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Issue #146a HOME E-mail: mail@dighkmovies.com BACK ISSUES February 10th, 2003

Market's Romance
(2002; Movieland Production Company/Buddy Film Creative Workshop

A Masterpiece
Highly Recommended
Very Good
Marginal Recommendation
Not Recommended
Definitely Not Recommended

Cantonese: Ngor oi yat luk got
Mandarin: Wo ai yi lu ge
English: I Love A Piece Of Kudzu

Note: The original Chinese title of this film was FUN GOT, LANG YU, CHEK SIU DAU (Kudzu, Mud Carp, and Bean) -- the Chinese names of the three sisters. However, with the success of JUST ONE LOOK (YAT LUK JE or "one stick of sugar cane"), the title was changed.

Luen Yee Hui street market fishmonger Kudzu (Ellen Chan Ar-lun) is tops in her trade but has greater aspirations for her teenage sister, Bean (Siu Suet, aka Elle Choi). Kudzu is the world's biggest fan of popstar Alex To Tak-wai (appearing as himself) and, when her friend Gary (Ronald Cheng Chung-tai) discovers that he has a long lost brother, she believes that the evidence points conclusively to her favorite star. Kudzu's other sister, Mud Carp (Loletta Lee Lai-chun, billed here as Rachel Lee), has studied to be a lawyer and now has a rich fiancee in David (Edmond Leung Hon-man). However, Mud Carp is self-conscious about her deformed leg and is convinced that the family's working class background will not sit well with David's powerful father. To that end, she tells the man that Kudzu runs a salmon business in Canada, forcing her to feign sophistication and an ability to speak English. On top of this, Kudzu is upset to discover that Bean has fallen in love but would be even more furious if she knew that the target of the girl’s affections is a middle-aged butcher (Lui Fong, making his first movie appearance in quite sometime). Meanwhile, famous TV chef Ah Yat (the eternally deadpan Tats Lau Yee-tat) has become a regular customer at Kudzu's stand, and a local delivery boy (Patrick Tang Chi-wang) hopes to become his pupil. First, however, he will have to win the master's respect.

A first rate cast can make a mediocre film more pleasurable than it really has any right to be and that is clearly the case with MARKET'S ROMANCE. Everything about the plot and character arcs is utterly predictable, and the various threads resolve themselves in precisely the manner you expect them to. Law Wai-tak's direction is routine and a conflict that arises in the final third is thoroughly contrived. Thankfully, the cast is personable (particularly Ellen Chan, who is a really energetic and appealing presence here) and the film makes for agreeable, undemanding viewing without wearing out its welcome. A furiously mugging Sherming Yiu Lok-yee and Wong Yat-fei have supporting roles.

Cover art courtesy Asia Video Publishing.

Ellen Chan. Image courtesy Asia Video Publishing.

Loletta Lee and Edmond Leung. Image courtesy Asia Video Publishing.
Asia Video Publishing #AVPDVD032 (Hong Kong label)

Dolby Digital 5.1

Sync Sound Cantonese and Dubbed Mandarin Language Tracks

Optional Subtitles in English and Chinese (Traditional or Simplified)

6 Chapters Illustrated in the Menu With (Tiny) Stills

Letterboxed (1.80:1)

Coded for ALL Regions

NTSC Format

79 Minutes

Contains no potentially offensive elements

DVD menu courtesy Asia Video Publishing.

Hong Kong: IIA (though it really should have been Category I)

Asia Video Publishing's presentation is slightly on the bland and murky side but gets the job done. Unfortunately, the audio is terrible. The sync sound Cantonese track is marred by an annoying hum that can be heard from beginning to end. One initially suspects that this has been caused by the print's optical track but the Mandarin dub also suffers from this problem, revealing that the DVD production is at fault, and not the audio sources. There are no extras.

is available at Poker Industries.

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