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Year: 2000
Leon Lai and Maggie Cheung
Director: Andrew Lau Wai-Keung
Producer: Wong Jing
Cast: Leon Lai Ming, Maggie Cheung Man-Yuk, Eric Kot Man-Fai, Suki Kwan Sau-Mei, Richard Ng Yiu-Hon , Valerie Chow Kar-Ling, Carl Ng Ka-Lung
The Skinny: A terrific performance from Maggie Cheung and some wonderful cinematography highlight this well-mounted but conventional romantic drama starring the team from Comrades, Almost a Love Story.
by Kozo:
     Andrew Lau goes the UFO route with this entertaining romance thatís beautifully shot and well-mounted, but unfortunately doesnít live up to its own pretensions. 
     In Sausalito, Maggie Cheung plays Ellen, a single mother who drives a cab by day and paints expressionistic artwork by night. One night she falls into a one-night stand with Mike (Leon Lai), an Internet mogul who needs to grow up in a big way. You see, heís one of those guys who doesnít like women leaving stuff at his place, and prefers distance and casual sex to intimacy and commitment. Still, Ellen challenges him as he feels he may have found the person who he wants to be with. Ellen isnít so sure. She is a single mother, after all, and she has no time for games in her life. Think White Palace without all the overdone age difference crap and you basically have the gist of this movie. 
    Told with exquisite camerawork (Andrew Lau is a really good cinematographer), the movie paints a picture of lonely Hong Kong people who find the rarest of things in life: love. Lauís pacing and direction are extremely sharp in this movie, as he uses an almost verite style to depict the inner lives of believably real characters. Shot in San Francisco, the film makes good use of its cosmopolitan locale. The film also also marks the return of HKís best actress Maggie Cheung. Her presence and luminous beauty have been missed since Comrades, Almost a Love Story
    However, now that praise has been doled out, I can only register the disappointment I felt when the Internet plotline kicked in full force, and convention and clichťd supporting characters (Eric Kot and Valerie Chow) took over. Not surprisingly, Maggie Cheung is absent during that entire sequence of film, and the film suffers exponentially for it. Cheung is simply an amazing actress, and the emotion and depth she calmly carries can be heartbreaking. Itís strange that she shines so incredibly opposite Leon Lai, who is an effective actor but not someone who can create inner life. Maggie Cheung can be impassive and silent, but the energy she radiates is blinding. 
     Problems aside, the film is still an entertaining film thatís well worth watching. Still it should be noted that Andrew Lau IS NOT Peter Chan. Lau is a competent director who can tell a story well, but he is not a filmmaker who creates film thatís really about something. Nothing is left unsaid in the movie, and whatever style the film employs is just window dressing. The results are satisfying enough, but Sausalito is doomed when itís inevitably compared to Comrades, Almost a Love Story. (Kozo 2000)
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

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