Our Rating: ★★☆☆☆
L Factor: Major lesbian content
Short Take: Two girls are best friends in a Hong Kong high school. Chen-Li loves Sheo-rou, who can’t accept that her friend feels that way.
Alternate Titles: Sam dung
Year: 1999
Duration: 115 min
Language: Hong Kong/Chinese
MPAA: Not Rated
Director: Sylvia Chang
Writer: Sylvia Chang, Cat Kwan
Starring: Takeshi Kaneshiro, Gigi Leung, Karen Mok, Sylvia Chang, Leon Dai, Elaine Jin, Jo Kuk, Leslie Loh, Audrey Mak, William So Wing Hong, Michael Tong, Cher Yeung

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+Alt Tags+Cheryl (Sylvia Chang, Full Moon in New York) is a director putting together an autobiographical film about her first love. As she talks to the scriptwriter about the characters, we see the story play out. Sheo-rou (Gigi Leung) and Chen-Li (Karen Mok, So Close) are best friends in a Hong Kong high school. They do everything together, until Sheo-rou gets a boyfriend, Ho-Jun (Takeshi Kaneshiro), and no longer spends as much time with her friend.

Sheo-rou and Ho-Jun are in love, but break up under intense parental pressure. Afterwards, Chen-Li lets Sheo-rou know that she loves her and would never leave her, causing Sheo-rou to get upset and slap her friend when she can’t accept that Chen-Li loves her in that way.

The rest of the film centers on the long-standing romance between Sheo-rou and Ho-Jun, as they meet years later, still in love even though Ho-Jun is married. Eventually we find out that his wife is Chen-Li, and they divorce when she reveals that both are in love with the same woman.

When Sheo-rou finally runs into Chen-Li, she is with a another woman. In a letter twenty years later, she actually apologizes to Sheo-rou ‘for ruining our beautiful friendship’ and marrying Ho-Jun to try to find and replace the love for her friend.

In the end, it’s a film about regrets for the chances neither Sheo-rou and Ho-Jun took for a life together. Only Chen-Li was bold enough. Unfortunately, it was a dissatisfying film overall as it plodded along. Not a must see in the I-love-my-best-friend-but-she-doesn’t-understand genre. (AB)