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Let's Make Laugh
Chinese: 表錯7日情 Let's Make Laugh
Kenny Bee and Cecilia Yip
Year: 1983
Director: Alfred Cheung Kin-Ting
Writer: Alfred Cheung Kin-Ting
Cast: Kenny Bee, Cecilia Yip Tung, Anthony Chan, John Chang Kuo-Chu, Anita Mui Yim-Fong, Elaine Kam Yin-Ling, Charlie Cho Cha-Lei, Wong Jing, Alfred Cheung Kin-Ting, Yip Ha-Lei, Cheng Mang-Ha, Yip Jun-Hoi, Wong Ching-Ho, Clarence Fok Yiu-Leung
The Skinny: Eighties Hong Kong Cinema that's dated and occasionally sloppy, but also funnier and sexier than its modern counterparts. Cecilia Yip won a Best Actress Hong Kong Film Award for her role.
by Kozo:
While dated by modern filmmaking standards, Alfred Cheung’s 1983 romantic comedy Let’s Make Laugh has enough humor and character to qualify it as an entertaining commercial gem. In the annals of Hong Kong Cinema history, the film is probably seen as more than that; Let’s Make Laugh won Hong Kong Film Awards for Cheung’s screenplay and lead actress Cecilia Yip. Given the Hong Kong film industry’s fast-and-loose filmmaking at the time, both awards were likely earned. Cheung’s screenplay makes up in emotion and surprise what it lacks in development or credibility, while Yip’s turn as an abandoned wife is stellar and sexy.

Make that exceptionally sexy. Unlike chaste modern times, Hong Kong actresses of the early eighties actually engaged in a bit of nudity and sexiness. Yip doesn’t expose “points”, but she pretty much does everything but in her love scenes with co-star Kenny Bee. Former Wynners member Bee plays Li Tu, an arrested development dope who works as a security guard for the Baliff’s office. He’s assigned to guard a house for seven days while its owner, unfaithful husband Lei Wei-Chih (Chang Kuo-Chu), is supposed to pay off his debts. However Wei-Chih is not around, having skipped down with his mistress (Elaine Kam). That leaves wife Nai-Tung (Cecilia Yip) alone at the house with the strange and rather immature Li Tu. Hijinks ensue, but after a fashion, love and infidelity do blossom, leading to the expected super happy ending. Maybe.

Given Let’s Make Laugh’s comic tone and broad performances, one can only imagine that things will end in the best way possible, with the unfaithful husband getting his while the new couple get the house, the money and probably the dog. Still, what stands out here is the filmmakers’ willingness to portray layered, even complex emotions in a seemingly throwaway commercial film. Surprisingly, the film and characters actually end up where they would and not where one expects they should, leading to a bittersweet and unexpected denouement. There’s still some stuff to groan about, including a sappy montage sequence that includes a happy family running on the beach, plus an overacting performance from an older-than-he-should-be Kenny Bee. By modern standards, Let’s Make Laugh is cheap and cheesy, but it’s got charm, humor and appropriate, accomplished feeling. The small roles by Anita Mui, Wong Jing and director Alfred Cheung are just a bonus. (Kozo 2009/2010)



DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 3 NTSC
Intercontinental Video Ltd.
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
image credit: Celestial Pictures Copyright ©2002-2017 Ross Chen