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三人新世界 (1990)
Heart Into Hearts

Reviewed by: ewaffle
Date: 01/15/2007

“Heart into Hearts” is a standard issue romantic comedy with a very attractive and talented cast, decent writing and competent direction. Whether one will like it (or stick with it long enough to decide) depends on one’s attitude toward outrageously spoiled children.

Ho, Alex’s cousin from Canada, shows up in Hong Kong with his two young children in tow. They have apparently raised themselves since Ho works as a chef on a cruise liner and his wife, their mother, left him for a foreigner. The act as if they have never supervision by or even much contact with adults. A very little bit of bratty kid comedy goes a long way with me but “Heart into Hearts” was marginally worth sitting through the kid stuff.

Alex is a long suffering ad agency creative director with a long client list, a team of wacky copywriters, a lovely assistant who is hopelessly in love with him and Ngor, his fiancé who lives with him part time and wants to make things permanent. Ngor’s daughter and Ho, his cousin, balance out the domestic equation.

Trouble arises when Alex has to work with Jo, a commercial director who is “difficult”. Since he can’t stand the way Jo works, going so far as to put in for the first annual leave he has taken in years rather than do another assignment, we know that sparks may fly before long. Alex and Jo manage to stay out of each other’s arms because each is almost preternaturally noble in dealing with the other. While things soon get beyond the professional colleagues stage they never stray into real intimacy. Their reserve is matched by the over the top behavior of Ho and Ngor. Ho is a bit of a lout who fits in perfectly with the boorish but harmless writing team while Ngor deals with every domestic crisis with a demand to get married right away.

The real intimacy between Ngor and Alex is best shown during an argument they have while in Paris, the result of a series of not particularly funny missed encounters and mistaken impressions. The argument is serious—the entire tone of the movie changes for a few minutes—as each of them approach then back away from blurting out the unforgivable, each knowing that he or she could destroy the relationship with the wrong word but each unwilling (but only barely) to do so. This scene is by far the most involving few minutes of the movie, the part where the audience realizes that even with all the faults Alex and Ngor have shown they like them and want to see them work as a couple.

Maggie Cheung, at close to the height of her almost limitless powers, plays Jo. She is glammed up admirably—there are a couple of shots from this film that have been published in hundreds of web sites and magazine articles. Jo is simply someone who does everything at her own pace and gets everything right. When we first see Jo she is in the process of throwing out everything that Alex has done for a commercial and redoing on the fly—the client, of course, loves it. George Lam as Alex matches her move for move. He is hard working, overburdened and completely decent but without enough time to decide what is really important in his life. We are shown just how busy he is when in the first scenes of the movie he is shown in the stall of the men’s room, doing the schematics for a commercial on a roll of toilet paper—the only place he could find (very temporarily) an uninterrupted moment.

Carol Cheng and Hui Siu-Hung provide most the laughs—not surprisingly they are very good at it. Their first confrontation, when Ngor thinks that the unexpectedly (for her) visiting Ho is a triad society member coming to rob or rape her, sets the tone of their relationship. She drives Ho from the apartment at knifepoint, only to have him return with his two kids a few minutes later. Ho thinks she is too old and too unattractive to be his cousin’s betrothed while Ngor thinks that he is an uncultured boob from the wilds of Canada. Vivian Chow is along for the ride as Vivian, Ngor’s daughter, a gorgeous girl whose job was to be cute and look great, which she did.

There are a few scenes that rise above the level of typical romcom. One is a briefing that Alex gives his crew after they are hired for a shoot in Paris. He says that like the Vietnamese, people in France insist on speaking French and that instead of rice they eat bread and snails. Acculturation finished, it’s off to Paris.

Recommended but loses a bit for the bratty kids.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 02/05/2002
Summary: GOOD

Heart Into Hearts, the sequel to ‘Heart To Hearts’ continues the story about the relationship between Alex, (played by George Lam) and his overprotected girl friend (played by Carol Cheng) with the ups and downs through their daily lives. They still haven’t got married yet, but are planning on doing so, although problems get in the way. This time, a movie director (Jo) comes between the couple (played by Maggie Cheung). More problems arise as Alex’s cousin comes to visit with his two children The only let down in the movie is that everything is so predictable, but still it is very funny and worth watching. The usual comedy standard can be found here in both George Lam & Carol Cheng from the smallest of things. Again Vivian Chow plays Carols daughter, and very good too considering this is one of her earliest films (the first film being the original ‘Heart To Hearts’). However, I didn’t find Maggie Cheung particularly interesting in this, and slightly annoying in fact.

Once again, Stephen Shin has directed and produced another great comedy. In his usual fashion he has also filled it with several cameo appearances from several actors in HK. There was one more film made after this, which is ‘Heart Against Hearts’. To conclude, I do recommend seeing this, but it’s not as good as the original.

Rating: 3.5/5

(This rating is based on the genre and other films made in the same year)

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: Yellow Hammer
Date: 05/10/2001

Chu Lai-Ngor (Carol 'Dodo' Cheng) and her daughter Vivian (Vivian Chow) have now moved in with Alex Lui (George Lam). They're not married yet but she's calling herself Mrs. Lui now. Just when the ultimate housewife and ultimate nag Ngor thought she got rid of her competitor for Alex in the first movie, she now has more competition, in the form of choreographer director Joe (Maggie Cheung). Alex's cousin from Canada Ao (Hui Siu Hung) also present him with a bunch of problems and thoughts in his head with his kids and his perverted attitude. What will Ngor, Alex and Joe do? Nice romatic comedy film, I probably liked this movie slightly better than the first movie, mainly because of the strong presence of Maggie.

Reviewed by: jfierro
Date: 12/21/1999

I'm not a huge fan of this series to begin with, and this is the weakest of the three. The only redeeming factor of the other two movies, the nice chemistry between the likable George Lam and DoDo Cheng, is completely ignored here. Just based on this film, you almost root for George to ditch the nagging DoDo for the far more interesting character Maggie Cheung plays...and this comes from a big DoDo Cheng supporter.

Reviewed by: pablo
Date: 12/09/1999

Second in the series. This time Alex (George) flies out to Pariswith Joe (Maggie) to film a commercial, and suspicious Ao (Dodo) goes to check on him. You'll like this one if you liked the others, and vice versa.