Merry Christmas (聖誕快樂)

merry christmas

While this time capsule may have little to do with Christmas, there’s plenty of fun to get you into a festive mood. The movie stars Karl Maka, the comedian famous for his shaved dome, as a single man raising three kids. Technically, one tiny kid, Baldy Jr. (Cyrus Wong), and two grown children, Danny (Danny Chan) and Jane (Loletta Lee). Besides keeping an eye on things at home, he also holds a torch for his longtime neighbor Paula (Paula Tsui).

Merry Christmas is mostly an assortment of hijinks that show Baldy Mak to be a caring if somewhat salty average Joe. He’s not above pulling pranks to get a good parking space and, in one moment of instant karma, unwittingly destroys his new car. Meanwhile, another episode of questionable judgment has him and little Baldy bonding over some 3D porn. But he also does his best to protect his daughter’s womanhood and shares some affecting conversations with Danny over love and relationships. Besides, he’s well-liked at work, and it’s not often you’ve got the whole office in on a surprise birthday party for you.

Maka is in familiar form orchestrating the chaos around him. Chan and Lee each have a few standout moments, though Wong as an atypically expressive pint-sized actor steals the most scenes. Leslie Cheung also makes an early appearance, and he along with Angile Leung get to exercise some physical comedy as Jane and Danny’s romancers.

The plot steadies in the second half when Paula, a nightclub singer, announces that she’s moving to America to marry a cousin (Yuen Woo-Ping). It’s a race against the clock as Baldy and family concoct all sorts of schemes to force Paula into reconsidering. The most outrageous is one that will get post-Photoshop audiences laughing. The gawky Yuen elevates the comedy with a flurry of his trademark action. While Tsui doesn’t get as much to work with, she brings a matronly calm and warmth to the picture. Anyway, it’s not a demanding film but I find it to be a refreshing blast of family and holiday cheer.

“Waiting” (等) by Danny Chan, clip from the end of the movie (and one of my favorite songs ever):

獻君千闕歌 – theme song by Paula Tsui:

Released: 1984
Prod: Nansun Shi 施南生
Dir: Clifton Ko 高志森
Writer: Clifton Ko 高志森; Raymond Fung 馮世雄
Cast: Karl Maka 麥嘉; Paula Tsui 徐小鳳; Danny Chan 陳百強; Loletta Lee 李麗珍; Leslie Cheung 張國榮; Cyrus Wong 王嘉明; Yuen Woo-Ping 袁和平; Angile Leung 梁韻蕊
Time: 93 min
Lang: Cantonese
Country: Hong Kong
Reviewed: 2014