Dance of a Dream (2001) / Romance-Drama
aka Oi gwan yue mung
MPAA Rated: Not rated, but probably PG for sensuality
Running Time: 94 min.
Cast: Andy Lau, Anita Mui, Sandra Ng, Edison Chen, Cherrie Ying
Director: Andrew Lau
Screenplay: Felix Chong
Review published February 25, 2002
Dance of a Dream is a good film to choose if you want to see Andy Lau (Fulltime Killer, Love on a Diet) or Anita Mui (The Heroic Trio, Shanghai Shanghai) do some very impressive work in a form of film you probably aren't accustomed to seeing them in. Of course, both actors are probably even more popular in Hong Kong as pop stars, and many of their films feature their own music, but this showcases their talent as dancers as well.
It's also recommended to show the versatility of the director, Andrew Lau (NOT Andy), who directed the romantic comedy Sausalito and the big-time action flick, A Man Called Hero. However, as with many of his films, the directing is impressive, yet the dialogue is corny and characters not well-developed.
Andy Lau plays Namson, a dance instructor for a struggling dance studio who has big dreams of his own studio in a high rise building in Hong Kong. In order to make ends meet, they consent to personal instruction with a well-to-do but cold-as-ice business woman named Tina (Mui), with the stipulation that they make her a happier person through the dance lessons. Also vying for Namson's attention is Kam (Sandra Ng, Martial Angels), a poor but sweet waitress that develops a crush on him, signing up for lessons in order to get closer to the object of her desires.
If you're into ballroom dancing, you'll probably enjoy Dance of a Dream much more than I did. Admittedly, the cinematography and lighting are terrific, and the dancing itself is elegantly directed, with good use of music as well. Unfortunately, the rest of the film doesn't fare as well. There are quite a bit of strange motivations and story elements that makes little sense. In addition, I'm not entirely comfortable the "happy ending" is truly one we should all feel good about.
Dance of a Dream is an odd romance that gives us some impressive dancing and goofy filler in between, but might be worth a look for fans to see their favorite entertainers at the top of their game.
©2002 Vince Leo