I believe that “Gorgeous” is one of the very best films in Jackie Chan’s career. With the guidance of Leonard Ho, Jackie’s long time mentor, Jackie confined himself into playing the roles of cops, thieves, and many other characters mostly in the action and martial arts genres. After Leonard’s death in 1997, Jackie felt a little more comfortable exploring other kinds of roles, and decided to take the risk with this romantic comedy.
Watch Gorgeous (1999) movie trailer:
“Gorgeous” tells the story of a sheltered country girl named Bu, and is interpreted through the very imaginative mind of Shu Qi (the tomboy from Golden Harvest’s “Storm Riders”), who, was lured to the city by a message left in a bottle. She then falls head over heals in love with a self-made businessman. This movie also has a subplot that involves Jackie Chan’s rivalry with another businessman, whose hired thugs are constantly attempting to beat him up.
Jackie fell in love with the script written by Vincent Kok and infused the lead male role with his own personality, all the way down to his obsessive compulsive behavior (when it comes to cleaning), his obsession with white clothes, his amazing martial arts skills and even his real name. Jackie even had the production designer copy Chan’s real-life office and used Jackie’s fitness equipment for the film. The only difference between this character and himself, Jackie says, is “I really don’t understand the true nature of Wall Street”!
This film is a mixture of fairy-tale (kind of like the Steven Spielberg films of the 1980s), romantic comedy, Martial Art and Hong Kong slapstick. It’s almost as if it could be a Chinese Disney film, benevolent, healthy and moral. The fight scenes are really good-natured and non-violent.
Watch Gorgeous (1999) fight scene:
In the audio commentary, Jackie explains that some critics do not find him believable as a businessman. Keep in mind that this is no reflection on Jackie’s acting abilities, which have improved ten-fold since the seventies. However, I believe the remarks by critics are motivated by the same kind of ignorance that stunts the movie career growth of the great sitcom actors and actresses. I honestly think that Jackie Chan can play a very wide range of characters. He could have ditched the martial arts scenes in this movie altogether and still given us a full-fledged romantic comedy.
“Gorgeous” is definitely worth watching. I personally give it two thumbs up and would recommend it to all my close friends and family. If you are a fan of Jackie Chan, you won’t be disappointed!
So grab some friends, family, and a big bowl popcorn. It’ll be a great way to pass the time!