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FilmsAsia: Asian film reviews
Soh Yun-Huei
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   When I Fall In Love With Both  


When I Fall In Love... With Both

Reviewed by Soh Yun-Huei

Chinese Title: YΓΌeliang de mimi
Director: Samson Chiu Leung Chun
Writing Credits: Samson Chiu Leung Chun, Siu Kwun Hung
Cast: Michelle Reis, Teresa Lee, David Wu, Fann Wong, James Lye
Genre: Drama
Country: Hong Kong
Language: Cantonese, Mandarin
Year Released: 2000
Runtime: 115 min
Rating: zero stars (out of four stars)

Anyway a few days back I had caught When I Fall In Love...With Both, but delayed in writing anything about it... I was just wondering whether I should waste my time reviewing such shite...but on the other hand, I felt that it is my public duty *fanfare in background* to warn potential audiences of this movie to stay away...

When I Fall In Love...With Both (Love for short) is a movie with an interesting premise, but does not follow through. Two-timing men are very common, but what about two-timing women? Love basically tells the tale of three women, Joy (played by Singapore's very own Fann Wong), CeCe (Michelle Reis), and Yin-er (Theresa Lee). It entails, flashback style, how each of these three women fall in love with two different men (each). Joy, a news reporter, is involved in a relationship with her colleague (James Lye), but in one of her segments, gets to know a shy baker (played by Peter Ho) whom she also falls for. Yin-er is about to get married with a man, but near the marriage, her husband's twin brother visits, and she finds herself falling in love with the twin brother. She even considers eloping with the twin brother. CeCe leaves her boyfriend in Hong Kong to seek out a career in Macau, but bumps into an old classmate (David Wu), whom she later ends up in bed with. The day after the one night stand, however, she ends up in bed with her ex-boyfriend. She discovers she is pregnant, but doesn't know who the father of her child is. When both men try to shirk responsibility, she has to make a difficult choice...

Although the story of the film sounds promising, the screenwriting is a horrible mess. Almost all the characters wax lyrical at one point or another, and line after poetic line streams out of their mouths. In other films, this could be a good thing, but because of the extreme lighthandedness of the director (Derek Er) in dealing with the characters' personalities in the film, the effect comes off as extremely pretentious and false. Fann Wong plays the part of a bimbo very well, so well you can't tell it's acting, and Peter Ho plays the part of an autistic well, except the fact that his character isn't autistic. The other characters are so two dimensional that cardboard cutouts could have been put in their place and no one would have really noticed.

The movie is overly long, and various scenes drone on and on seemingly with no end in sight. Just like Romeo Must Die, the film would probably have been better if it underwent some heavy editing. Despite its length, many subplots and threads (which I felt were worthy of following) were just left hanging in mid air. The virtually nonexistent score is nothing to harp about, and the inclusion (and endless repetition) of a few Fann Wong songs really grated my nerves. And to reward patient audience members who did not walk out, the screenwriters decided to throw in a completely unnecessary and overtly melodramatic denouement. I left the cinema with a bad taste in my mouth.

This is not to say that there were no redeeming points in the film. The leads are generally fresh looking, and a few scenes in the show (for example a videocam sequence) showed off a little of the director's artistic flair (who actually directed a few good shows like Viva Erotica and Endless Love [Xin buliao qing]). However, all the promise in the movie was drowned out by wooden acting, a horrible script, and an unsatisfying ending. Avoid.

Final Word: Good idea, bad execution. There are better shows than this to spend your money on.