Ah, another Romantic Comedy. If I was the paranoid sort, I’d suspect Mark Gor was sending me to these things with the intention of brightening my outlook and making me a happier person. That may very well work for the weaker amongst us but worry not faithful reader, be comforted that I am much too bitter and cynical to fall for such a weak and obvious ploy.
No, instead that cynicism comes in to recognise My Lucky Star as just another Chinese New Year offering to get people in the right mood – kind of like Valentine’s Day weekend except with more focus on luck, prosperity and the generic making of money. The fact that it is also a Romantic Comedy, well, that just endears me to the film, does it not?
I did say I’d consider whether my prejudice against this genre was justified, didn’t I? Well I have thought about it and I’m not really in the ranting mood at the moment. It could be a guy thing but I take solace in the moral superiority of not liking formulaic regurgitated clap – no matter where it’s coming from. The thing is, as Love for All Seasons seemed to prove, if there is something for me to get my teeth into then, yeah, sure, I can appreciate a Romantic Comedy on a case by case basis. So does My Lucky Star overcome this particular personal grudge?
Well if you haven’t already picked up on the tone of the review so far, then the answer is no, I wasn’t that big a fan of this one. Why? Well the easy answer is it just seemed to have everything I hate and too little a distraction to think that yeah, that was cool.
Let’s start with the plot (for those worried about spoilers, it may be advisable to skip the rest of this paragraph. I’ll try to keep it as general as possible but then hindsight is 20-20). It introduced the two leads early on (though not in their modern guise) and a rapport was quickly established. It even introduced the villain and quickly established him as the third wheel troublemaker. Obstacle for romance created and story begins in earnest. After characters are established, leads meet, fall in love, discover the hurdle they must overcome (including a vague prophecy), overcome hurdle and villian and fulfil vague prophecy all at the same time. Oh and live happily ever after. No serious diversions or plot twists. At all.
And Miriam Yeung was just so ditzy that it just became grating at the end. She was fine at the beginning when terrible stuff would happen to her and she’d just bounce back with that boundless energy – that was comedy (Not in a particularly funny sense of course but technically true). But when she finally gets together with Tony Leung and just dotes on him constantly… [must think <KILL> positive thoughts. Must calm <DEATH> down]. And Tony himself presents such a bland performance that is so unworthy of him. You see the occasional spark when he’s really getting into things but it’s not really difficult to see he’s going through the motions with such a two dimensional character.
But enough with the negative. What positives can I say about the film? Well personally I appreciated a film centred upon Feng Shui and general Chinese fortune telling. It’s something that I only have a vague exposure to and seeing it at work was quite informative. Though not a serious film, it does introduce superstitions which may seem laughable yet a great deal of people put much faith into and has as much justification as people rushing to check their horoscope (which yes, also gets done in this film but then they try to cover all bases when it comes to superstitions in this though western astrology tends to be given a basic lip service more than anything here). Apart from that though, I really can’t think of anything else to endear me to this film.
So really, My Lucky Star is pretty much your standard fare for Romantic Comedies. For a New Year film, it’s kind of disappointing. Not that it leaves you with a the taste of ashes in your mouth when you walk out of the theatre but surely your time can be better spent making money in the New Year.