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有人說愛我 (2001)
Never Say Goodbye

Reviewed by: Paul Fonoroff
Date: 03/26/2001

It is a sad comment on any movie when its publicity garners more attention than the film itself. Never Say Goodbye is a totally unremarkable triangular love story that would have breezed on and off local screens creating barely a ripple were it not for its male star's very public consternation over the publication of unauthorized, computer-generated nude photos. Never mind that the pictures are as innocuous as the film itself, former teen idol Nicky Wu's beefcake blues give Never Say Goodbye more exposure than the movie itself warrants.

Co-directors Jacob Cheung and Jimmy Lee Wai-cheung, the latter making an inauspicious directorial debut, provide Wu with plenty of opportunity to undress. He is continually getting soaked, making love, and in one scene poses for a life drawing class. Publicity to the contrary, there is little to arouse. The same can be said about the script as a whole, a melange of hackneyed conventions lacking the wit or insight to transform them into something new. Two tired plot lines are at work here: a woman who discovers her "true love" sleeps with her best friend; and a young lady (the best friend, no less) struck down in her prime by a fatal illness.

More specifically, Jean (Athena Chu) is an animal doctor whose dreams of romance are shattered when she finds Ko (Nicky Wu) in a state of dishabille in the flat of chum and confidante Joyce (a pallid screen debut by model Iris Chai Chi-yiu). Joyce, alas, has leukemia and becomes pregnant to boot. The three suffer for an hour-and-a-half, and so does the audience.

There are brief hints at things that might have given the movie distinction, particularly the professions of the lovelorn trio. Jean is a veterinarian who joins Doctors Without Borders; Ko is one of Hong Kong's top comic book authors; Joyce is an art teacher. In Never Say Goodbye, they fail to come across as real people or even as interesting types. The tedium of their relationship only makes one wish they said their goodbyes an hour-and-a-half earlier.

1 1/2 Stars

This review is copyright (c) 2001 by Paul Fonoroff. All rights reserved. No part of the review may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Reviewer Score: 3

Reviewed by: Paul Fox
Date: 03/13/2001
Summary: Never Say Goodbye, Leaves You Begging to Go.

Never Say Goodbye is possibly one of the most hypocritical films to come out of Hong Kong cinema for some time. Given the nature of events in the film, the title would have been more appropriately labeled Never Take Responsibility, for that is the one thing the characters here seem never able to do.

From the outset, the audience learns that Ko Chiu Man (Nick Wu) has been dumped by his ex-girlfriend Jenny. When he meets Jean (Athena Chu) he is finally able to forget Jenny, quoting some line about how they met on Valentine's Day and that it fell on the same day in both lunar and solar calendars. Up to this point the setting of the romantic stage works fine, but viewer be warned....it's all downhill from here. Of course in any romantic story there has to be some form of tension. Typical to the Hong Kong romance genre, this tension comes via the 'love triangle'. The third party here being Jean's best friend Joyce (Iris Chai). Joyce had fallen for Ah Man earlier when he was a senior at the university.

The performances in the movie are rather bland and the actors themselves do not seem to be well motivated. This is not surprising because none of the characters are likeable. Even Athena Chu, who is generally quite impressive in her performances, is at a loss here. The fault clearly lies in the screenplay. When the script has characters delivering dialogue about true love and loyalty in one scene, and then has them jumping into the sack or cheating on their spouse in the next, it does not beget them much sympathy for their situation. The script also adopts so many cliched plot devices to tug at the viewers heartstrings that it becomes simply nauseating.

Truly, there is little that can be said in the way of positive remarks about this film. If you do decide to take a chance and brave out this feature, you will certainly have no trouble saying goodbye at its end..

Overall review rating : 1

Review by Paul Fox

Location: Fanling Town Center Cinema

Time: Monday 12 March 2:30pm