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He's A Woman, She's A Man (1994) (DVD) (2019 Reprint) (Taiwan Version)
Leslie Cheung (Actor) | Anita Yuen (Actor) | Peter Chan (Director) | Carina Lau (Actor)
He's A Woman, She's A Man (1994) (DVD) (2019 Reprint) (Taiwan Version)
Anita Yuen won her second consecutive HK best actress award in this winning UFO film from director Peter Chan Ho-Sun. Yuen plays Wing, a spritely girl who idolizes singer Rose (Carina Lau) and Rose's producer/boyfriend Sam Koo (Leslie Cheung). When the chance arises to meet her idols, she jumps at the chance.

Unfortunately, that chance is an open talent search for a male singer. Wing is so desperate to meet the two that she masquerades as a boy to enter the contest. In typical sitcom fashion, Wing wins despite not having a whit of talent, and discovers that there's more to Sam and Rose's relationship than she knew. It turns out the two are dysfunctional lovers, each possibly loving themselves more than the other.

Wing resolves to help her two idols stay together, but the road is fraught with difficulties. For one, Wing's sexuality comes into question. Since Wing is so effeminate, everyone believes Wing to be gay. Of course, Wing isn't gay; he's just a girl. Which makes it all the more difficult when Sam finds himself attracted to Wing without knowing that he is in fact a she, which must mean that Sam is gay. Right?

The overly commercial setup leaves itself open for all sorts of slapstick and poor gags, but Peter Chan and his excellent cast handle the material extremely well. The film has a glossy, Golden-Age of Hollywood feel, and story manages to be affecting without being overbearing. If the United Filmmakers Organization does anything well, it would be their ability to handle comedy and drama in a light, sophisticated way. Perhaps that's what makes their films so accessible to western audiences; their films are entertaining and involving without becoming cloying or given to the usual HK hyperbole.

Of course, a great deal of the credit should be given to the performances. Both Leslie Cheung and Anita Yuen are terrific, and the rest of the cast (Eric Tsang, Carina Lau and newcomer Jordan Chan) handle their roles effectively. Yuen, in particular, deserves credit as she actually plays a boy pretty convincingly, and manages to be endearing and lovable at the same time. Probably one of the best examples of Hong Kong commercial cinema that you could find.

by Kozo -

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