Review: Let’s Sing Along (2001)

Directed by:
Cast: ,

Not available in Australia on DVD (to our knowledge)

Karaoke comedy. It’s a new genre. That’s not necessarily a good thing, but it’s damn amusing to anyone who’s ever been trapped in an interminable karaoke party, which, judging by the laffs from the audience when I checked this number, is pretty much everyone in Hong Kong.

The story and the jokes in Let’s Sing Along are both standard. Nerdy office worker Chu Wai Tak (Anita Mui) has the talent to be the Queen of Karaoke, but is too nervous to sing in public. Slack office worker King Wong (Dayo Wong) is full of bravado and fancies himself as King of Karaoke, but lacks that one teeny weeny little critical component: talent. So, before you can say My Fair Lady the two are hooked up and King is grooming her to be the Queen while trying desperately not to fall in love with his latter day Eliza.

Director Matt Chow is a fine writer (his scripts for Wilson Yip’s films Bio Zombie, Bullets Over Summer and Juliet in Love are pearlers), but he doesn’t quite have the directorial zing to carry this off. Some sequences are wonderful (Chu Wai Tak learns to stare, a Karaoke-Off between duelling kings, and other moments), but many scenes range from standard to flat.

I’m guessing that he spent most of his time trying to reign in Hong Kong comedian Dayo Wong, who probably does funny standup, but is a bit grating here (oddly I got fond of him eventually – although it took over an hour – but I still don’t forgive him for his lame appropriation of the Budweiser wazzup? craze). Anita is more watchable, but she’s operating on about three-tenths of the energy she brought to the tour de farce Wu Yen at the start of the year.

I’m being a little harsh. It’s entertaining enough, there are some great gags, and the ending is a hoot. But, after being spoiled by the zing and snap of recent Hong Kong comedies such as La Brassiere and You Shoot, I Shoot, this feels a little off-key.

5 Cantonese wazzups? out of 10.
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