WITH A FOOL (2006) HK
review by Neo
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There are on screen couples that provides an instant chemistry, two big names of HK cinema instantly comes to mind – super icons Andy Lau and Sammi Cheng, but to the new generation, its Alex Fong and Stephy Tang. Even though Alex and Stephy haven’t appeared in movies together before, their on screen couple status is already well established for years in the music industry. After proving himself in a leading role debut – Fong takes a step back to star in a very average romantic comedy with Stephy. The chemistry is great, so is Stephy and the supporting actors are fun, but what wen wrong is that it is a Parco Production. The 3/4 stage of the flick is filled with one music video after another, the effect is like watching a promotional episode for Ronald, Alex and Stephy’s singing career. It is a detrimental to the flick and ruins any potential it may have created in the first 50 minutes.
The movie goes like this: with Wah (Alex Fong) and Bobo's (Stephy Tang) wedding - the happy ending of a lot of movies but the beginning of all the troubles in Marriage With A Fool. Wah runs a pet shop with his friends during the day, while Bobo works in a Karaoke Box at night. They actually have very little time for each other. Meanwhile, Wah comes across his high-school mathematics tutor Josephine (Pace Wu), and his memory of his fondness for her comes back...
The director raises typical issues regarding the problems of marrying young and potential cheating scenarios, but what made the marriage work isn’t the director, but the comfortable on-screen chemistry of Alex and Stephy. The opening scene is daring of HK cinema and the kiss is long and seductive to endure. Perhaps the movie is fun and enjoyable all until the breakup of the marriage. Right after this eventual breakup, music video follows all the way till the finale. It is a good technique to use, but when you are overusing it, ultimately destroys any credibility the viewers may have.
Alex Fong performs adequately as down to earth lad who got lucky with two chicks – Stephy and Pace Wu. His chemistry with Stephy is easy to watch, but very forced with Pace Wu. Nonetheless, a step back from his stunning performance in I’ll Call You. Stephy Tang is once again, pretty and attractive and perhaps in her first role that requires any sort of acting. In what I would call a very convincing performance, Stephy preformed beautifully through some difficult scenes. Pace Wu is a funny one, some angles of her is an amazingly hot, but some angles of her seem rather ordinary. Theresa appears here and there which is clearly nothing more than adding up the numbers.
The finale of the film, attempts to redeem the movie, while it is smart, it does not seem fitting to such an ordinary movie. The effect is like shooting a music video and then editing the ending of a Wong Kar Wai’s film to it. It just seems out of place and the fault is once again to the producer Parco.
Overall, Marriage with a Fool isn’t really trying to do much, and clearly Alex and Stephy which such good chemistry deserves far better. While they aren’t Andy and Sammi, their chemistry is building up; perhaps what they need now is a director like Johnny To. The film has some good bits, especially the first 45 minutes and the breakup is well staged and believable, then it just all falls apart into a commercially tuned music video. Fans of the star probably won’t mind, but as for usual cinema fans, this is really a very average romantic comedy and nothing more…
I rate it 6/10
on this movie on HK Neo Reviews Forum
Director: Director: YIP Lin-Sum
Cast: FONG Lik-Sun, Stephy TANG, Pace NG, HOU Shasha, Leila TONG, WONG Cho-Lam, Trish KWAN, Marco NGAI, Theresa ?, Shaun TAM and Rebecca CHAN.
Reviewed by Andrew (Neo), June 2006