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同居蜜友 (2001)
Fighting for Love

Reviewed by: ewaffle
Date: 06/06/2008

Like its more ancient cousin tragedy, romance has meant many things to dramatists and audiences over the centuries. “Fighting for Love”, despite the best efforts from its winsome cast, doesn’t fill any of the definitions of romance—nor is it funny. It is quite mean spirited with a very cynical view of relationships with some of the outright cruelty that characterized, for example, the city plays of Ben Jonson such as “Volpone” but with none of the satirical sparkle of the English renaissance master. It is a malicious mess.

The main victim is Mindy who spends most of the movie out of sight. Mindy is a minor pop star who has a posse of fans who follow her everywhere and who is guilty only of being utterly in love with Veg Chiang. Chiang is a bit of a cipher, content to drive her around but finds something missing in his life. He is surrounded by several siblings and his mother, none of whom are anything but annoying. Chiang’s response to his feeling of ennui is working too much, drinking too much and road rage. Deborah Fok, who Sammi Cheng succeeds in making into a dreadfully unlikable character, clips his car with hers during one of Chiang’s manic drives. This is the first “meet cute” between them and results in a police officer (after Chiang has broken his toe kicking Deborah’s parked car) telling them to figure things out themselves. Chiang tells Deborah to show up at midnight at the clubhouse where “Gut Lee” meets. Thinking Gut Lee is a triad faction she enlists the help of lawyer who recruits a cop who specializes in gangs. It turns out that Gut Lee is a restaurant that sells bull organ soup and the guys from the eatery are getting together to drink themselves into insensibility and decide who gets to leave with the hooker that is part of the crowd. After both of them get drunk Chiang and Deborah wind up at Deborah’s apartment waking up in her bed.

The response of the two of them is telling. Chiang just wants to get out of there as soon as he can and tries to sneak away without awakening Deborah. She wakes up with a smile of morning after satisfaction following their night of lovemaking. For Chiang it was a dumb mistake to be put behind him as quickly as possible while Deborah is now in love. Gee, just like in the movies.

The other side of Deborah is shown by the way she mercilessly bullies, harasses and belittles the rest of the staff at the company that employs here. She is a horrible person, going out of her way to attack those who can’t hit back at her and digging into their most vulnerable points. It is clear that the people who work for her both fear and loathe her and if one of them pushed her out of a window it would be fitting. It turns out that she isn’t the boss, though, more an office manager or second in command. She comes into work one day to find the locks to her office door changed and her boss waiting to meet with her. He blames her for negotiating a deal that is costing the company a lot of money, a deal that the boss’s wife actually put together. Deborah is summarily fired, much to the barely suppressed glee of her former office mates.

The rest of the movie is a very standard and not terribly done mashup of attraction/avoidance between her and Chiang in which she goes to work for him, makes stupid mistakes that almost puts him out of business and then helps him to save the day. It isn’t interminable but it is really, really long. Part of the mutual bonding has Deborah moving into Chiang’s family home and sleeping on a couch. His brother, sisters, sister-in-law and mother variously decide that they hate her or love her but never do so convincingly or wittily.

Mindy returns from her tour and is immediately aware of the difference in Chiang. She is beautiful (Niki Chow), talented, wealthy and secure. She loves and wants to marry Chiang, something that has been in the works for quite a while. Since he is an angry, confused although rich lout he decides that he would prefer to spend his life with a woman with who foreplay is splitting a case of beer.

There are some nice moments in “Fighting for Love” but that’s all they are, quick glimpses of real wit and talent that is largely wasted here.

Reviewer Score: 2

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 07/06/2006
Summary: lighthearted, ordinary.

As a film journalist, I have a dog-eared composition notebook where I keep notes about each movie I see. I saw Joe Ma Wai-Ho's Fighting for Love about a year ago. In my notes, I commented about Tony Leung Chiu-Wai's expertise at comedic acting and the enjoyment he clearly derives from playing in these lighthearted romantic comedies.

Fighting for Love is so lighthearted and so ordinary that I can't remember one part of the story or the plot. I did enjoy the film, I can tell from my notes. The film was funny, romantic, and heart-wrenching as is appropriate for this genre. I thought Sammi Cheng Sau-Man did an excellent job in her role, too. The two lead actor's had a nice on-screen chemistry.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 04/01/2006
Summary: fighting to stay awake

The positives of this movie is the strong start and the "bitchy" last few scenes, but in the middle it;s just your standard romantic comedy with very few laughs and almost no where to go. You can't blame the actors for this standard, run of the mill movie. A lot better romantic comedies out there that this one


Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: pjshimmer
Date: 03/03/2004
Summary: Barely watchable

Mostly a boring story with very few laughs.


Reviewed by: YutGouHoYun
Date: 01/19/2003
Summary: Fighting For Love by YutGouHoYun

Fighting For Love is a good romantic comedy, not great but good. It follows the formula for a romantic comedy and doesn't fail to please the heart. Instead of giving a decent review of this movie, I will have to borrow from this humorous review i read somewhere on the internet a long while back. Or maybe its on this site. It was about a guy who purchased a VCD from chinatown. He thought he would go home to watch his movie but when he got home, the quality was awful and couldn't be watched. So he went back to the place to find out the place was shut down and he went inside and wanted to get his money back. It turns out the people were triads and they beat him up with a bat badly. Because of that he gave a bad review of the movie. Or something like that.

Reviewed by: wahwah
Date: 08/02/2002
Summary: another great 1 from sammi

sammi cheng has given the down-to-earth quality to her character which makes this movie one to watch. the storyline is realistic and not so out of whack e.g. marry a rich man also starring sammi. tony leung's irresistable boy-next-door personality really tops this movie off, along with the ending that is not big and prepostorous but doing the job all the same.

Reviewed by: fancynancy
Date: 07/05/2002
Summary: Very funny

I am such a fan of sammi cheng- she rocks!! I reckon this is one of her most hilarious movies, and its sweet, cute, and fresh. Tony Leung is such a good comedian, he has his very watchable flat, deadpan humour, and sammi is just lovely and and not too cute.

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 02/10/2002
Summary: Not too bad

As far as HK romance comedies goes, this isn't too bad considering plenty of worst movies like this in 2001. THen again though, other than the average romance story, there is nothing new covered and both main stars have done these parts plenty of times before in other movies. Still, not too bad if you like romance comedies.

Rating: 2.5/5

Reviewed by: tdockweiler
Date: 02/10/2002

I don't really know what to think of this movie quite yet. I did actually enjoy watching most of it and thought some parts were rather funny, but some just didn't work out so well and came across completely unfunny to me. I could name at least a dozen just like this, but that's alright with me. At least they tried!

The most positive thing I can say about this movie was the acting, it was rather good at times, and I liked the two main characters, but not many others in the movie I hate to say.

The biggest problem with this movie is that it starts out good and then when you are an hour into it things start going downhill from there and everything became so ridiculous and far-fetched. Half of what was taking place onscreen would almost never happen in real life I would imagine. But yes, I know it's just a movie!

I think certain things in the movie could have been taken out to make it a little better. Like how Tony Leung had a girlfriend already. It just made everything to complicated to me. Then you had to have the script writer come up with a way to get her out of the picture so you could end up with an ending everyone expected!

If everything was simplified just a little bit, i'm sure it would have ended up just a little better in some ways.

I also felt like some of the characters in the movie were useless and didn't add to the movie in any way and weren't needed. I would have been perfectly happy if they had taken out at least 3 characters in the script. Some were just annoying to me.

To me, this movie is worth a rental, but definitely not worth buying in my opinion. Nowhere near being a bad movie, just nothing that great. It's definitely a good movie to watch if you're bored. I would compare this to the film called Needing You. If you liked that one, you might also enjoy this one. My opinion of the two films is about the same I think.

a very high 6.5/10

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: Trigger
Date: 11/20/2001
Summary: Cute Little Romantic Comedy.

Fighting For Love is very cute. It stars Tony Leung and Sammi Cheng (who also stars in Love on a Diet) as two people who meet by accident and end up falling for each other. Tony Leung's character has a girlfriend who is a spokeswoman for all sorts of products and he seems to be her assistant more than her boyfriend. He runs a restaurant as well. Sammi is a savvy business woman who doesn't take any guff. Anyway - I don't want to give anything away - it's just a simple love story. The acting is pretty good - Tony is ok, but Sammi is fantastic. She's so quirky... if you like that sort of thing. It's just a cute fluff romantic comedy movie... not very dramatic, some funny moments and it leaves you feeling good.

The Universe DVD is a pretty clean transfer and good sound and includes a making of and a music video. It's 2001 film and the production values are pretty decent. These two are also two of the hottest stars right now in that genre - and I don't think they've ever been in a movie together before this. I give it a thumbs up and I'd say 7-8/10.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: zarrsadus
Date: 10/30/2001

A decent movie with a good sense of humor. The plot was romantic and carried throughout the movie until the very end, which was a tad dissapointing. My favorite scene was when Deborah and Veg met up again in the bar and got drunk, this was they first connected after the initial fight and stuck with me throughout the movie. The only dissapointment was towards the end when Veg couldn't get over Mindy. The acting by Sammi Cheng was really good during this part, however I liked her so much as a character that I didn't like seeing her suffer ^_^. Overall a decent love story. 7 out of 10.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: tulip17
Date: 06/27/2001
Summary: Light , Funny , Enjoyable

Well i really enjoy watching this movie.
Especially when both of them were fighting.At the carpark , road and bar.It was also kinda sad when Sammie have to go. I really like the songs in that movie.Including the english song.Hope anyone can tell me the title of every songs.Thats all.Thanks.

Reviewed by: MilesC
Date: 06/16/2001
Summary: Modestly enjoyable, if utterly lightweight.

There's two ways to look at a movie like Fighting For Love, and I could easily fall into either camp depending on the mood I'm in. The first and more critical view is that FFL is a slapdash, meaningless romantic comedy with an utterly unsurprising plot, visuals that, save for a few choice shots, are generally uninteresting and use a muted color palette, and not nearly enough solid laughs to carry the film. The other view- the one I was inclined to take, given my low expectations for the film and otherwise uneventful afternoon- was that FFL is a testament to the importance of star-power and audience goodwill. Tony and Sammi give, as expected, excellent performances, and "sell" situations that are otherwise uninspiring. Their initial "meet cute" scene is particularly impressive, being one of the most adverserial in recent memory. Although many character arcs and situations seem to go unresolved and underexploited, the actors can make you forget, at least while you're watching the film, that it's all so illogical. A particularly impressive scene almost screams to be seen on the big-screen in order to see the tears slowly well up in Sammi's eyes. Standout moments like these from the leading actors, as well as a few decent gags and one or two genuinely surprising and funny (if inconsequential) reversals make Fighting For Love a reasonably enjoyable one-off viewing, even if it is a letdown as a potential romantic blockbuster.