The Merry Wife
"I can almost guarantee that any guy who sits through The Merry Wife will think Li Ching is one of most adorable actresses in the world."
- Mighty Peking Man
The Merry Wife (1971)
Director: Gam Chue Yung (Chin Chu-Yung)
Producer: Shaw Brothers
Cast: Li Ching, Ling Yun, Ling Ling
Running Time: 84 min.
Plot: "To Sir With Love" meets "Gidget" when Li Cheng plays a 17 year old schoolgirl who marries her 35 year old teacher. Although she may appear to be the innocent schoolgirl living out a man's fantasy, Li learns she isn't as innocent as she thought.
Availability: This title is available at HKflix.com
MIGHTY PEKING MAN'S REVIEW: I can almost guarantee that any guy who sits through "The Merry Wife" will think Li Ching is one of most adorable actresses in the world. Not only is she the epitome of cuteness, but her on-screen charm and bubbly personality makes her a must have for a dreamer like myself. During her rising popularity in the 1970s, the Shaw Brothers gave her the nickname, "Baby Queen." I, on the other hand, prefer to simply call her a babe.
The plot of "The Merry Wife" involves a newlywed couple. Zhenzhen (Li Ching) is a 17 year old high school student and Mr. Lin (Ling Yun) is a 35 year old high school teacher. When the two decide to attend the same school in their respective roles, a handful of compromising situations evolve. They must keep their marriage a secret from the other students and teachers; yet, at the same time, keep their sanity. Things only get worse considering both Zhenzhen and Mr. Lin seem to have a mobilizing effect on their peers: every male in the school wants Zhenzhen and every female in the school wants Mr. Lin.
Considering the film's Lolita-ish themes, "The Merry Wife" is good, clean fun. In fact, there's almost no hint of sexual reference at all (unless you count my thoughts). At times, the movie is corny. Other times, it's downright witty (thanks to Li Ching's delivery). Either way, the film never fails in the entertainment department. Part of its appeal is the time it was filmed - the colorful early 1970s - which give it that classic, hip touch.
Highly recommended, especially if you want to get away from kung fu and violence.
MIGHTY PEKING MAN'S RATING: 8/10