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
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!
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
My rating for this film: 7.0
Distributed by Universe
The transfer is excellent.
Cantonese and Mandarin language tracks
The subtitles with 3 choices: Chinese
(Traditional), English, Chinese (Simplified)
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.