King Of Comedy (1999)
Stephen Chow's new movie The Mermaid is coming out soon, so The Metrograph in NYC decided to show a few earlier Stephen Chow movies for those of us that missed them the first time they came through here, IF they came through here. I do not think I have ever seen one, so I was glad to be able to catch a couple so far this time.
Although this movie shares a name with the Martin Scorsese classic The King Of Comedy starring Robert De Niro, the comparisons stop there. Oddly enough I was supposed to catch the Robert De Niro one this week as well, but I could not fit it in my schedule.
Back to the Stephen Chow movie, this was the first of his I have seen (I have since seen Shaolin Soccer and reviewed it here : Shaolin Soccer), and I was struck by how this film takes its cues by many Hong Kong films, in the way that its tone is not constant throughout the movie, in fact, it is almost like a mish mash of tones and styles. The movie runs the gamut from comedy to romance to drama to weird and back again. You know you are watching a Hong Kong movie when there is a naked little boy running around throughout the movie as if it's not weird at all!
The plot revolves around the struggle to become an actor, and this one extra's life and times. He meets a hostess, which would be like a call girl in America, who he tries to teach how to act so she can do her job better. He falls for her and things get a bit complicated when his acting career starts o work out for him.
This is a fun but silly movie, which keeps you guessing with the tone changes and sight gags and craziness throughout. It was a nice introduction to Stephen Chow's work.
7 out of 10 stars.