Once in a Life-Time (1995)
Reviewed by: STSH on 2000-01-02
Summary: Requires patience
Disappointing for several reasons.
Yuen King Tan plays one of her few major roles, but plays her character more or less straight, which is a sad waste of a great comic talent. The story is very slow to gel, and the comedy even more so. Very little humour at all in the first hour, and only in the last forty minutes does the pace become wacky enough to be truly be called farce, though the idea of a wedding and funeral at the same time is clearly meant to be farcical. It's weird rather than funny, and tries to be wacky is a straight-faced way, but the pace is too leisurely and it mostly falls flat. Traces of black comedy mostly don't help either. Much of the time, Lau Ching Wan wanders around as if he's still playing in C'est_La_Vie,_Mon_Cheri.
Despite the fairly strong cast, the production values are very low, and the look of the film is grainy and cheap. Also, seems to have a lot in common with Day_That_Doesn't_Exist - same grainy look, same production team and key actors. Is there a connection ? Overall : I can only recommend this if you have lots of patience.
Reviewer Score: 3