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Funny Family (Hong Kong, 1986) Yukari Oshima

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Funny Family (Hong Kong, 1986) youtube 3.5/5

Wow, I enjoyed this a heck of a lot more than I thought I would. 

One of three Taiwan cheapies Yukari Oshima did in her first year (there’d be many more to come), it tells the story of a young man (Hu Kua) and young woman (Pauline Lan) living next door to each other who are in that awkward phase of wanting each other. The young man’s Dad and the young woman’s Mother, however, have an over the top dislike for each other and naturally keep the two of them apart.

Even this is pretty funny, especially when the parents physically fight each other in an early scene. So they end up both sending their kid off to the city to find a rich mate, and find (his) mother and (her) father - traveling together, arguing and of course getting caught up in the excitement AND pitfalls of the city. They DO find their parents (who naturally live together) and help them keep their sporting goods store thru a series of competitions.

A full hour and 8 minutes into the movie Yukari finally shows up, as a tattooed Japanese athlete named ’Tempura’, the opponent in the tennis match and then the boxing challenge. I kinda like this look! Her fight with Pauline Lan, though short, is a highlight of the movie as Yukari is a ball of super energy - kicking, punching, jumping off the ropes - the camera may be a bit under-cranked here, but the action is still furious and fun.

Pauline Lan, though obviously using a fight double at times for some of the amazing acrobatics (though still doing SOME of this action), and Hu Kua as the young man - provide some very entertaining fight scenes. These may be Taiwan cheapies, but the action is top notch and enjoyable. If you like this type of comedy, you’ll really enjoy this with the added fight action. Even the Bowling scenes were a hoot!

Note: The unauthorized use of Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ and Prince’s ‘Kiss’ was kinda cool to hear. Pauline Lan would go on to be the ‘Taiwan Madonna’ with a hugely successful Pop singing career, appearing in TV shows, commercials, etc. for decades in that country. She still has a presence on Facebook and Instagram even now. The two movies I’ve seen her in (of only 6 listed), she’s very much a noticeable on-screen force.

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