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TAIWAN pretty boy Wang LeeHom should stick to singing, dancing, making records or whatever he does best - but not directing films. I came to this conclusion just 10 minutes into "Love In Disguise", a right royal mess of a love story in which he plays a guy almost like himself. Even a veteran film-maker like Joan Chen could do nothing to salvage this wreck of a movie.
The film deals with heart-throb pop singer Du Ming-Han (Wang LeeHom) who lives the lonely existence of the pop idol, always in the limelight and under the scrutiny of the media and his legions of fans. His manager Joan Chen (playing herself?) tries to protect him being mobbed but DMH has a habit of disguising himself to escape from his pursuers.
When his vehicle accidentally knocks into music student (Crystal Liu as Song Xiao Qing), DMH envisions "exotic music and butterflies" and decides that she is his 'soul-mate'. Abetted by his friend and band member Wei Zhi Bo (Chen Han Dian), the duo masquerade as country bumpkins (what were they thinking?) and enroll at the Far East Music Academy where Xiao Qing is learning Chinese traditional music.
Talking about disguises, it would take a complete idiot not to see through the silly wig and spectacles that DMH wears to play the rural student. And how else do I loathe this flick? Let me count the ways: (i) The acting, as directed by Wang, is way below normal Taiwan/Hong Kong comedy standards. Everyone in the cast seems to be hamming it up, including Ms Joan Chen herself, and some even raised my goose-pimples! (ii) The plot, script and dialog suck big time. This kind of love story has been told throughout the history of moving pictures and here no one bothered to tweak it up a bit. (iii) Throughout the film, we get the feel of an amateurish effort - almost like putting up a school musical. (iv) I can go on but that would be overkill.
On the plus side, we have some agreeable music written by Wang himself. For such mercies, I am indeed thankful. - LIM CHANG MOH (limchangmoh.blogspot.com)
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