Money Just Can't Buy

Reviewed by: amyann

August 06, 2004

Rating: four

Bobby Au Yeung
Marianne Chan
Roger Kwok
Hillary Tsui
Joyce Tang
Gabriel Harrison
Natalie Wong
Joe Ma

The review will use the actors' and actresses' real names due to the fact that not all of us understand Chinese or Viet names. I will try my best to translate the name of the Gods; however, if I’m wrong please let me know.

Brief Summary:
The God of Fortune (Bobby) makes a bet with the God of Life that he will change Roger and make him say that Money is everything. The prize for winning will be the peach in the God of Life's hand. Bobby assumes a new identity as Roger's Uncle 13. He tries numerous ways to make Roger say the phrase, “money is everything”, yet his plans always fail. Bobby later meets Marianne and is stunned by her beauty and at the same time, he hates the white face lady who ends up being Marianne. Marianne is an advertising model and goes out with men just to get their money. Her purpose being with Bobby was the same; however, she soon falls for him. Bobby and Marianne goes through numerous difficulties after Bobby loses his power and becomes bankrupt.

Roger is a mortal who think money is not everything. He has had a crush on Joyce since they were in elementary school. One day, he confesses to Joyce that he is her secret admirer, but he was too blind to realize that Hillary, Joyce's best friend, also likes him. Gabriel, Joyce's ex-boyfriend comes back and pretends to help Roger while trying to separate them. Joyce and Roger break up after numerous misunderstandings caused by Gabriel. Joyce and Gabriel go to Venezuela together and this breaks Roger's heart. Hillary and Roger open a restaurant together and with the help of nosy Marianne, they get together. Not long after they get together, Gabriel comes back with no job. He ends up working for the restaurant and Hillary finds out the truth about her mother. Gabriel later goes to work for Lam Hei, Hillary's father, with an evil plan in mind. While Roger and Hillary is about to go on vacation, Joyce also comes back and wants to get back together with Roger.

Roger's best friend is a money lover; he dates women because they have money. He mistakes Natalie to be Lam Hei's daughter and pursues her. Later, he finds out that Natalie is not rich and tries to break up with her. Meanwhile, his grandfather becomes very ill and is about to die. In order to make him happy, he and Natalie pretend to get married. Their fake marriage falls apart when they find out that the grandfather only pretended to have cancer. Natalie finally breaks up with Roger's best friend when she realizes that he doesn't love her. After the break-up, Roger's best friend finds out that he has feelings for Natalie; however, at the same time, a rich Japanese man tries to pursue Natalie.

The series was enjoyable, yet at some point it was rather draggy. The ending was a happy ending, but it was rather fast and left the audience with a cliffhanger. The series was produced in 1996, but I was amazed by all the changes that happened in the 8 years. The clothing, hairstyles, phones and especially the acting has changed. Which is a good thing!

Bobby Au: Bobby is still his usual funny self and his pairing with Marianne was great. He changes from a selfish rich man to a caring boyfriend/husband. It’s funny how his look is still the same and he never ages: the same hairstyle, body and his funny character.

Marianne Chan: I miss Marianne so much. She should go back to acting since she was so good at it. I felt sorry for Marianne at times since she was hungry for money and everyone thought lowly of her. She changes when she meets Bobby whom at the start she only went after for his money, but later falls for him.

Roger Kwok: He was such a cutie back then and he look so much younger too. His acting was average compared to his recent series like Square Pegs and Greed Mask. I prefer Roger to be with Hillary than with Joyce since they seem to have more chemistry. He seems so naïve when dealing with Gabriel's evil plans since the two women he loves always believe in Gabriel instead of him.

Hillary Tsui: Her acting is average and she needs to work on her crying skills. This is only the second series I have watched of hers and I prefer her performance as the bossy and mean girl in Triumph Over Evil, than as the sweet and caring girl here. One thing special that I noticed about her is that she has true Chinese eyes compared to other Hong Kong actresses. They’re small! She looks really cute with the hairstyle and I love her pairing with Roger. I wonder what has happened to her since I have never seen her working for TVB anymore. It’s funny how in this serie she led over Joyce and in Triumph Over Evil, Joyce led over her. I find that kind of odd.

Joyce Tang: Her character was quite annoying and boring. She seemed so perfect in the eyes of Roger yet she was not. She believed in Gabriel and followed him to Venezuela, but what irritated me most was that when she came back, she wanted to get back together with Roger. Her acting was also average compared to her recent series: Summer Heat and Placebo Cure. She looks so much prettier with longer hair and I truly hated her two-hair style in the series.

Gabriel Harrison: Oh man, he truly fooled me at first with his gentlemanly looks. At first, he wanted to get back with Joyce by guarding Roger's phone line and trying to send him to Venezuela. Later, he comes back trying to get Hillary from Roger because of her father's money. He truly deserved what he got at the end. His portrayal of the evil Ben was great. Everyone was fooled by his charming and caring personality, but deep down he used women and was hungry for money.

Natalie Wong: Her performance was ok as the sweet and shy girl. It was funny how she finally stood up to her so-called boyfriend after all the things he did to break her heart.

Joe Ma: His appearance was quite short.

I don’t know the name of the guy who plays Roger's best friend, but the guy was hilarious. He pretends to be rich to get with rich girls since he always wanted to be rich. He finally realizes that he loves Natalie after she breaks up with him and it's good when they finally get married for REAL.

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