Those Were the Days (2000) Those Were the Days

Those Were the Days

Directed by: Wai Man Yip
Starring: Jordan Chan, Gigi Leung

Tagline: "A coming of age and love story with a difference."

After trying to stop his girlfriend being a hostess at a nightclub where he is working, and being beaten for it, a man recognises a childhood acquaintance called Cock, who stops him from being beaten up. As thanks for this, the man reminisces with him about a love story that happened seven years earlier with his sister, Gee, when he was 12 and Cock and his friends where 17.

Gee, her brother and their mother, Sister Chin, move into a high-rise estate and the youngest boy meets Cock and his two friends, who are roped into carrying the family's possessions up to their flat when Cock falls in love with Gee, who nicknames him Chick after seeing the chick he is carrying.

Later, Gee calls Cock as they live opposite and they go into the stairwell to talk, where Gee makes friends with him. Later, on the roof of the estate, Gee shows her affection for him by biting him on the shoulder: 'I bite you when I'm happy, I bite you when I'm sad'. In a later incident when Gee is bullied by the boy at the newspaper stand called Tim (, Cock saves her then sets the boy's stand on fire, for which he is punished, and Tim ends up joining Cock and his friends as 'Four Men in a Boat'.

A few years later, when Cock and his friends are teenagers and become the 'ratbags' of the estate, he is still in love with Gee, but it now hurts more when she shows her affection for him (you see his toes clench with pain). What follows is not the usual love story but is different from what you would expect from this type of movie.

This movie is a spin-off from the Young and Dangerous series of movies and features a couple of characters from that movie. It was good to see them in a different setting though and I didn't think it was much of a cash-in.

While the movie is mostly a love story, there is some action from the triads in there, but it is not overplayed in this case.

I enjoyed the performances of the main characters, especially the children as they make the movie much more fun to watch.

Some of the story is a bit hard to follow and I couldn't work out why the main love interest decided to bite the male lead on the shoulder (of course she explained it, but it didn't make sense why.) Despite this, I thought this movie was a reasonable well executed romantic story and while I wouldn't go out of my way to see it, I would give it a shot if it was playing on TV.

Rating: 7/10

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