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Needing You...
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Sammi Cheng and Andy Lau mix love with office politics in Needing You...

Chinese: 孤男寡女  
Year: 2000  
Director: Johnnie To Kei-Fung, Wai Ka-Fai
Writer: Wai Ka-Fai, Yau Nai-Hoi
Cast: Andy Lau Tak-Wah, Sammi Cheng Sau-ManFiona Leung Ngai-Ling, Raymond Wong Ho-Yin, Hui Siu-Hung, Lam Suet, Gabriel Harrison, Florence Kwok Siu-Wan, Henry Yu Yung, Sam Sam, Vanessa Chu Man-Wah
The Skinny: A major hit and deservedly so. Sharp direction, a clever script and delightful star turns make this the most satisfying movie of the year. Sammi Cheng, you are now a major box-office star.
by Kozo:

Though they’ve begun to dabble in commercial cinema (see Running Out of Time), Milkyway Productions has never done a movie this fluffy and inconsequential. Johnnie To and Wai Ka-Fai have adapted a Metro Radio audio play about workplace romance and gossip, and even brought in the two stars who performed said play: Andy Lau and Sammi Cheng. The result is probably the most satisfying and enjoyable HK romance since The Golden Girls.

Lau is Wah-Siu, womanizing top sales manager of an HK electronics firm. Cheng is Kinki, one of his newly transferred assistants, who finds her boyfriend Dan (Gabriel Harrison) cheating on her. Kinki is an emotionally unusual girl. Given to fits of pathological cleaning, Kinki is a perpetual doormat but a pure-hearted girl (is there ever any other type in an HK romance?). Though Wah-Siu initially finds Kinki an awful employee, he eventually recognizes her kindness and work ethic, and proceeds to befriend and mentor her in resolving her situation with Dan. Meanwhile, old flame Fiona (Fiona Leung) arrives and senses that Kinki may be occupying to much to Wah-Siu’s time. She arranges to have internet mogul Roger Young (Raymond Wong) squire Kinki, which drives Wah-Siu into his own romantically-depressed spiral.

This airy movie sounds like a typical weeper, but Johnnie To and Wai-Ka Fai find new ways to entertain. Wah-Siu and Kinki are both overdrawn but likable and identifiable characters, and their romantic trials are told more through incidental action than verbal affirmation. Leave it to the Milkyway guys to pioneer a cinematic romantic comedy. When whole pages of exposition can be substituted by one finely-timed gesture or action, it makes moviegoing all the more enjoyable. Sammi Cheng and Andy Lau manage to find some genuine chemistry, with Cheng turning in a delightfully endearing performance. Her goofy charm and girlish grace make her the most winning HK romantic comedy lead since Anita Yuen. At the halfway point of 2000, Needing You qualifies as the best Hong Kong film of the year. (Kozo 2000)

Notes: • Needing You's most extended—and winning—joke could be lost on many new fans of HK Cinema. The film possesses many references to the 1990 romantic drama A Moment of Romance, which starred Andy Lau and was produced by Johnnie To. In that film, Lau played a going-nowhere gangster named Wah Dee, and many of Needing You's more subtle joys are derived from the constant lampooning of Lau's role in that film, as well as his own established screen persona. As a result, those who know Lau as just "the guy who appeared in Infernal Affairs" might not get what other people find so funny.
Awards: 20th Annual Hong Kong Film Awards
Nomination - Best Picture
Nomination - Best Director (Johnnie To Kei-Fung, Wai Ka-Fai)
Nomination - Best Actress (Sammi Cheng Sau-Man)
Nomination - Best Screenplay (Wai Ka-Fai, Yau Nai-Hoi)
Nomination - Best Song ("On the Love Line", performed by Sammi Cheng Sau-Man)
7th Annual Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards
Recommended Film

37th Annual Golden Horse Awards

Nomination - Best Actress (Sammi Cheng Sau-Man)
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 3 NTSC
Kam & Ronson
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
*Also Available on Blu-ray Disc
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image courtesy of Copyright ©2002-2017 Ross Chen