Love me Love my money

Tony Leung (Hero, Hard Boiled, Chungking Express, Fighting for love) is Richard Ma, an extremely wealthy businessman who is unpleasantly tight fisted and stingy. After his ex-girlfriend cancels his credit cards and sells off the contents of his house, Richard is left temporarily penniless for a weekend. A chance meeting with a beautiful stock broker named Ah Choi, played by Shu Qi (The Eye 2, The Transporter) sets off a chain of events that will hopefully see the Richard change his selfish ways.

Love Me Love My Money see’s Hong Kong cinema’s Mr.Suave, Tony Leung in a fun if a little lightweight romantic comedy with the very cute Shui Qi, best known in the west for her role in The Transporter,as his leading lady. This is one of those films that’s all about being popcorn light-hearted fun, with the common theme of love conquers all and can tame the beast, etc. There are shades of Pretty Woman here, but don’t let that put you off, the emphasis is far more on fun than slushy romance, other than the sugar-sweet ending. Tony Leung seems to be able to turn his hand to pretty much any genre he pleases with ease; he looks equally comfortable in this some what comedic role as he does in dramas, action flicks and martial arts epics. The supporting cast all give great fun turns with the very attractive Teresa Mak (Erotic Ghost Story, Sexy and Dangerous) on top form as Chloroform (she knocks men out with her beauty … what is it with HK film and these characters' nicknames?). The equally lovely Angie Cheung plays Richards ex-girlfriend who, although sets out to teach him a lesson for his stinginess, is a pretty self-centred character herself.

The film has some elements in common with Escape from Hong Kong Island, also released in the UK by Tai Seng, with similar themes about the corrupting effect money can have on the soul and the lessons that can be learned when access to that money is removed. Hong Kong is a place with a lot people who fall into the bracket of 'super rich', a place where luxury apartments are built, never lived in and then torn down and the land sold because its value has increased so much. So its seems only natural that its native filmmakers have turned to satirizing much of the materialism they see around them.

The basic premise of the movie is very much a moral tale merged with a romance, with the beautiful Ah Choi showing the stingy Richard that there is a lot more to life than money and as she explains, money itself does not bring joy, it’s the spending of money which is fun. While I wasn’t in fits of laughter much, of the film is very amusing with some nice little comedy set pieces and a very enjoyable song from the leading characters fathers. The men are handsome, the ladies beautiful and the lifestyle they live is one you want for yourself. There’s never any question that there’s a happy ending on its way but then that’s the point of 'feel good' films. And although the demographic for this type of film is slightly more female, I would feel pretty good if I was a billionaire that ended up with Shu Qi. The balance of fun to romance means this doesn’t stray too far into the feared realms of 'The Chick Flick,' instead remaining as a romantic look at friendship, love, life and having fun.

A nice happy slice of light-hearted fun from director Jing Wong; switch your brain off and fall in love with Tony Leung and Shu Qi.