REVIEW: Itchy Heart (2004)

itchyheart

Hong-kong-icon

2004, China Star Entertainment Group/One Hundred Years of Film/Singing Horse Production Ltd./China Film Group Corporation

Director:
Matt Chow
Producers:
Joe Ma
Ivy Kong
Writer:
Matt Chow
Cinematography:
Ko Chiu-Lam
Editing:
Azrael Chung

Cast:
Sean Lau (Poon Chi-Man)
Carina Lau (Cheung Choi-Bing)
Cherrie Ying (Cherry)
Andy On (Wil)
Coco Chiang (Mrs. Poon)
Lawrence Chou (Mash Potato)
You Hang (Cheung Chi-Sing)
Soi Cheang (Disco Doorman)
Hiro Hayama (Japanese Man)

Sean Lau and Carina Lau’s on screen chemistry is the highlight of this film, as well as some pretty good performances by Cherrie Ying and Andy On, that takes a look at marriage and the trials and tribulations revolving around the life event.

It’s been seven years since Poon Chi-Man had gotten married and things have taken a downward spiral between the two. The once happy union between the two have gone downhill. When Mrs. Poon decides to take a vacation to Tokyo with a friend of hers, Man decides this would be a perfect opportunity to stop being bored and have some fun. When he finally convinces one of his friends to go to a disco with him, Man meets Cherry, an eccentric twenty-year old woman who longs to just live life. She is instantly attracted to Man. However, to Man’s surprise, he also runs into Bing, an old girlfriend who Man had truly loved before getting married.

While Man and Cherry begin a flirtatious relationship with each other, Man is stunned to learn that Bing is in a very interesting situation with Wil, her physical trainer. As Man and Bing begin to spend more time together, Man’s old feelings for her begin to return but temporarily stops when Cherry falls ill. When Cherry and Man go to dinner with Wil and Bing, both Cherry and Wil soon learn that their partners are truly beginning to feel for each other. When the four head to Tokyo, they are to learn a lesson that not only involved relationships, but they soon learn a new lesson on life and this will be one trip this group will never forget.

Matt Chow is quite an interesting actor and filmmaker who is primarily known for his comedy films. With this film, whose Chinese title translates to “The Seven Year Itch”, Chow takes a look at marriage in Hong Kong and the trials and tribulations that can ensue. The film doesn’t really have a central couple in mind, but focuses on a husband who after seven years, starts to feel the stresses of marriage when his wife goes to Tokyo for a vacation with a friend and gets himself tempted to finally be free. However, he learns a thing or two about himself and eventually finds his life change forever.

The film’s highlight is the chemistry between Sean Lau, who plays the husband in mind, and Carina Lau, who plays an old girlfriend who warms up to the husband despite having reservations due to the fact that they broke up over commitments. At the same time, the husband finds himself in a flirtatious relationship with a much younger woman, played by Cherrie Ying while the old girlfriend is sleeping with her physical trainer, played by Andy On. Ying and On are actually quite good in their roles playing younger partners who at times let their immaturity get the best of them, especially On’s Wil, but ultimately come around. Do these two end up as a couple themselves? One will never know.

Some hilarious highlights of the film include a costume party where Sean Lau and Carina Lau dress up as Danny and Sandy from Grease with On dressed up as a member of the Village People and unexpectedly finds himself having “backup”. On even goes in funny mode when in an attempt to win back Carina Lau, dresses up as Danny from Grease himself at the recommendation of Sean Lau. Finally, the trip of the four to Tokyo proves to be the pivotal point of the film as everything changes and even a twist is revealed that changes the fate of these four central characters.

Itchy Heart is a wild and comic look at marriage in Hong Kong and perhaps, all over the world. Sean Lau and Carina Lau truly carry the film with ample support from Cherrie Ying and Andy On as their respective younger “partners”. Definitely a Hong Kong non-action film worth checking out.

WFG RATING: B+

DVD

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