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C'est La Vie, Mon Cheri
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Anita Yuen and Lau Ching-Wan
Chinese: 新不了情
Year: 1993
Director: Derek Yee Tung-Sing
Cast: Anita Yuen Wing-Yee, Lau Ching-Wan, Carrie Ng Ka-Lai, Carina Lau Ka-Ling, Petrina Fung Bo-Bo, Paul Chun Pui, Sylvia Chang, Jacob Cheung Chi-Leung, David Wu Dai-Wai, Wong Ching-Wah, Peter Chan Ho-San, Teddy Chan Tak-Sum, Joe Cheung Tung-Cho, Jamie Luk Kim-Ming, Bau Yi-Ching, Tats Lau Yi-Tat, Herman Yau Lai-To, Andy Chin Wing-Keung, Lau Tek-Yin, Wong Tin-Hang, Joe Junior, Candy Hau Woon-Ling
The Skinny: Enchanting, compelling melodrama that may feel like a Hallmark movie of the week, but manages to rise above its hackneyed genre thanks to an impressive production and terrific acting.
by Kozo:

This popular tearjerker tells the story of the perkiest girl alive, Min (Anita Yuen). Despite living in poverty and being saddled with leukemia, she's able to teach a lesson in living to embittered jazz musician Kit (Lau Ching-Wan). With Minís help, Kit is finally able to get his life together, ditch his overwhelming self-pity, and let go of his former relationship with pop diva Carina Lau Kar-Ling. Kit even gets around to finishing that great pop song heís been writing. He means for Min to sing it, but then the tragic disease strikes, and IT ALL GOES TO HELL. Well, it doesn't really go to hell, but you may end up feeling that way.

A remake of an older Hong Kong film, this is a good, solid movie that resembles a Hollywood film in its polished script and production values. Director Derek Yee brings a real respect to the material and manages to use characters and situations to tell the story instead of out-and-out dialogue. Despite the grim subject matter, the movie seems to celebrate life for a good two-thirds of its running time, and does so rather convincingly. The characters seem real and wholly identifiable, which makes everything that much sadder when the final act rolls around. The cast is uniformly good, with Anita Yuen turning in a surprisingly compelling performance.

Not unlike the American film Love Story, this movie is supposed to be about how one is internally affected by love, and not any real tangible reward. As such, some people may feel that the film has no payoff—but that's assuming movies need payoffs. Quite frankly, a win-win super mega-happy ending isn't necessary. If a film can engage, enchant, and entertain for the majority of its running time then it gets the thumbs up in my book. By that criteria, C'est La Vie, Mon Cheri certainly qualifies. (Kozo 1995/1996)


13th Annual Hong Kong Film Awards
• Winner - Best Picture
• Winner - Best Director (
Derek Yee Tung-Sing)
• Winner - Best Actress (Anita Yuen Wing-Yee)
• Winner - Best Supporting Actress (Petrina Fung Bo-Bo)
• Winner - Best Supporting Actor (Paul Chun Pui)
• Winner - Best Screenplay (
Derek Yee Tung-Sing)
• Nomination - Best Actor (Lau Ching-Wan)
• Nomination - Best Supporting Actress (Carrie Ng Ka-Lai)
• Nomination - Best Art Direction (Yee Chung-Man)
• Nomination - Best Costume Design (Dora Ng Lei-Lo)
• Nomination - Best Original Film Score (Chris Babida)
• Nomination - Best Song ("San Bat Liu Ching", performed by Man Fong)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Universe Laser
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

image courtesy of Universe Laser and Video Co., Ltd. Copyright ©2002-2017 Ross Chen