My Funny Intern


Reviewed by YTSL

A significant proportion of overseas Hong Kong film fans are aware that Brigitte Lin Ching-Hsia originally hails from Taiwan.  However, not that many seem to have viewed any of the Taiwanese movies -- especially those made prior to 1980 -- in which this East Asian cinematic legend appeared (and usually was accorded the lead female role).  To some extent, this is understandable, on account of (English subtitled) home video versions of quite a few of these being difficult, maybe impossible, to find and most -- if not all -- of them feeling plus looking very dated.  At the same time, the prospect of their often being chockfull of appealing, fascinating and at times downright swoon-inducing views of the then immensely cute as well as youthful actress who figures in them can seem like ample compensation for the trials undergone by those dedicated BLCH fans who track down and check out these, if truth be told, frequently alternately or simultaneously insipid and silly works.

Something that is a sort of bonus feature -- and possible source of empathetic amusement -- in such as MY FUNNY INTERN is that many of the characters in them appear to be as struck and besotted by the beauty of Brigitte Lin as many of her real life admirers.  As an example, in the opening shots of this 1976 offering, the ďhousemanĒ medico that the then twenty-two year old essays (whose name is Dr. Fang Jie Liar -- with the last bit being pronounced as Lee-ahr rather than like a teller of lies) is amusingly shown leaving a trail of obviously visually impressed, gawping and momentarily physically stunned male patients and other men in her wake as she seemingly obliviously makes her way to her office.  Additionally, a little later in the movie, the good doctor is seen having to deal with a long line of men who are entirely willing to fake being ill in order to have a short face-to-face encounter with a consciously curt and deliberately pain-inducing -- by way of a 500 or even 5000 cc. injection prescribing! -- yet undeniably pretty her.
In light of the extra bother that Dr. Fang has to endure compared to other physicians (or just because sheís played by Brigitte!), perhaps she could be excused for taking risks that may result in misdiagnosis and medical malpractice.  Still, the particularly lovely nosed as well as thick eye browed individual might count herself fortunate that when one instance of the former occurred, she did realize that she had made an error before she completely dismissed the patient, and also that temporarily flu-stricken he happened to come in the form of MY FUNNY INTERNís main man: a football (soccer to Americans...) player cum coach named Lu Yi Min (played by Ms. Linís six time co-star, the first-billed -- for this film -- Alan Tang) who is hardly about to buck the trend of finding her to be very attractive and thinking that she definitely would be worth romantically pursuing.
Indeed, so serious is Yi Min in his efforts to woo the single woman -- who lives with her three hours younger twin brother (Fang Sin is portrayed by Raymond Liu) -- that he personally resorts to reading and following a host of creative suggestions tendered in a newspaperís regular romantic advice column (written by someone identified in print as Ding Ping but whom he actually knows -- though he doesnít find this out for a time -- by another moniker).  Sensing that the formerly playboyish individual really may have come across his one true love in the sweet-faced -- even when solemn or darkly somber -- Dr. Fang, some of his female as well as male pals set about trying to help him win her over.  As luck would have it though, not only does one of their frankly ridiculous schemes majorly backfire -- and incur her disapproval and ire -- but an unrelated plan involving another female friend of Yi Minís getting him to pretend to be her fiancé (so that she can fend off a suitor that she is not attracted to) goes awry when Dr. Fang mistakes fiction for reality.
Just as Yi Min managed to get his mother to smooth over one problematic incident however, another older female -- in this case, yet one more of his platonic friends, whose work as the manager of a modeling agency meant that she also coincidentally was -- at least for a while, anyways -- the boss of Fang Sinís girlfriend -- ended up having an influential role in ensuring that MY FUNNY INTERN would have the happy ending that surely was sought by the great bulk of its audience.  For my part, while I am not unopposed to the movie having the upbeat conclusion that it does, I have to admit to wishing that there actually had been more opportunities for its leading lady (who appeared in a total of twelve productions in 1976, by the way) to demonstrate her considerable acting ability and range than there were in this undemanding offering that turned out to be insufficiently filled with both laugh out loud comedy and high melodrama.

My rating for the film: 5.5