Yesterday Once More (2004)

4/10 - Formulaic
Reviewed by Simon on 24 April 2007

Despite priviliged upbringings, Andy Lau and Sammi Cheng find themselves drawn to thievery, and then to marriage. Despite having more money than they know what to do with, Sammi is always greedy when it comes to dividing the loot, so Andy divorces her. 2 years later, she's due to marry again, but is it for love or jewelry?

Yet another Andy Lau/Sammi Cheng romantic pairing from Johnnie To, and I'm sure I'm not the only person that was quite tired of them by the time it came out - witness, it took me 3 years to actually get around to watching it, and they haven't made another since. This one breaks the formula established in Needing You up a bit by having the couple start out married. They split up in the first 5 minutes, but we always assume that they will get back together when they realise they love each other more than money, or something. Things go broadly as expected until the film throws a curveball just past 1 hour in, which takes things in an unexpected direction to a rather strange conclusion.

This plot always sounded suspiciously similar to that of the same years' A WORLD WITHOUT THIEVES to the casual observer (me), but I guess the similarities are relatively superficial. AWWT is much better, to name one difference ;-)

I have generally enjoyed the Milkyway Image romcoms, but I guess each one satisfied less without actually becoming worse - they just weren't adding enough new to the mix each time. YOM does add some new elements, indeed elements which make it hard to really describe it as a romcom at all. I guess it's more romantic than it is funny, though not being afflicted with human emotions myself, I'm only guessing that other people would find it to be romantic... personally I found it rather unclear as to what the characters were thinking or feeling, or why I should care much. Whilst there were moments that I could relate to and enjoy, the overall experience left me pretty cold and confused, so I can't say I valued it that highly.

Cast

Andy Lau
Sammi Cheng
Carl Ng
Jenny Hu
Gordon Lam
Hui Siu-Hung

Crew

Director
Johnnie To
Action Director
Yuen Bun
Production Company
Milkyway Image

See also