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Sorry Baby

Produced by Zhang Heping, Wang Zhongjun, Dong Ping. Executive producer, Wang.

Produced by Zhang Heping, Wang Zhongjun, Dong Ping. Executive producer, Wang.

Directed by Feng Xiaogang. Screenplay, Wang Xiaozhu, Bai Tiejun. Camera (color), Yang Xiaoxiong; editor, Zhou Ying; art director, Wang Shixing. Reviewed on videocassette, London, Feb. 28, 2000. Original Mandarin title: Mei wan mei liao. (Mandarin dialogue.) Running time: 95 MIN.

With: Ge You, Wu Chien-lien, Fu Biao, Ming He, Gao Chengsheng, Liang Jianiang , Shi Xiuyun, Shi Yan, Xu Fan.

Third in the series of comedies starring offbeat popular star Ge You and helmed by Feng Xiaogang, “Sorry Baby” is neither as wild as the first (“Party A, Party B”) nor as funny or moving as the second (L.A.-set “Be There or Be Square”), but in some respects is the most mature in characterization. Released locally on Christmas Eve ’99, in a mainland record 350 prints, pic reportedly grossed a giant 20 million yuan ($ 2.4 million). This “Baby” deserves some offshore dates.

Once again playing a variation on his smart Ordinary Joe persona, Ge plays a coach driver, Han Dong, who resorts to desperate measures to get back a large sum owed him by a prevaricating entrepreneur, Ruan (Fu Biao). Han “kidnaps” Ruan’s Singapore-raised g.f., Liu Xiaoyun (Taiwanese star Wu Chien-lien), and the pair finally team up to hit Ruan in his most sensitive spot, his wallet. Film has a similar emotional arc to “Square” — two mismatched people slowly falling for each other — but is more easygoing and less structured, with the three principals developing a substantial screen chemistry. Major flaw is the unnecessary feel-good coda. Tech credits are solid.

Sorry Baby

(CHINA)

Production: A Forbidden City Film presentation of a Huayi Brothers Advertising/Asian Film Union/Forbidden City Film production. (International sales: Golden Network, Hong Kong.)

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