When Fortune Smiles

This relatively obscure Stephen Chow film turned out to be a delightful surprise as it consistently amuses and pleases. It was made in the same year (1990) as his breakthrough film “All for the Winner” but seems to have fallen through the cracks when people talk about their favorite Chow films.  The story line is classic screwball zaniness and offers Chow ample opportunity to create some terrific comedic skit like routines and also display his physical skills. A wealthy tycoon is on his deathbed and his son Anthony Wong is doing everything he can to persuade the dying man to change the will in his favor. The Second Master (Lam Kau) interrupts in time to hear the dying man's final wish - to make sure that his daughter Fei-Fei inherits all of his money and that Anthony gets zippo.
Stephen Chow, Mui Siu-wai and Anthony Wong
Fei Fei has been living in Paris for years and is sent for. At the same time, the Second Master's son (Shing Fui On) realizes that he must change the will or he too will be left out entirely. So her hires a petty thief - Stephen Chow - who he has captured cheating in his gambling casino (by sucking the till money through an under the table vacuum device - but instead of money he inhales an ashtray full of cigarette butts!).
Anthony Wong isn't exactly staying put either and when he notices that Rubbish Feng (Sandra Ng) is the spitting image of Fei-Fei, he kidnaps the real Fei-Fei and substitutes her with Ng. Ng's character is a can collector and she continues to nearly give away her identity by grabbing and crushing every can she finds. One fellow who realizes her real identity tortures her by rolling empty cans in her direction and she needs all the will power she can muster not to pounce on it in front of the cream of society. The story gets even more complicated when Chow is discovered trying to steal the will (but gets Shing's birth certificate instead) and after first pretending to be a French maid then pretends to be an old love of Fei-Fei. Of course, Sandra doesn't know any better and so goes along with it thinking this is the truth. Shing and Chow then decide to fall back on a new plan - for Chow to marry Ng and share her money with Shing. Neither Chow nor Shing know that Sandra is an impostor.
This set up all takes place in the first twenty minutes of the film and from this ensues various funny complications for the next 70 minutes. Along the way, Chow manages to have two excellent fights with Billy Chow and a hilarious pantomime scene with female comedian Mui Siu-wai in which Chow who has been captured and jailed by Anthony - pantomimes that she should unlock the door so that he can go the bathroom and she pantomimes back methods to him on how plug up the oncoming problem!
Lam Kau and Sandra Ng
It's a wonderfully light comedy - all of Chow’s future comical trademarks are on view - and it is quite sweet as well. Anthony Chan who directs this film also shows up as the inept but technology savvy detective. 

Chow and Billy Chow



My rating for this film: 7.0

DVD Information:

Distributed by Universe

The transfer is excellent.

Letterboxed

Cantonese and Mandarin language tracks

The subtitles with 3 choices:  Chinese (Traditional), English, Chinese (Simplified) 

8 Chapters

It has it's own trailer plus previews for Magnificent Scoundrels and Final Justice.

There is cast infomation for Stephen Chow, Sandra Ng and Anthony Chan

The subs are easy to read.