review by Neo

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Yet another romantic comedy starring Gigi Leung, and this time she is teamed up with the most versatile actor in HK, Lau Ching Wan in Driving Miss Wealthy. If you ask me, the name of this movie is beyond cheesy and will probably suggest yet another cheesy romantic comedy. Without any doubt what so ever, this movie is definitely formulaic and everyone will probably predict the ending without watching the movie, but what makes Driving Miss Wealthy a par above routines romantic comedies is good acting turns from Lau Ching Wan and surprisingly a more than adequate performance from Gigi Leung who seems to be a totally different class of actress here than compare to say Love on the Rocks. The premises of this movie are both fun and the director does shows depth of characters to further enhance the emotional impact on the audience towards the ending.

The plot is almost a no-brainer with a rich trillionaire Lap in need of a bodyguard and Kit (Lau Ching-Wan) went to try his luck. Kit has once been a very outstanding cop, who later tried several jobs, such as bodyguard and Thai boxer. Lap picked Kit to be the bodyguard for his daughter Jennifer (Gigi Leung). He asked Kit to pretend as a Filipino driver called Mario! And there they begin a servant and lady relationship… that will become a coming of age film as well as sparking romance…

Sounds fun, and on a personal note, I found Lau Ching Wan pretending voice of being a Philippines rather amusing than annoying. What makes this film above others is the premises of being a coming of age film and the characters surprisingly does shows depth and the change in Gigi character is gradual rather than sudden. Gigi performs one of her better performance as she turns from being a wild, out of mind, and full ambivalent rich lady to a caring and totally different person. Her performance shows depth beyond her usual flower glass roles and puts in a rather mature performance towards the end. With Turn Light Turn Right, Sky of Love and minus the Love on the Rock, Gigi is definitely an actress on the rise in both popularity and as an actress as well. Lau Ching Wan again puts in a natural performance and is seemly fittingly in any roles. His versatility can clearly be seen in various scenes, as he easily underplays his layback role with comical touches. He is funny and shares a terrific chemistry alongside Gigi Leung.

Director James Yuen Sai-Sang directs adequately and blends in the coming of age theme brilliantly with the routine romantic comedy to produce enough laughs and emotions towards the audience to create a fun and worthwhile time for the audience. Driving Miss Wealthy is without doubt yet another romantic comedy, but it does has the underdog feel in the subplot, a number funny moments (especially Lau Ching Wan’s voice), over acting from Gigi at the right time, predictable but not too cheesy ending to leave the audience with a happy go lucky feel and embracing Gigi’s change with a smile. Overall Driving Miss Wealthy is not Needing You, but it is definitely a par better than above average romantic comedy like Love on the Rocks and therefore is actually worth seeing

I rate it 8.5/10

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Product Title : Driving Miss Wealthy
Artist Name(s) : Lau Ching Wan | Gigi Leung |
Language : Cantonese, Mandarin
Duration : 105 minutes
Reviewed by Neo (Andrew) - May 2004

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