Fatt (Richie Jen) has to introduce his girlfriend Rachel (Kate
Tsui) to his conservative father (Yuen Wah). Knowing that
his father will never accept his Westernized girlfriend, Fatt
decides to hire a "contract lover" to meet him instead.
Zao (Fan Bing Bing) who needs the money urgently, decides
to accept the job but when Fatt brings his "contract
lover" home, unexpected events occur...
are not the only clever one around. Anyone who has had some
experience watching movies (either on the small television
screen or on the big cinema screen) will know how a predictable
movie like this will turn out.
Ren (Exiled, 2 Become 1) plays a man goes back to his hometown
in China, where his parents are enquiring about his girlfriend.
He does not dare to bring his vocal, headstrong and pole-dancing
(as a form of exercise, you pervert) girlfriend to meet his
conservative folks. So he gets a contract lover (how original
is that as a movie title?) played by Fan Bingbing (Flash Point,
The Matrimony) to make his parents detest her so that the
wild girlfriend can step in and gain acceptance by default.
And yes, we are not even afraid of incurring any wrath here:
Fan will end up living happily ever after with Ren.
production sees director Alfred Cheung (All’s Well,
Ends Well 1997) pulling every familiar 1980s movie trick on
the viewers, from unsurprising situational jokes to caricature
characters that you have seen in a dozen other Chinese movies.
Ren faking orgasm sounds with Fan so that the excited parents
will think that they are having sex? A traditional mother
who gets initiated into the open ways of city dwellers after
Fan’s enlightenment? You’d probably have seen
these plotlines somewhere else before.
get us wrong, this is not a terrible movie at all. In fact,
it is quite an enjoyable 94 minutes to sit through. Although
dated, the familiarity of this good-natured picture is ironically
its main draw.
is no need to rack your brains trying to figure out whether
Ren’s father (played by a serious-looking Yuen Wah)
will have his heirloom destroyed, or whether Ren and Fan will
be separated by fate. Heck, besides two pop songs sung by
David Tao and Ren himself, there are even some nice crane
camera shots and scenic cinematography of China to ogle at.
So what’s there to hate about this unintelligent piece
a good time killer if you play this at your next party, and
people can walk in and out of the living room without missing
anything. And better still, they would think they are smart
because they are still able to figure out what’s going
on. Nothing beats a convenient ego-booster, right?
The Code 3 DVD includes “Trailers”
for both the movie and Roystan Tan’s 881. There is also
a 10-minute “Making Of” where
you hear the cast talking about how patient and nice the director
is on set. The cameras rigged on cranes for the aerial shots
also look impressive.
transfer doesn’t exactly accentuate China’s picturesque
scenes, and there are Mandarin or Cantonese audio tracks to
by John Li