Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cherie Chung Week: Goodbye Darling (1987)

Brian has a review of Goodbye Darling here. And I'm really glad he does because it will save me the hassle of explaining the plot of this very annoying Raymond Wong film.

Goodbye Darling is a mix of styles -- all loud and unfunny -- into something resembling a comedy. Lead actor Raymond Wong is like a young, Chinese version of British comedian Ronnie Corbett from TV's "The Two Ronnies" program but without any of the British wit.

Unfortunately, this film is built around Raymond Wong.

In the first segment, he plays a man who gets breast cancer. Let the farce begin!

His buddy is John Shum who is typically over-the-top as most comedy actors were in Hong Kong films from this era.

After a botched bank robbery, foiled by Raymond Wong, Michael Chan shows up as Brother Fu, a Triad guy.

Then Raymond Wong and John Shum show up at their school reunion where Tai (Wong) wants to meet an old flame. It's just pure torture for the viewer.

As things progress, more and more people learn of Tai's breast cancer and think he's only got a year to live.

Then Sally Kwok shows up as a sexy neighbor. It's almost as if the scenes have no connection to one another and that makes the "chapter" title cards between some segments such annoyances. Really, the filmmakers put that much thought into this to divide it into chapters? I don't think so.

Anyway, then Josephine (Cherie Chung) shows up and gets jealous.

Then look for a cameo from Charlie Cho to bring a few moments of awkward comedy to the film.

What plot there is consists of Raymond Wong having another guy go after Cherie Chung because of the breast cancer.

I'm not ruining anything by revealing that Raymond Wong learns to stand up for himself. He also learns that he doesn't have cancer but only after a lot of comedic situations and a lot of small cameo roles by veteran character actors and actresses from Hong Kong cinema.

It's all lazily put together and plot-lines are introduced only to be abandoned, or forgotten about, quickly. Had Raymond Wong and John Shum been more charming leads, this might have been tolerable. As it is, Goodbye Darling is the type of film that just had me asking:

"Did Cherie Chung just do anything between 1987 and 1989? Maybe Chevy Chase's guy was over there and was just stamping a big 'yes' on anything that fell onto Cherie's desk too?"

You can order Goodbye Darling on DVD here.