Forever Fever

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Forever Fever
Directed byGlen Goei
Produced by
  • Glen Goei
  • Jeffrey Chiang
  • Tan Chih-chong
Written byGlen Goei
Music byGuy Gross
CinematographyBrian Breheny
Edited byJane Moran
Tiger Tiger Productions
Distributed byShaw Organisation
Release date
  • 1998 (1998) (Singapore)
Running time
93 minutes
Box officeS$800,000 (Singapore)[1]

Forever Fever (released as I Like It Like That in the US) is a 1998 Singaporean musical comedy film written and directed by Glen Goei. It stars Adrian Pang as a Bruce Lee fan who becomes interested in disco once he sees Saturday Night Fever. As he competes in a local disco contest, John Travolta's character enters the real world and gives him advice. The film was released internationally by Miramax and was the first Singaporean film to perform well internationally.


In 1977, Ah Hock, a supermarket employee in his 20s, desires to buy a new motorbike, though he does not have enough money. When Saturday Night Fever is released in Singapore (under the title Forever Fever), he is inspired to enter a dance contest to raise the money. Guided by his heroes, John Travolta and Bruce Lee, Hock competes in the contest and fights against local bullies.



After experiencing difficulty as a theatre director in the UK, director Glen Goei taught a course on film at New York University. From this experience, he became interested in directing his own film. After a project failed in London, he wrote his own script and moved back to Singapore to produce it. The Singaporean film industry was not well-established, and Goei had to rely on friends, such as actress Tan Kheng Hua, who served as casting director. To help finance the film, Goei had to mortgage his London apartment. He later described his behavior as naive, as he took major risks, such as licensing expensive pop songs. The songs paid off, however, when Harvey Weinstein of Miramax cited the music as a reason why he connected with the film and picked it up for international distribution.[2]


Forever Fever grossed S$800,000 in Singapore, where it was released in 1998 by Shaw Organisation.[1] After retitling it That's the Way I Like It,[3] Miramax released it in the US on October 15, 1999, and it grossed US$19,319.[4] Forever Fever was the first internationally successful Singaporean film. China on Screen authors Chris Berry and Mary Ann Farquhar attribute this to its mix of Eastern and Western values, symbolized by the use of both Bruce Lee and John Travolta as Ah Hock's heroes.[3]


Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 47% of 15 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 5.7/0.[5] Metacritic rated it 52/100 based on 18 reviews.[6] Derek Elley of Variety described it as "a cheeky and thoroughly engaging riff on Saturday Night Fever that even manages to wear some smart subtext beneath its tight pants".[7] David Noh of Film Journal International called it a ripoff of Saturday Night Fever that is "an Asian equivalent for 'Uncle Tom-ing'".[8] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times rated it 3/4 stars and called it "a funny homage".[9] Lawrence Van Gelder of The New York Times wrote that the film's affection "amounts to recycling rather than reinvention".[10] Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times called it "a tale that's sweet-natured, funny and surprisingly touching".[11] Thomas also describes the film's use of American music as empowering to Singaporean citizens rather than a form of imperialism.[11] Writing of the film' homage, Steve Daly of Entertainment Weekly rated it C− and wrote, "Despite the America-friendly 'Singlish' dialogue, which requires only occasional subtitles, the conceit doesn't export well."[12]

Producer Jason Blum is a fan of the film.[13]


  1. ^ a b c Lui, John (2014-01-01). "Where is the audience for local English films?". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2016-04-03.
  2. ^ Goei, Glen (2015-05-04). "Film-maker Glen Goei reflects on his transition from stage to screen". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2016-04-03.
  3. ^ a b Berry, Chris; Farquhar, Mary Ann (2006). China on Screen: Cinema and Nation. Columbia University Press. p. 219–222. ISBN 9780231137065.
  4. ^ "That's the Way I Like It (1999)". The Numbers. Retrieved 2016-04-03.
  5. ^ "That's the Way I Like It (1999)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2016-04-03.
  6. ^ "That's the Way I Like It". Metacritic. Retrieved 2016-04-03.
  7. ^ Elley, Derek (1998-08-03). "Review: 'Forever Fever'". Variery. Retrieved 2016-04-03.
  8. ^ Noh, David (2004-11-02). "THAT'S THE WAY I LIKE IT". Film Journal International. Retrieved 2016-04-03.
  9. ^ Ebert, Roger (1999-10-22). "That's The Way I Like It". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2016-04-03.
  10. ^ Van Gelder, Lawrence (1999-10-15). "FILM REVIEW; Dancing Fools in the Kingdom of Disco". Retrieved 2016-04-03.
  11. ^ a b Thomas, Kevin (1999-10-15). "Delightful 'That's the Way' Is About More Than Disco". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-04-03.
  12. ^ Daly, Steve (1999-10-29). "That's The Way I Like It". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2016-04-04.
  13. ^ Wong, Laetitia (2014-09-17). "Horror producer Jason Blum declares himself a giant cheeseball". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2016-04-03.

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