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新戀愛世紀 (1998)
Love Generation Hong Kong

Reviewed by: xiaoka
Date: 03/14/2004
Summary: ugh, uneven...

a rather uneven romantic comedy (apparently losely based on a Japanese Soap Opera) that can't quite decide if it wants to be taken seriously or not.

Basically tells the story of a love quadrangle between Leon Lai, Carina Lau Hsu Qi and Li An. Leon is a self-made real estate Tycoon, Carina Lau is his long lost first love, Hsu Qi basically plays Hsu Qi (tempermental popular, rich actress who's dating a guy who looks like Leon Lai) and Li An (who apparently only did like 3 movies and then disappeared) plays Leon's personal secretary who secretly pines for him from afar.

Now if it were me, chosing between Carina and Hsu Qi would be a no brainer... but thats just me...

The movie decends into briefly absurd moments of unbelievability and then strangely expect you to take it seriously a few minutes later. Usually a bad idea... but I've seen this done much better in movies like HELP, or even Everyday is Valentines Day.... this one doesn't quite pull it off.

Also Leon's indecisiveness gets to be a bit annoying. It seems like he's continually prepared to settle... well if Carina won't leave her fiance for me, I'll settle for Hsu Qi... oh wait, she's going to run off w/ someone else... doh, I guess I'll suddenly notice that my (mega hot) secretary has had the hots for me for years and go run to the airport before she takes off... (i don't even want to mention what they say she's going to do when she flies off... its downright horrible - typical of HK film racism/homophobia)

Still, i've never seen the change from the old HK airport to the new HK airport used so effectively as a plot device... I guess I'd give it a 5/10.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 09/09/2003
Summary: Pretty good

Ok there are funny parts but the movie itself seems to finish so quickly!! It's basically about leon lai who has too many gals!! The ending is a bit unbelieveable but neither the less, worth watching!! Well my mum liked it!!


Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: JohnR
Date: 05/17/2003
Summary: Extra Medium

This film for the most part is a romance melodrama, but Wong Jing has thrown in some gags that send it lurching sideways just when you're riding smoothly along. I found Hsu Chi annoying as the ditzy movie star; she should have toned it down a bit. Leon Lai was even more annoying; he is so dull in most of the scenes you just want to slap him back to consciousness. It's never explained how super-dull Leon got together with super ditz Hsu Chi, but it's a clear case of opposites attract.

Carina gave a good performance as did Lee Ann. Lee Ann was almost always on the periphery and didn't speak much, yet you feel you know her character more than the other three; something was working there. Also, Mark Cheng Ho-Nam was very good as Brother Peace; the strongest of the bunch.

I think if Wong Jing would have dropped the gags, given Leon a kick in the pants and Hsu Chi a sedative the movie could have been really good. But it is good; saved by some effective scenes, Lee Ann, and Mark Cheng. You'll like it as long as you don't dwell too much on what it could have been.

Reviewed by: Buckeyez
Date: 01/23/2003
Summary: Delightful Comedy

Pleasantly surprised with the film, and I was pleased. Had me laughing in tears in certains parts. Leon and the beauties Carina, Shu, and LeeAnn made good together. Kept me guessing til the very end.

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 05/09/2002
Summary: Not bad

I won’t go into the story, as there is no point as it is pretty much summed up in the other reviews, I will just add my comments.

Firstly, as to the opening of the last review I have to agree with 100% “another Wong Jing mess”. But although the story seems a little shallow and unbelievable, it doesn’t turn it into a complete disaster. Wong Jing after all has done a few good films in the past (though most can be counted on one hand). It’s a drama I suppose, though there are some ‘jokes’, but they’re just not funny.

The song at the beginning (Andy Hui it sounds like) of the film says 2 things to me (oh no, this is for love-sick kids…and this is going to be so corny), but as soon as it finishes and the film starts off, things begin to look up, especially as Wong Jing decided to use sync-sound for the majority of the time (a rare thing for him). The film is certainly not bad to most extents.

As for acting, well, most of it is pretty terrible. Shu Qi being the worst. Carina Lau doesn’t do much better to start with, but is an improvement in comparison, and does get better during the film. On the up though, Leon Lai is excellent, and the pretty stunning new comer Lee Ann is not bad either (shame she can’t speak Cantonese or English though! – you will know what I mean if you see it). But the acting doesn’t really matter though, because it’s hard to judge when they were all given such an awful corny script as this. Saying that though, it’s one of those films most people could put up with, as long as you are not expecting something great. Most of the story is actually interesting, but the love triangle is boring and unoriginal – but that is expected for Wong Jing I guess - unoriginal!

But for 1998 (a poor year for the HK film industry), it’s certainly not too bad – I actually found it more enjoayable watching it again today, then when I first saw it a few years ago. But if you like films like ‘Feel 100%’, then you might enjoy it, though not as good in any way. I would probably say this is worth seeing if you get the chance.

I think it's worth mentioning too that the music overall is not bad actually, with the exception of Leon's song at the end - I found that too over the top, but considering most of the film it does suit!

Also, you might not be aware, but this is based on the Japanese TV series, and as a tribute half of it is filmed in Japan, with one of the main actors in the series having a cameo appearance too.

Overall, unoriginal concept, shallow characters most of the time, poor acting from most, but actually very enjoyable. I think that might be why I have given it 4 and not 3, because honestly I think it deserves more of a 3.

Rating: [4/5]

Reviewed by: gwailo
Date: 05/10/2001
Summary: Love Generation Hong Kong

Another Wong Jing mess. Though his camerawork is very sure handed, it's probably the best thing about the film(next to shu qi,of course). Wong once again opts for the middle of the road, not knowing which way to vere. The tepid love story serves as a mere contrivance to promote it's unbelievably shallow characters. The cringe inducing ending does no justice to the story before it. Awkward is the best word to describe the film. Wong, again, infuses the film with his 'stooge-like' asthetic, never knowing what to do in tender moments. In some of his films, it's a good thing. But here it is misplaced in what could have been a tender, lighthearted romance. But, alas, Wong Jing strikes again!

Reviewed by: Mark
Date: 12/30/1999
Summary: The old tried and true HK romance formula

I liked this movie. I just want to make that clear, because just about everything I say from now on will be to trash it. But I enjoyed watching it, particularly as I had spent the previous hour and a half getting the eyeballs flayed clean out of my skull by Cheap Killers, and I needed something to calm me down. This did the trick.

Bill Kay (Leon Lai) gets dumped in the rain in front of a fast-food chain restaurant by girlfriend Maggie (Carina Lau), who figures that if they marry they are doomed to a mortgage and 1.5 children. Flash forward six years (always be suspicious of a film made in 1998 that is set in 1992), and our boy Bill is a fabulously wealthy broker with squillions of cashola and the super glamorous movie star Joey (Hsu Chi) for a girlfriend and the doting super-organised Moon (Lee Ann d'Alexandry d'Orengiani) for a secretary. A chance meeting with Maggie rekindles the old affair, but is rudely snuffed out with her news that she is marrying an ex-triad named Peace in two weeks time. Bill resolves to get her back, apparently figuring that he'll work out what to do about Joey and Peace when the time comes.

It's a love triangle or three, the old tried and true HK romance formula. Who will Bill go with? Will Peace be happy, or will his knife-scarred heart be broken? Will Joey be "crazily wooed" in the style to which she is accustomed? Will Bill ever notice doe-eyed Moon, or is she doomed to collecting his sticky-notes as mementoes of a love that never was? It's certainly enough to sustain ninety minutes of goings-on, even though most of that is spent on the various couple combinations breaking up or making up.

But our man Wong Jing is in the director's chair, and he can't resist tossing his trademark handful of hilarious hijinx into the mix. These provide a few chortles, but rarely a crack-up, and their craziness actually undoes the mood of romantic melodrama that the film spends most of its time cultivating. I know HK film is exhilarating for its melting pot of styles, but having Carina Lau deliver a really good analysis of modern relationships in one scene and then have two lecherous dental assistants called Quicky (Fast-Beat) and Slowy (Slow-Beat) ham it up in the next is asking for just a bit too much mental rearrangement. I will say that some of the wacked-out bits are pretty good in their own right, particularly the ashtray scene at the dentist's, and the Princess Di car crash gag that goes past so subliminally you might not even notice it.

Things aren't helped by the fact that Leon's idea of acting in this one is to grin amiably or sulk prettily, depending on whether it's a break-up or make-up scene. He's very likeable, but it's not quite enough, especially if you've seen him combine his likeability with three-dimensional characterisation in Comrades, Almost a Love Story. He's just Leon in this one, but I guess he's the franchise after all. I certainly don't buy him as a killer Wall Street businessman, particularly when the only scene in which we see him flexing his fiscal faculties dissolves into a series of Homer Simpsonesque fantasies about humiliating his business associate, complete with fits of giggles at the negotiating table.

When the movie fights free of the gags that hold it back, there are some lovely scenes. The image of Moon making paper planes of Bill's post-it notes and paffing them out of the taxi window on the way to the airport is quite affecting, as is the use of the old HK airport as both a backdrop and a metaphor. And after all, you really can't bring yourself to totally dislike a film which has the line "I just want my crystal apple in my heart to return".

Reviewed by: ryan
Date: 11/21/1999
Summary: Love Generation Hong Kong (1998)

The relationship between between Bill GAY (Leon LAI) and Maggie (Carina LAU) was broken 6 years ago as Maggie want to let Bill concentrate on his career development. After 6 years, Bill is one of the rich businessman in the world and start the relationship with a Japanese actress Joey (HSU Chi). At the same time, Bill's best friend (Mark LUI)'s daughter Moon (LEE Ann) becomes his personal secretary. Once when Bill come to Japan, he meets Maggie again but Maggie said that she would marry with the head of underground Brother Peace (CHENG Ho-nam) in 2 weeks' time. Bill tries every effort in order to get back Maggie,......

If you are Japanese TV fan, you will know that the name of 'Love Generation Hong Kong' comes from one of the Japanese TV dramas. This time WONG Jing try to make a love comedy with serveral actress and tried to make the love story fun and meaningful.

In the plot, WONG Jing tried very hard for presenting the relationships between Bill and Maggie. I think he is successful at this point. In the scene of broken up, WONG tried to use third-party for presentation which is adequate. On the other hand, it seems that the extent for presenting the relationship between Moon and Bill is not enough. If there are more scenes showing how Moon like Bill, it would be more enjoyable and impressive.

For the plot, WONG Jing is clever by putting lots of elements into the movie. Though some of the jokes are dirty, some of them still works. I cannot say too much about it but some of them are out of your expectation. :p

In terms of performance, I think HSU Chi is still the most outstanding performer in the movie. She is shining! For Leon, I think he has tried hard. I'm a bit surprised as he has lots of scenes for emotional scenes for depressions. This is very rare in his past movies. It seems that Carina LAU has got enough for her but she has given her best. For LEE Ann, it is difficult to say as there are not many descriptions and dialogues for her.

This summer WONG Jing has directed 'A True Mob Story' and 'Love Generation Hong Kong'. I perfer 'A True Mob Story' more.