Confusion runs rampant in HE'S A WOMAN, SHE'S A MAN, when a young woman disguises herself as a boy in order to meet her pop-star idol, falls in love with her idol's boyfriend (and he with her), and becomes the latest singing sensation herself.
Ming (Anita Yuen), a fan of the singer Rose (Carina Lau), learns that Rose's producer and boyfriend, Sam Koo (Leslie Cheung), has launched a search for new male talent. Ming's roommate, Yu Lo (Eric Tsang), teaches her to walk--and scratch--like a guy, and dresses her in boy's clothing, and she
attends the talent contest in the hope of meeting Rose. Ming, now "Wing," completely botches the audition, but Sam signs "him" to get back at Rose, who is angered by his boast that he can make a star of anyone, regardless of talent or looks.
As Sam's protege, Wing moves into the couple's apartment, but finds that they live quite independently. When Sam's tutelage begins to pay off, Rose takes a liking to Wing and even attempts to seduce "him." Wing is entranced but terrified of being found out, and escapes by allowing Rose to think
that "he" is gay.
Sam's relationship with Wing also intensifies, and he frets over this chink in his once securely heterosexual identity. He seeks the advice of a flamboyant gay friend, who persuades Sam to explore his feelings. Drunk, Sam tries to kiss Wing, but panics. Wing confesses to Rose that she is in love
with Sam and to being female. Rose promises not to betray Ming's secret, but extracts from her a vow to stay away from Sam as long as they officially remain a couple. Ming returns to her small apartment and devoted roommate.
Months later, when Rose announces on television that she is single again, Ming is desperate to return to Sam, but terrified of revealing her true gender. Yu Lo comes to the rescue, again, finding a dress for her to wear and setting the stage for a happy ending.
HE'S A WOMAN, SHE'S A MAN reincarnates a plot familiar from other films in which cross-gendered disguise figures prominently--most obviously VICTOR/VICTORIA (1982). While frustratingly plodding, there is no denying that the film has its charms, which are found mostly in warm if sometimes
cartoonish performances. The temperamental diva Rose and anguished artist Sam are predictably drawn, if gamely played. Yuen makes an adorable boy, and pulls off the ruse adequately. She has a comedic grasp on the body language she is taught by her roommate (in fact, she won her second best actress
award for this role), but is as childish at the end as when the story began. Ironically, the roommate is the hero of the lot. Tsang in the role is generous and pragmatic, putting his friend's needs first, despite hints of his own unrequited desire for her. His story fails to have a fairy tale
ending, but he is the only credible character of them all. (Sexual situations.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1994
- Rating: NR
- Review: Confusion runs rampant in HE'S A WOMAN, SHE'S A MAN, when a young woman disguises herself as a boy in order to meet her pop-star idol, falls in love with her idol's boyfriend (and he with her), and becomes the latest singing sensation herself. Ming (Anita… (more)