The search for a dream lover

TOM, DICK AND HAIRY, with Tony Leung Kar-fai, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Lawrence Cheng Tan-sui and Ann Bridgewater. Directed by Pete Chan Ho-sun and Lee Chi-ngai. On Newport circuit.

A ROMANTIC comedy concerning three thirtysomething yuppies in search of their ideal women, this character-driven picture is a refreshing change from the action-oriented costume epics that have flooded cinemas during the past year.

As well as sharing a flat in Tsim Sha Tsui, the three protagonists share dreams of finding the perfect romance. Their definitions of ''dream lover'', however, are markedly different. Tom (Tony Leung Chiu-wai) has been going with Joyce (Lau Kam-ling) for a decade. It is a joyless relationship with barely-concealed hostility.

If Tom is a one-woman man, Dick (Tony Leung Kar-fai) is the opposite. So promiscuous he puts Casanova to shame, Dick never allows himself to get too close to any woman.

Hairy (Lawrence Cheng), on the other hand, refuses to get physically close to anybody, preferring to talk to flowers and dream about an unattainable goal (teen idol Vivian Chow).

The big breakthrough occurs when Tom meets his match, the free -spirited Kat (an effervescent portrayal by Ann Bridgewater).


The Tom/Kat romance is presented in such a sparkling manner the many other subplots suffer by comparison. BUT several factors make Tom, Dick and Hairy stand out from other yuppie comedies, foremost being the sense of fun from the trio of heroes.

Many off-beat directoral touches keep the proceedings lively: Tom and Kat's seaside idyll is joined by a group of old ladies; a musical party sequence in which Tom, Dick and Hairy perform the '60s hit song Jajambo ; a wedding scene in which the preacherrepeatedly gets the name of the bride wrong.

These and many other moments invest the proceedings with an originality that makes one happy neither Tom, Dick nor Hairy ever donned Ching Dynasty robes, handled a sword or flew through the air.