Don't Go Breaking My Heart (film)

Don't Go Breaking My Heart
Traditional 單身男女
Simplified 单身男女
Mandarin Dān Shēn Nán Nǚ
Cantonese Daan1 San1 Naam4 Neoi2
Directed by Johnnie To
Wai Ka-fai
Produced by Johnnie To
Wai Kai-fai
Written by Wai Ka-fai
Yau Nai-hoi
Ray Chan
Jevons Au
Starring Louis Koo
Daniel Wu
Gao Yuanyuan
Music by Xavier Jamaux
Cinematography Cheng Siu-Keung
To Hung-mo
Edited by David Richardson
Allen Leung
Media Asia Films
China Film Media Asia Audio Video Distribution
Milkyway Image
Distributed by Media Asia Distributions
Release dates
  • 31 March 2011 (2011-03-31)
Running time
115 minutes
Country Hong Kong
Language Cantonese

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, knew Chi-yan as her office is just opposite of his. He liked Chi-yan all the while, but knew that she was in a relationship and did not want to interfere, and started to take action as he saw what happened in the bus between Chi-yan, her ex, and his current wife. However, Kevin (Daniel Wu), an architect, who dressed shabbily, and an alcoholic, helped Chi-yan out when she was heartbroken by her ex. With Chi Yan's support and, Kevin decided to pick up designing again, and dated her to meet up again a week later. Chi-yan totally forgot about it as she was starting out with Sean, but it did not work out as Sean had a one-night stand with Angelina which started with a misunderstanding and ended his relationship with Chi-yan. Sean later shifted his office as the economy crisis caused him to lose a big sum of money and went over to US. Three years later, Sean comes back into her life as her boss. He tries to win her heart again, but she is put off, because he would be easily seduced by women. Chi-yan becomes disappointed him and right around this time, Kevin also comes back into her life. Subsequent 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, 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 disingenuousness 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

(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. 1 2 3 4 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. 1 2 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. Retrieved April 6, 2011.
  9. Lee, Maggie (March 29, 2011). "Don't Go Breaking My Heart: Film Review". 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

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