It's A Wonderful Life

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 February, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 February, 2007, 12:00am

Canto-pop singer and comedian Ronald Cheng Chung-kei's directorial debut, It's A Wonderful Life, is a light-hearted comedy that offers plenty of fun for the Lunar New Year.

The star-studded film sees Cheng play a fairy who travels to the world of mortals to improve the life of Ding Dong, a chubby man who is bossed around by his colleagues and family. Director-cum-actor Vincent Kok Tak-chiu plays the role to hilarious perfection.

The film is a classic fairytale that offers a lesson on the true meaning of love. It is also a classic Lunar New Year film in the sense that it ends with all major characters wishing the audience a happy new year.

It's pointless to try to squeeze any logic out of the film, because it has none. It is a mindless but delightful treat boosted by brilliant performances from veteran actors Tony Leung Ka-fai and Teresa Mo Shun-kwan, who play a bickering couple.

Cheng, who is the prince of comedies thanks to his roles in films like Dragon Reloaded, Super Model and Himalaya Singh, seems to be going through a transitional stage. In It's A Wonderful Life, there are fewer lowbrow jokes but more comments on life - a huge step forward for the usually over-the-top actor.

But, because of this the comedian has lost some of his wacky humour. Cheng has the face of a clown - a reformed Joker from Gotham City - who is at his funniest when doing something outrageous, such as his cross-dressing antics in his breakthrough film My Lucky Star. Playing an angel with good intentions is not his strength.

So what's next for Cheng? Rumour is he's going to direct a horror comedy during summer. It would be a treat if he plays Hannibal Lector some day. He's no Anthony Hopkins, but he has a talent for making a joke out of anything that's gross.

It's A Wonderful Life is now showing