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家有囍事 (1992)
All's Well End's Well

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 04/09/2009
Summary: kung hei fat choi!!!

foon (stephen chow) is a radio dj, who begins courting holliyok (maggie cheung); a slightly mad girl who is fixated on various hollywood films. moon (raymond chow), one of foon's brothers, is married to ching (sandra ng), but all is not going well and he's having an affair with sheila (sheila chan). foon, moon and ching al live in the same house, along with the decidedly camp so (leslie cheung), who seems to spend all of his time battling with leung (teresa mo). meanwhile, mama (lee heung-kam) and papa (kwan hoi-san) just want to watch tv...

this new year's film is a fairly typical; very silly, yet perfectly entertaining, comedy about troubled relationships. this is the kind of nonsense which i enjoy, but if you're not interested in entertainment which is as light as it is silly, then it's probably not for you. still, for me, it's great to see a stellar cast flexing their hong kong comedy muscles to good effect, producing the desired mix of head scratching and giggles...

good fun...

Reviewed by: JohnR
Date: 05/19/2006
Summary: Among the elite of HK comedies.

The plot has been set forth elsewhere, so I'm going to limit myself to saying how hilarious this movie is. Stephen Chow, Leslie Cheung, Teresa Mo, Maggie Cheung, and Sandra Ng give stellar performances. The rivalry between Leslie and Teresa's characters had me laughing hard and often. Maggie's ability to convincingly to back and forth between love and loathing for Stephen. Stephen's ability to crack you up with just a facial expression. What an array of talent! What a great movie! You'll be very hard pressed to find one funnier.

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: ewaffle
Date: 02/08/2006

From my limited perspective, Hong Kong Lunar New Year comedies are conventional, formulaic and bound by specific rules and expectations. They are celebrations of traditional values although often seem to skewer those values by showing the extremes of behavior that they can cause—the way that Sandra Ng is an unpaid domestic servant for her loutish, TV-addicted in-laws is an example here. “All’s Well End’s Well” is a very funny movie that sticks to the conventions, has the right script, a starry cast and confident direction. At the end the entire cast lines up to wish the audience good luck in the New Year, much the same way that the cast of an opera by Rossini (a master of conventional forms) comes downstage at the end of Act I to sing about how confused each of them is by the crazy plot of which they are a part. Forms and rules aren’t bad or stifling in themselves—Shakespeare’s sonnets, Haydn’s string quartets and Titian’s portraits are some examples of following a form and still transcending it.

Clifton Ko and the screenwriters here may not quite be on that level but they do a terrific job with the materials assembled for this movie. The plot is barely there—it serves to string together some episodes that illustrate the themes of the importance of family life and the necessity for order and structure to maintain the family, even while allowing a significant amount of friction among family members. Excellent performances throughout with some of the cast obviously relishing the goofiness of their characters. In Maggie Cheung’s first appearance she is wearing a bullet bra, like Madonna in “Truth or Dare”. Her sexy insouciance is a bit tawdry, a little on the cheap side but ultimately very positive and life-affirming and sets the bar quite high for the rest of the players. It also confirms a few things we already know—that Maggie is a real movie star and that movies are better (or at least a lot more fun) than reality.

Prior reviews give a pretty comprehensive list of the movies parodied or referred to—I will add just a few: When the doctor is enumerating Foon Foon’s (Steven Chow) symptoms after his head injury, one of them is pride and the camera cuts to Chow rolling a toothpick in his mouth like Chow Yun-Fat as Mark Gor. References to the egregiously sticky “Ghost” abound, as has been pointed out—one of the best is Chow’s silly hair-do, ala Patrick Swayze, a kind of an artfully mussed pompadour. There is a direct quote from “Days of Being Wild”—when Foon looks at a clock and tells Yuk that they are together at that particular hour, minute and second. There is another quick scene taken directly from another movie—“The Shining”, perhaps?—in which So covers in a corner while Foon Foon drives a chainsaw through the wall next to her. Close-ups of footwork when Foon, So and Foon latest conquest confront each other recall countless similar shots in kung fu movies and there is even a bit of wire work for wuxia fans.

Leslie Cheung could not have been better as So. I don’t know where he was in the process of “coming out” to his fans when this movie was made but he was obviously very comfortable playing a 95% out of the closet gay man. Often it seems that straight actors worried about their audience or gay actors passing for straight overplay the “gayness” of characters in comedies. Leslie Cheung hit it just right here—a spot-on performance.

Two very brief scenes—one of them almost literally gone in the twinkling of an eye—could be on the highlight reels of Stephen Chow and Maggie Cheung. In Chow’s scene he is standing in his bedroom door, trying to get rid of Maggie by thinking of the title of a movie that she should rent and they can recreate—his very slow take, opening his mouth to tell her the movie, then realizing he doesn’t have one in mind, then working his mouth while his mind churns (you can just about see the little wheels turning) to come up with a title—is as superb. Whomever one’s standard is for that kind of excruciating and painstaking scene—Stan Laurel, Keenan Wynne, William Powell—Chow is in their league. The other scene occurs when Foon, So and Rachel Lee, playing a Foon girlfriend, face off. The camera pans from one to the next and pauses a bit longer on Maggie, who, with the slightest curl of her lip, glint in her eye and cocked eyebrow shows that she is aware of everything that Foon has tried to put over on her.

Sandra Ng does a good job of selling her transition from household drudge to hot karaoke hostess, largely through a change in costume, a bit of touch up on her upper lip and the force of her personality. Even though it is obvious what is going to happen with her character it is still fun watching it happen. Raymond Wong walks through his part appropriately since he is there almost entirely to push the plot along and Theresa Mo is not terribly convincing as the mistress turned housewife. Old pros Lee Heung-Kam and Kwan Hoi-San, who must have 200 actor credits between them, so as much as they can with their one note roles—actually it is almost one role with two players.

An enjoyable way to spend 90 minutes.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 08/11/2003
Summary: Excellent

A star studded cast!!

The movie revolves around a family of three brothers and looks at there relationships.

The film makers have done very well in terms of exploring the lives of three main characters in 1.5 hours and not losing any momentum. The pace is well set and you feel empathy towards the characters.

Leslie Cheung playing another gay character........But of course Stephen Chow steals the movie with his brillant comic timing

A very funny movie, recommended!!

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: ksbutterbox
Date: 06/09/2002
Summary: Good Fun

Everybody involved in this is wonderful. Lots of goofy subplots etc..Teresa Mo really shines as the butch dyke here. I know Stephen and Maggie get alot of credit in reviews but Teresa and Leslie Cheung are just as good as the "opposites" soon to be..?? Kudos to Raymond Wong and Sandra Ng as well. Lots of heart at the end of this movie for this dysfunctional but highly loveable family. Cool HK comedy to show new viewers..The sequel is also quite good.

Reviewed by: danton
Date: 01/21/2002

If you've never seen a Chinese New Year comedy, then this is a good one to start. These films mostly all follow the same formula - depict the crazy antics of various family members, go for as many stars and laughs as possible, include scenes of Stephen Chow's character as either mentally retarded or pretending to be, build the plot around positive reaffirmation of traditional Chinese values such as family loyalty, and in the end have all the stars line up and wish the audience prosperity and luck.
In this case, the stars include Stephen Chow, Maggie Cheung, Leslie Cheung, Sandra Ng and Teresa Mo.
The plot is centered around Sandra Ng as the underappreciated wife of one of three brothers, who all live under the same roof with their parents, including Stephen Chow as a womanizing radio host and Leslie Cheung as the effeminate youngest child. Sandra toils in the housewife role, only to have her husband cheat on her. Meanwhile Stephen runs into Maggie, who's life is centered around the movies. She constantly tries to recreate scenes from her favorite movies, including Ghost, Pretty Woman and Misery. However, she falls prey to Stephen's "Double Inverted Eiffel Tower Kissing Technique" and they fall in love. Meanwhile, Sandra has had enough and leaves her husband, so the rest of the plot is about repairing the family unit.
This movie is hilarious, and I strongly recommend it. Certainly ranks among the funniest of Stephen Chow's movies.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 01/12/2002
Summary: Very funny, worth buying

All's Well End's Well is very funny, it really is. There is no real story going on here, well, there is about 10 stories that are all muddled together, and can only really say that the comedy side of things is the only good point (which makes up for the rest).

A Chinese New Year movie, which has an impressive cast list of Stephen Chow, Sandra Ng, Maggie Cheung, Leslie Cheung just to mention a few, all of which manage to keep you laughing the whole way through. One of Stephen Chows best films, during his comedy reign of the early 90s, which was short lived I think.

Rating (of 5): 3

(This rating is based on the year & genre, so don't think it's based as a comparison on new releases etc.)

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 09/25/2001
Summary: Wish You Get High!

ALL'S WELL END'S WELL - A Chinese New Year Family Drama / Comedy (does that make it a Family Comedy?). Chiau Sing Chi appears, but shares the lead with Leslie Cheung, Sandra Ng, Teresa Mo and the rest of the mildly dysfunctional family in what must be one of his more restrained roles. Leslie Cheung plays Chiau's decidedly effeminate brother, and Raymond Wong his older brother who is cheating on long-suffering wife Sandra Ng. Chiau himself is a 'wolf', in the sexually predatory sense, who becomes enamoured with the slightly crazy movie obsessive Maggie Cheung. Teresa Mo is the boyish cousin of the family with a painful looking foot massage technique. The events of the movie revolve around their family conflicts and love-life conflicts, and it's generally a heart-warming and amusing tale with some great comedy moments. Ends with the traditional New Year's greeting "Kung Hei Fat Choi" being shouted by the cast, which is interestingly translated into English as "Wish You Get High". Can't knock a film with a message like that :-)

Reviewed by: hellboy
Date: 08/30/2000

A comedy that may lose a bit in the cultural translation but well makes up for it in comic performances. Theresa Mo gives one of her best performances as does Leslie Cheung. The scene where he's spying on her while the Chinese Ghost Story theme plays in the background is hilarious. All the cast seems to be having a ball hamming it up in this all-star Chinese New Year offering. This HK offering may not be for everyone but devoted HK comedy fans will like it. 8/10

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

A comedy best known for sparking the HK film industry-triadcontroversy when a copy of the original film was snatched by triad members. Stephen Chow stars as a womanizing disc jockey who goes insane.

[Reviewed by Anonymous]

Reviewed by: spinali
Date: 12/08/1999
Summary: NULL

In this goofy domestic farce, extramarital affairs take a back seat to the romance between Foon Foon (Stephen Chieu) and Miss Hollyyok (Maggie Cheung), which spawns amusing parodies of Pretty Woman, Ghost, Once Upon a Time in China, Fatal Attraction, Psycho, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Terminator 2. Aside from the usual urine drinking, this couple has the strangest kissing scene I've ever seen -- the Double Inverted Eiffel Tower Kissing Technique; lips joined, one person slowly levitates vertically above the other. Then again, we're talking Maggie Cheung here.


[Reviewed by Steve Spinali]

Reviewer Score: 5