Don't Go Breaking My Heart (film)

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Don't Go Breaking My Heart
Don't Go Breaking My Heart film poster.jpg
MandarinDān Shēn Nán Nǚ
CantoneseDaan1 San1 Naam4 Neoi2
Directed byJohnnie To
Wai Ka-fai
Produced byJohnnie To
Wai Kai-fai
Written byWai Ka-fai
Yau Nai-hoi
Ray Chan
Jevons Au
StarringLouis Koo
Daniel Wu
Gao Yuanyuan
Music byXavier Jamaux
CinematographyCheng Siu-Keung
To Hung-mo
Edited byDavid Richardson
Allen Leung
Media Asia Films
China Film Media Asia Audio Video Distribution
Milkyway Image
Distributed byMedia Asia Distributions
Release date
  • 31 March 2011 (2011-03-31)
Running time
115 minutes
CountryHong Kong

Don't Go Breaking My Heart is a 2011 Hong Kong-Chinese romantic comedy film directed by Johnnie To and Wai Ka-fai,[2] making this the twelfth film they have collaborated on together.[3] The film stars Louis Koo, Daniel Wu and Gao Yuanyuan. The film opened the 35th Hong Kong International Film Festival on 20 March 2011. It was then released theatrically in Hong Kong on 31 March 2011.


Chi-yan (Gao Yuanyuan) is an analyst who just broke up with her boyfriend (Terence Yin) as he was having a baby with another woman (Selena Li). Sean (Louis Koo), a CEO of a broker firm, knows Chi-yan as her office is just opposite of his. He liked Chi-yan, and starts to take action when he sees what happened in the bus between Chi-yan, her ex, and his current wife. Kevin (Daniel Wu), an architect and an alcoholic, helped Chi-yan out when she was heartbroken about her ex. With Chi Yan's support Kevin decides to pick up designing again, and arrange meet up with her again a week later. Chi-yan forgets about it when she starts flirting with Sean. She and Sean arrange to meet on the night Chi-yan is supposed to meet Kevin. Sean goes to clear up a misunderstanding with a woman named Angelina, which leads to a one-night stand. Chi-yan is left waiting for Sean and Kevin is waiting for Chi-yan. When Chi-yan find out what Sean did she ends their relationship. Sean later leaves his office when the economy crisis causes his company to lose a large sum of money and goes to the US. Three years later, Sean comes back into Chi-yan's life as her new boss. He tries to win her heart again, but she is put off because he is easily seduced by women. When Chi-yan is becoming disappointed Sean, Kevin also comes back into her life. After their last meeting, he successfully started an architecture firm and moves to where Sean's old office was located. Both guys court her and she must choose between the aggressive "flower-hearted" Sean or the sincere Kevin.


Cast Role Description
Louis Koo Sean Cheung
A CEO of a broker firm and became the boss of Chi Yan after economy crisis.
Gao Yuanyuan Ching Chi-yan
An analyst. She first met Kevin when helping her with her things all over the road, met again and gave Kevin all her ex-boyfriend's things as she just broke off with her boyfriend at that time. Soon met Sean, a CEO of a broker firm who office was opposite of hers.
Daniel Wu Kevin Fong
An architect who was first messy and untidy as he lost inspiration on designing and started to become an alcoholic before getting back to designing after meeting Chi-yan.
Lam Suet John Chi-yan's colleague.
Larisa Bakurova Angelina Had a one-night stand with Sean. At first thought Sean was interested in her, but as Sean went and explain that he was interested in another girl, (Chi-yan), seduced him, and eventually broke Sean and Chi-yan off.
JJ Jia Joyce Kiu
Kevin's Secretary
Seth Leslie Mr Ovadia A Jewish employee of John and Sean who is well known for being spat on by John when Chi-yan arrives in the office back from Shanghai.
Terence Yin Ching Chi-yan's ex. Got together for 7 years but broke up in the end as he was having an affair and later a baby with another lady.
Selena Li Ching Chi-yan's rival. Pregnant with Chi-yan's ex's baby.


Daniel Wu was contacted by Johnnie To in May 2010 for his role in the film. Wu was excited to work with To, stating that he's "always wanted to work with him. I've worked with all the big directors in Hong Kong except for him and Wong Kar-wai, and now I can tick Johnnie off my list."[4] The ending of Don’t Go Breaking My Heart was unknown to the actors until the final week of shooting.[4]


Don't Go Breaking My Heart had its world premiere at the 5th Osaka Asian Film Festival on March 10, 2011.[1][5] Along with Quattro Hong Kong 2, it was the opening film at the Hong Kong International Film Festival.[6] The film was released on March 31, 2011 in Hong Kong and China.[1] It received its North American premiere at the Fantasia Festival in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on July 25, 2011.[7]


Film Business Asia gave Don't Go Breaking My Heart a six out of ten rating referring to it as a "entertaining but shallow rom-com from Johnnie To that doesn't really engage the emotions".[1] Time Out Hong Kong gave the film a four out of six rating praising the dialogue and "expert comic timing".[8] The Hollywood Reporter opined that "To dazzles with non-stop filmmaking tricks, so many will be happy to forget the disingenuity of the creative premise".[9] Variety referred to the film as "tightly plotted and frequently funny, with suave lead perfs and glossy production design and lensing" while noting that "this mainstream, mostly Mandarin-language pic is squarely aimed at mainland auds and will do midrange biz in the region, but won't travel much elsewhere."[10]

Theme songs[edit]

(Used by Sean when expressing his love and proposing to Chi-yan)

(Used by Kevin when expressing his love and proposing to Chi-yan)


  1. ^ a b c d Elley, Derek (March 25, 2011). "Don't Go Breaking My Heart (單身男女)". Film Business Asia. Retrieved April 6, 2011.
  2. ^ Smith, Ian Hayden (2012). International Film Guide 2012. p. 130. ISBN 978-1-908215-01-7.
  3. ^ "Don't Go Breaking My Heart opened to box office success". Asia Pacific Arts. 5 April 2011.
  4. ^ a b Chow, Jason (March 18, 2011). "Breaking Heads to Breaking Hearts". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 6, 2011.
  5. ^ Cremin, Stephen (March 1, 2011). "Osaka festival embraces romance, indies". Film Business Asia. Retrieved April 6, 2011.
  6. ^ Frater, Patrick (February 24, 2011). "HKIFF has Heart for popularity, hub role". Film Business Asia. Retrieved April 6, 2011.
  7. ^ Marsh, James. "Don't Go Breaking My Heart : Cinemabox & Ubisoft Present Fantasia 2011". Fantasia Festival. Retrieved August 5, 2011.
  8. ^ Lee, Edmund (March 30, 2011). "Don't Go Breaking My Heart". Time Out. Archived from the original on April 12, 2011. Retrieved April 6, 2011.
  9. ^ Lee, Maggie (March 29, 2011). "Don't Go Breaking My Heart: Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 6, 2011.
  10. ^ Van Hoeij, Boyd (April 3, 2011). "Don't Go Breaking My Heart". Variety. Retrieved April 6, 2011.

External links[edit]