Shuddering Stupidity and Beautiful Actors in My Lucky Star


Well-crafted popcorn fare is as tough to pull off as its highbrow counterpart—maybe more so. Being successful involves knowing that light doesn’t equal stupid, and discerning between formula and formulaic. Neither director Dennie Gordon nor the four credited screenwriters of My Lucky Star seem able to make those distinctions. Sophie (a luminous Zhang Ziyi) is a struggling graphic novelist plugging away as an office drone. Both her secret fantasy life and the content of her creative output (the latter brought to life in animated sequences) center on damsel-in-distress narratives in which a dashing hero sweeps in to save the heroine and shower her with true love. Egged on by her three best friends—it makes no sense beyond trite cinematic schematics that these four wildly varied, thinly sketched types would even associate with one another—Sophie goes on a vacation she wins in a sweepstakes. Immediately she meets-cute with a James Bond–type spy who’s working undercover (Wang Leehom, a thick slice of male pulchritude), and soon finds herself swept up in his mission to retrieve a rare diamond and take down a by-the-numbers villain. Still, the vibrantly shot Lucky Star could have been a mildly entertaining bit of escapism, were it not for the fact that Sophie isn’t naïve so much as infantile, a point driven home by her wardrobe. Almost every major plot point hinges on her doing or saying something exhaustingly stupid, and only the jaw-dropping beauty of Zhang and Wang keeps My Lucky Star from being a total wipeout.