C’est La Vie, Mon Cheri (1994)

July 3, 2003 • Film, Reviews

[director Tung-Shing Yee]
98 min

One of the sweetest, gentlest films. Ever. This well-paced, well-measured romance rocketed actors Anita Yuen and Lau Ching-Wan to moviestardom and insured that director Derek Yee would be able to keep making films for a number of years to come.

And it is worth every minute of your time that you spend on it! Because Cest La Vie, Mon Cheri is one of the great romantic films of the 90s, comparable to The English Patient or Suzhou River for sheer romantic spirit. The film is very simple, following a depressed jazz composer’s rebirth as he encounters a happy-go-lucky young street-opera performer. The young man and woman meet each other and spend most of the film just hanging out, talking with each other and sharing little mundane, everyday adventures and experiences. They become close friends, and finally they become lovers.

Director Yee beguiles us with the even, everyday tone of the film and the natural feel of the performances. By focusing on normal people, characters that aren’t iconic or famous people, Yee has created a healthy, happy romance between two people, and an aching story of love, to boot.

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