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香車美人 (1959)
Our Dream Car

Reviewed by: Stephe
Date: 01/27/2011

Our Dream Car is the story of a highly attractive young couple,
played by Grace Chang and Zhang Yang, who undertake financing a car
even though they really can't afford it, and the strain it puts on
their marriage. Grace buys the after being cajoled by car salesman
Kelly Lai Chen, who is the boyfriend she had right before meeting
Zhang Yang, so both Kelly Lai Chen and the car itself are the impetus
for strife.

Much has been said about this film being a paean to consumerism, and
indeed at one point, Grace Chang sings a song about the car that has a
section that sounds like a communist work song, but it works more as a
time capsule, when buying a car was a true pop culture event.

Grace is really a knockout in this film, and she wears several ornate,
modern, highly flattering cheongsams. Zhang Yang plays her husband very
naturalistically, and he is shown both in a good and a bad light, as the
situation and story dictates. Close-ups of the two actutely photogenic
stars appear in the film frequently, so this is a real glamor parade.
The movie itself is only so-so, though, and works best as a vehicle for
matinee idol worship of Grace.

Very cool is the fact that the menu page of the Our Dream Car DVD plays
the entirety of the Car song before beginning the film.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: dleedlee
Date: 11/25/2003

Expecting something very light along the line of AIR HOSTESS, I put off watching this movie for awhile but this is much better.

Zhengkang (Kelly Lai Chen) accidently bumps into Daming (Chang Yang) one day.
He is a former suitor of Daming's wife Jiaying (Grace Chang). Now selling cars,
he convinces the two to buy a car even though their financial situation is dim.

There are some dark moments and undercurrents of jealousy between Zhengkang and Daming. Jiaying also has cause to be jealous of her husband after finding their floozy of a Shanghainese neighbor mending Daming's pants one night after Jiaying returns from the Dream Car Pageant she won.

The movie could have went into a much darker direction as the weight of owning a car bears down on them but instead focuses more on the lighter side as expected. There's one particular scene that's positively goofy as the couple dizzily play with their new bought car parked on the sidewalk.

A clever use of auto sounds occurs when Daming and Jiaying get into an argument. As the argument gets more heated, you hear the sounds of engines racing faster and faster. I found it interesting to see some shots of an early TV (or cable) broadcast at the banquet. Also, Grace Chang sings a duet with herself on diagonal split screen midway through the movie.

Keep an eye out for two Helena Law Lan cameos, one as a shop assistant and one at the pageant banquet.

Liu Enjia is very funny as the feng shui spouting landlord.

Reviewer Score: 7