Ba Xing Bao Xi
1988 / 91m - Hong Kong
The Eighth Happiness poster


March 03, 2012


Johnnie To tries to mimic Jing Wong, and the result is exactly what you'd expect from such a horrendous premise. The Eight Happiness is an archetypical 80s Hong Kong comedy, stacked with bankable actors and sporting an easily digestible (but incredibly dated) romantic setup. These films can be fun in the hands of a director who can manage this type of material, clearly To was a very poor fit.

Three young men are short on cash, and their self-esteem suffers from it. To give their lives some flair, they decide to get married. For that, they need girlfriends first, so they set off on a quest to find women that are interested in marriage. Easier said than done, but they are very committed to their goal.

People who only know Chow Yun-Fat from his heroic bloodshed work should definitely give this film a go, you'll never look at him the same way. The rest of the cast is pretty terrible too, including the odd dump of cameos at the end of the film. The plot is bland, the comedy is cringey and the direction is uninspired. Not To's finest hour.