Comrades, Almost a Love Story (1996) - Rotten Tomatoes

Comrades, Almost a Love Story (1996)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Comrades, Almost a Love Story Photos

Movie Info

Destiny brings two people together, but they aren't sure if they're meant to be friends or lovers in this romantic comedy-drama. In 1986, Xiaojun (Leon Lai) arrives in Hong Kong from mainland China, full of dreams about life in the big city and determined to make enough money to send for his fiancée and marry her. Xiaojun knows no one in Hong Kong except his aunt, but with her help, he finds a room in a cheap hotel and picks up a job peddling a delivery bicycle for a butcher. On his day off, Xiaojun decides to get lunch at a McDonalds, which he's heard about but never seen. Xiaojun is waited on by Chiao (Maggie Cheung), a pretty girl who has also moved to Hong Kong from the mainland to seek her fortune. Chiao is taken with Xiaojun, but thinks he's too much the country bumpkin, especially since he can't speak Cantonese or English. Chiao arranges for Xiaojun to get lessons in English and teaches him about life in Hong Kong and how to get rich quick; she also ropes him into helping with her latest business scheme, using his delivery bike to sell flowers. Xiaojun and Chiao become best friends -- indeed, each is the only real friend the other has in Hong Kong -- and one night, on New Year's Eve, the two find themselves alone together and end up making love. The next morning, both Xiaojun and Chiao are certain they've made a mistake; Xiaojun goes on to marry his sweetheart from home, while Chiao opens a flower shop and becomes involved with a kind man who has ties to organized crime. As the years pass, however, Xiaojun becomes convinced that his mistake wasn't sleeping with Chiao, but letting her go, and eventually he decides he must find her and win her heart. Comrades: Almost a Love Story was a runaway success in Hong Kong, where the film won nine trophies at the 1997 Hong Kong Film Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Actress.
Art House & International , Comedy , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Maggie Cheung
as Qiao Li
Leon Lai
as Li Xiaojun
Leon Lai Ming
as Xiao Jun Li
Kristy Yeung
as Fang Xiaoting
Irene Tsu
as Aunt Rosie
Ting Yu
as George
Michelle Gabriel
as Prostitute
Joseph Cheung
as Restaurant Owner
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Comrades, Almost a Love Story

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (1)

A movie made for the hopelessly romantic. Hardboiled cynics need not apply.

Full Review… | February 7, 2004

Many of the film's tearwringing moments get their power from Chan's expert use of Cheung's amazingly expressive face, which can register so much emotion with so little effort.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000

Audience Reviews for Comrades, Almost a Love Story

It's Leon Lai and Maggie Cheung at the peak of their powers and the top of their game in a great love story that also manages to weave together the immigrant experience in both Hong Kong and New York, although if sentiment makes you gag, you might want to go elsewhere.

Anthony Valletta
Anthony Valletta

Super Reviewer


There's nothing particularly important to report so I haven't been especially disciplined about updating my blog. I guess this will be a hodgepodge of updates. First, the movie reviews: I loved [i]Comrades, Almost a Love Story[/i], a unabashed romance with truly excellent performances from Maggie Cheung, Leon Lai, and Eric Tsang. The movie won Best Picture at the Hong Kong Film Awards in 1996. The movie follows two recent mainlander immigrants in Hong Kong in 1986-93 and definitely captures a unique time and place which no longer exists. [i]Taegukgi[/i] is basically a sentimental [i]Saving Private Ryan[/i] for the Korean War. It's technical qualities are admirable, but it doesn't really bring anything new to the table outside of highlighting a war that many Americans don't remember. Some closing remarks about the tail end of my trip in China: I updated my Xiamen photo album with some additional photos that weren't there before. The early part of the trip contained trips with lots of friends to discos and nightclubs. Here's the famous NASA disco ... [center][url=""][img][/img][/url] [left]... decorated with a gigantic mecha robot over-looking the dance stage inside. Coincidentally enough, I managed to visit all four discos (KKs, NASA, Shenduoli, and Shikong) at different times, but only KKs (still my favorite) multiple times. Towards the tail end of my trip, though, I began to go to pubs instead. The pubs don't have dance floors, frequently have live music acts, and are a bit more laidback. Here's some random tidbits... [center][url=""][img][/img][/url] [url=""]AVI movie of dinner at Shanghai, Shanghai (10MB) [/url] [left]... with live music in the background. The dinner was with Jimmy, Andy, Asher, my friend Xiao Yu and her roommate Qing Qing. Qing Qing (blonde) is tiny but enjoys wearing GIGANTIC hiphop sweatsuits or Sean Jean pants/football jerseys. It's quite entertaining to figure out what she's wearing each day. [center][url=""][img][/img][/url] [left] Dogs: Being a bit metropolitan cities, people seem to really love little dogs. Here's two little dog pics: [center][url=""][img][/img][/url] Asher plays with Jimmy and Tracy's little Chihuahua. [url=""][img][/img][/url] My friend Fei scoops up this cute little dog owned by this gigantic dude sitting at the pub booth next to us. [left]Actually, I hung out quite a bit with Jimmy's acquaintance, Fei, pictured above with the lil pooch. She's taking a one-month break from working right now (something that alot of the nighttime workers seem to do at least once a year), and with all of the Xiaban people busy at work and other friends out-of-the-country, I spent alot of time in my remaining week hanging out with her eating, shopping, and drinking. She's older than the average nighttime worker (26, which I'm assuming means that's really 27 in Western terms), owns her own condo, and watches a ton of DVDs -- including season six of [i]Friends[/i] which we watched after pub drinking one night. In any case, we spent about an hour and a half on Zhongshan Lu looking for new DVDs and CDs to buy -- I brought back a couple of Jay Chou CDs and about 15 DVDs (mostly legitimate), many which are recommendations from Fei. I also helped Fei select a couple movies which she hasn't watched ... Pirates of the Carribbean, Love Actually, 20:30:40... Her knowledge of movies is actually pretty full and she already knew or had seen most of the movies that I recommended. Plus, her tastes actually tended towards a bunch of Nicole Kidman movies (Moulin Rouge, The Others, The Stepford Wives) or horror movies (The Others, The Ring, and a couple of Chinese horror movies). Actually, her knowledge of Korean movies was pretty good, too and at this point, the store I went to stocked as many legitimate Korean DVDs as they did legitimate American DVDs. After about 18 hours of being in airports and plans, I finally got back to the Bay Area on Tuesday night and rushed over for our completely packed [i]Kung Fu Hustle[/i] screening. I must say that having an enthusiastic audience and a big theatrical screen makes a BIIIIIG difference. I'm going to raise my rating of the movie to [img][/img] 8/10 after watching it on the big screen because there were definitely alot of hilarious details that I missed upon watching it on DVD. I talked to the PR person for the Bay Area and I'm going to try arrange for screenings for another two Sony Pictures Classics movies: [i]2046[/i] (the latest Wong Kar-wai movie with Tony Leung, Zhang Ziyi, and Faye Wong) and [i]Saving Face[/i], the opening night movie which I saw at NAATAfest -- a crowd-pleasing Chinese-American lesbian romantic-comedy that you can bring your mom to. Hopefully we can pack those screenings as well. On Friday night, I decided to test out my leg by going out to Rouge with friends. It felt good going out with U.S. friends after being in China for such a long-time. First was dinner in J-town followed by Rouge followed by a recovery dinner at Cafe Baghdad. I don't think my leg is 100% yet -- I'm still doing the cripple dance... In any case, it was definitely alot of fun and I got to dance and chat with pretty much everyone at one time or another so it was definitely a good homecoming experience. Some fun pics, too! [center][url=""][img][/img][/url] [left]Amy, Lily, Betty, and Amy S. waiting for a table at the Restaurant over the Bridge in J-Town. We had a hilariously chatty waitress -- I couldn't tell whether she was stir-crazy, high, etc... The first thing she said when she tried to seat seven of us at a small table -- "Why are you guys all so tall?" I think that question as probably more directed at the girls... Hmm, I wish I took a photo of Lily's awesome boots for Etchy... [center][url=""][img][/img][/url] Amy, Lily, Betty, Amy S., Jen, and someone that noone introduced me to :P... Oh, and Derek floating around in the background -- looks like he's eyeing some bartop dancers... [center][url=""][img][/img][/url] [url=""][img][/img][/url] The coquettish Betty and Amy S.. [url=""][img][/img][/url] And I like this picture, too... [url=""][img][/img][/url] [url=""][img][/img][/url] Afterwards, in addition to being ravenously hungry, I think the majority of our party were too tipsy to drive so we got silly and loud at Cafe Baghdad, now an even MORE popular place for post clubgoers in the Castro. [left][b][url=""]Here's a link to the full photo album...[/url][/b] [/left] [/center] [/center] [/left] [/center] [/left] [/center] [/left] [/center] [/left] [/center] [/left] [/center]

Stephen Wang
Stephen Wang

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