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Don't Go Breaking My Heart

(Dān Shēn Nán Nǚ)
Sponsored by: Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office

North american Premiere

  • Romance / Comedy
  • /
  • Hong Kong / China
  • /
  • 2011
  • /
  • 117 min
  • /
  • 35mm
  • /
  • Cantonese/mandarin with English subtitles
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Opening Film, Hong Kong International Film Festival 2011
Official Selection, Udine Far East Film Festival 2011

Screening Times

“Witty dialogue and expert comic timing... shamelessly amusing throughout” — Edmund Lee, TIME OUT HONG KONG

“VIP-class escapism... dazzles with non-stop filmmaking tricks” — Maggie Lee, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER


Director: Johnnie To
Screenplay: Wai Ka-Fai, Yau Nai-Hoi, Ray Chan, Jevons Au
Cast: Louis Koo, Gao Yuanyuan, Daniel Wu, Lam Suet
Producers: Johnnie To, Wai Ka-Fai
Print Source: Media Asia



Zixin (Gao Yuanyuan) is a sweet-natured but heartbroken office girl who falls for a high-flying city boy she spies from her office window. Cheng (Louis Koo) runs a finance company and lives his life moment to moment, especially when it comes to relationships. He immediately asks Zixin out to dinner, only to be distracted by a more instantly gratifying proposition, and stands her up. Zixin then crosses paths with Fang (Daniel Wu), an accomplished yet disillusioned architect who has given up on his career to become a drunk. When Fang saves her from a traffic collision, Zixin rewards him with her ex-boyfriend’s bountiful wine collection, and also offloads his hideous pet frog. They spend the evening together, laying the ghost of her previous relationship to rest, but any possibility of a relationship evaporates when Cheng is revealed as Zixin’s new CEO.

The stage is set for a love triangle that will cause all three participants a good deal of anguish and heartache before it is resolved. Zixin can’t help but succumb to Cheng’s undeniable charms and wealth that see her perpetually showered with gifts, but at what price? Cheng proclaims that all men fall into one of two categories, those who cheat and those who want to. While he proposes to Zixin so quickly she actually refuses him at first, he confesses there is no guarantee he’ll stay faithful. Meanwhile, Fang is getting along famously with his new amphibian houseguest, who takes on the role of confidant and sponsor to help Fang ditch the booze and start sketching again. He cuts his hair, shaves off the beard and opens a new architectural firm in Cheng’s old office space. It doesn’t take long for Zixin to notice her new neighbour and finally, Fang and Cheng come face to face.

Longtime collaborators Johnnie To and Wai Ka-Fai reunite with DON’T GO BREAKING MY HEART. The duo’s working relationship is best known internationally for their gonzo action thrillers (RUNNING ON KARMA) and more taut, character-based work (MAD DETECTIVE), but this time out, they tackle the romantic comedy. They’re both smart enough not to try to reinvent the wheel here and the result is a simple, well-crafted story to tug the heartstrings. The frog is an added bonus.

—James Marsh

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