Days of Being Wild

Rated NR 2005

You won't be able to look at a stagy, forced Hollywood sex-relations movie like Closer the same way again once you see how effortlessly Wong Kar-Wai was handling similar material back in 1991. Though Wong has a reputation of being artsy and moody, often at the expense of plot, there's plenty of dialogue, and things stay moving. The late Leslie Cheung stars as a womanizer named Yuddy, who juggles two different girlfriends: smart soccer-stadium concessionaire Su (Maggie Cheung) and bitchy, high-strung showgirl Mimi (Carina Lau). He can't commit to either, and it's strongly suggested that this may be the result of mother issues: He never met his real mom, and his adopted one is a drunken gold-digger (Rebecca Pan) who took him on for the welfare checks, but nowadays is rich enough to pay Yuddy's entire living expenses, giving him little reason to actually get a life. The ending takes a strange left turn, but ultimately only underscores the unpredictable directions life -- unlike Hollywood romances -- can take.

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