The Romancing Star (1987)

Here is a gem of a movie from a time in Hong Kong cinema before The Killer [1989] and God of Gamblers [1989] made Chow Yun-Fat a huge international screen sensation. In The Romancing Star, writer and director Wong Jing puts Chow in an ensemble that includes Stanley Fung Sui-Fan, Nat Chan Pak-Cheung and a young Eric Tsang Chi-Wai.

Stanley Fung Sui-Fan was an established character actor at the time while comedian Nat Chan Pak-Cheung’s star was on the rise, like Chow’s. He fits in well and is far less annoying here than in some of his other film work. Eric Tsang is, as stated, young, energetic, and goofy beyond belief. Writer Wong’s screenplay starts with his standard “boys chasing girls” scenario that he’s used many times in his now long and illustrious career. Mix in lots of language jokes and misunderstandings as boys chase after the girls, played by Maggie Cheung Man-Yuk and Cheung Lai-Ping.

Vivid cinematography by David Choi Wa-Sing captures the vibrant pastel palette that was the fashion of the period. This early Wong Jing film parodies other hit movies of the time. In The Romancing Star, it is Sammo Hung Kam-Bo’s Heart of the Dragon [1985] and John Woo’s A Better Tomorrow [1986] that gets skewered.

Copyright © 2006 John Crawford. All rights reserved.