Newly-crowned Queen of Box Office Sammi Cheng stumbles a bit in her second strike of summer 2000. This uneven romantic comedy is an amusing piece of fluff, but it doesnít go anywhere near the heights of Chengís previous film, Needing You. Jingle Ma directs this story about Summer (Cheng), a driven HK career woman whoís dumped by her boyfriend and fired from her job. With little left, she discovers that the Malaysian beach she co-owns with her cousin is desired by a developer for upwards of 4 million US dollars. She travels to Malaysia to sell, but discovers that the new co-owner is a beach bum named Mor Mor Cha (Richie Ren of Fly Me to Polaris). Mor Mor Cha refuses to sell, so Summer decides to stay and persuade him into selling the beach. 

As you could expect, opposites attract and love blossoms, but not before deception and misunderstandings undermine their new romance. As in all romantic comedies, the question isnít if they get together, itís how. And the answer to that question is: not in a very compelling manner. Though Jingle Ma is a wonderful cinematographer, itís still questionable if he can actually direct. Hot War was well-made but bland, Fly Me to Polaris made it thanks to Cecilia Cheung, and Tokyo Raiders was a success because it wasnít supposed to be anything more than silly fun. The same could be said for Summer Holiday, but Ma canít rescue a leaky boat. The script is canned, the plot predictable, and the side characters poorly cast and written.

All Ma really has to go on are the gorgeous location (Time to go to Malaysia!) and his two leads, who acquit themselves well considering the circumstances. Richie Ren is charming, but his dubbed Cantonese only hurts the film. Romances need to draw audiences in, but the obvious dubbing does the exact opposite. Cheng lives up to her new title of Queen of Romantic Comedy. Despite the fact that Summer is unsympathetic, Cheng makes her likable by showing a believable vulnerability. The scene where Mor Mor Cha serenades Summer is a maudlin piece of writing, but Chengís reaction is believable and heartbreaking, showing more about Summer than is even said in the film. Itís a pity that the filmmakers couldnít have found a way to capitalize on their lovely leading lady, but Summer Holiday wastes potential like you wouldnít believe. Popstar chasers will swoon, but those expecting top-notch cinema should probably look elsewhere. (Kozo 2000)

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