Peggy Su! (1997)    1 Stars

Director: Frances-Anne Solomon

Cast: Jonathan Arun, Jacqueline Chan, Daphne Cheung

Synopsis: A Chinese girl living in 1960s England is thrown into a panic when her father announces he has found her a husband in Hong Kong and will be flying out to England to arrange their wedding.

 

 

 

Peggy Su! is an occasionally charming film that relies heavily on its essentially sweet nature to win favour with its audience. Newcomer Pamela Oei plays the title character, a small, rather plain Chinese girl living in 1960s England who is thrown into a panic when her father (Burt Kwouk — A Shot in the Dark, Bullet to Beijing) announces he has found her a husband in Hong Kong and will be flying out to England to arrange their wedding. With the help of her brother and his English wife, Peggy desperately searches for her Mr. Right before Dad arrives but meets with no luck until she literally bumps into a waiter at a Chinese restaurant.

Oei gives the character of Peggy an endearing warmth without becoming overly cute in her attempts to gain audience sympathy. She’s a tiny creature, and director Frances-Anne Solomon frequently enhances her vulnerability with long shots, or by positioning her next to much taller players. There are a lot of characters for this type of film, which means there is perhaps a little too much to resolve in the relatively brief running time: some characters simply disappear while some situations are left unresolved — the affair between Pamela’s haughty but flirtatious stepmother and a dance instructor and its repercussions, for example. The characters are nicely quirky without losing their credibility, although Gilbert (Adrian Pang), Peggy’s ‘arranged’ husband, while a sympathetic and well-played character, is something of a movie stereotype.

Peggy Su! is a modest little movie with a big heart that will probably never reach the audience it deserves. If you’ve a taste for gentle British comedies you should perhaps make the effort to seek this one out.

(Reviewed 15th October 2005)

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