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Final Romance
Chinese: 願望樹

Edison Chen and Amanda Strang




Alan Mak Siu-Fai


Benny Chan Muk-Sing

Cast: Edison Chen, Amanda Strang, Cindy Au Sin-Yi, Sam Lee Chan-Sam, Raymond Tso Wing-Lim, Tse Siu-Yun, Terence Yin, Simon Yam Tat-Wah, Oscar Leung Lit-Wai
The Skinny: Teenage weepie that does its job and serves its target audience. That means the great majority of the viewing public should stay away.
by Kozo:

Promising director Alan Mak's newest film is a definite change of pace. Final Romance is nothing like his entertaining and stylish A War Named Desire and Rave Fever. No, this is a youth weepie featuring pretty people and manufactured pathos. It's a beautifully produced film, but so devoid of any real weight that it becomes an immediate afterthought.

Edison Chen stars as a slacker mechanic who travels to Japan with his buddy Sam Lee. It seems Edison's brother was once in love with a girl who he met in Japan, but his untimely passing made the union impossible. Edison goes in his place, and meets up with the girl's sister Amanda Strang and her friend Cindy Au. It seems the girl also died, so only Amanda and Edison are left to pick up the pieces. 

Sparks immediately fly as nobody really gets along, but circumstances arise that provide the expected romantic situations. Unfortunately, Amanda is also sick as she has a bum ticker. And her dad (Simon Yam) expressly disapproves of Edison just as he disapproved of Edison's brother. Why? Well, these guys are working class stiffs who must make ends meet by changing tires and giving smog checks. Amanda and her deceased sister are rich princesses who are promised to better (i.e. richer) suitors. And besides, what tension would exist if we didn't have these age old Romeo and Juliet clichés to help us along? 

At this point, reviewing the film for its narrative prowess would be useless because let's face it: this is a movie for fourteen year-old girls and their fourteen year-old boyfriends. Edison Chen and Amanda Strang qualify as the pretty idols and Sam Lee and Cindy Au are the requisite best friends. Chen's acting is better than in Gen-Y Cops, and Strang is pretty but bland. Lee and Au are funny and unobtrusive. And really, that's all the target audience for this film requires. 

One would hope that Alan Mak would follow up his promising earlier pictures with edgier material, but he decided to go with this canned teen romance. That's really the film's biggest flaw: that it takes a couple of great character actors (Simon Yam and Sam Lee) and a talented director and wastes their talent and our time with something that would be advertised in "Tiger Beat" magazine.

Final Romance isn't a good film, but saying that it's truly awful would be like saying The Care Bears was an awful television show. The Care Bears served its target audience well; it had bears that cared, and little kids loved those little hearts on their stomachs. The same is true for Final Romance, but instead of bears with hearts we get Edison Chen. And hopefully our money back. (Kozo 2001)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Widesight Entertainment
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
English and Chinese Subtitles

image courtesy of Widesight Entertainment Copyright ©2002-2017 Ross Chen