My Dream Girl (2003) Movie Review

So excuse me if I thought I was watching a movie when I put on “My Dream Girl”, and not listening to a musical CD. Apparently my definition of movie, and that of the filmmakers, is completely different. I expected to find images moving onscreen to form a coherent story, whereas the filmmakers had the idea that a “movie” was random moving images accompanying an obnoxious musical score that drowned every single scene within an inch of its life.

Wait, what’s that you say? You didn’t know this scene was supposed to be cute? Don’t worry about it! Raymond Yip and company won’t let you down. Notice how perky and cute that music is? That’s Appropriate Music. This scene is supposed to be cute. Now all you have to do is get all warm and gushy all over because, you know, it’s cute. And stuff.

Wait, that scene looks familiar, but you’re not quite sure how to react? Why, listen to the music! It’s obviously a comedic scene, what with the clinking and clonking of the musical score and whatnot. Are you deaf or something?

Back to the review.

Ekin Cheng (the star of Fake Kung Fu Movies such as “The Duel” and “A Man Called Hero” aka the Chinese Guy who keeps popping up in 9 out of every 10 Hong Kong Movies I’ve seen in the last 2 years) stars as Ling, a flamboyant personal groomer (or something along that line). Ling is a Hong Kong guy who gets hired by a rich Mainland China tycoon (Richard Ng) to groom his newly discovered daughter, played by Vicki Zhao (“Shaolin Soccer”), essentially playing the same role here that she did in “Soccer” — i.e. the dirty, unkempt girl. Ling’s job: transform the former street urchin (her father just discovered her on the streets bogarting free soup noodles from the local vendor days ago) into a respectable young woman.

I can practically hear the choruses of Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman” starting up just about now. Where’s Julia Roberts when you need her? Maybe she can kick some sense into Raymond Yip and the guy who scored this movie.

Apparently the streets of Mainland China is such a swell place that Ning is still all wide-eyed and innocent when her newly discovered father brings her back to his luxurious home. Cue cute music! Okay, that’s enough. Now cue Cinderella-esque music!

Thank God Yip and the musical score is here to tell us how to feel, otherwise I wouldn’t, you know, know that this scene was supposed to be funny since, well, it’s not all that funny just by looking at it.

Poor Ling. While he’s in Mainland China wrangling extra bucks from the tycoon, his girlfriend back in Hong Kong is getting it on with a goofy looking guy in glasses. Apparently this little frequent detour back to Hong Kong is very funny, because every scene is doused with cute and comedic music. Later, when Ling discovers the affair, he chases after the offending Romeo with a leg of (and I’m just guessing here) lamb. Supposedly the audience for “My Dream Girl” is too thick to get that seeing Ekin Cheng chase some guy with a giant leg of lamb (or some sort of big meat) is supposed to be funny, because oh boy, the funny music kicks in something awful! Oh my sides!

The only people “My Dream Girl” could possibly be geared for are fans of the mysterious Ekin Cheng. (And if you guessed that it’s Mr. Cheng’s popularity that is the big mystery here, give yourself a big leg of lamb. Or some sort of meaty animal leg.)

I’m not even going to bother hitting the plot points of “My Dream Girl”. What’s the point? If you like this sort of stuff, then you already know what’s going to happen. Could you guess that Ning would fall madly in love with Ling? Or that he wouldn’t know she exists until halfway into the film, when he suddenly has a moment of epiphany and falls madly in love with her? But by now she’s fallen out of love with him, forcing him to win back her love, then the music gets louder, and louder…

Curse my ears!

Raymond Yip (director) / Hing-Ka Chan, Lee Po-Cheung (screenplay)
CAST: Ekin Cheng …. Ling
Vicki Zhao …. Ning
Vincent Kok …. Tong Lu
Richard Ng …. Cheung Tin

Buy My Dream Girl on DVD