Miu (Stephy Teng) works in a Research and Development division of a lingerie company. She has always been an over achiever all her life, both academically and career-wise, but a total failure when it comes to love. In this epiphany of hers, Miu met four eligible suitors; a rich playboy, a nerdy genius, a bank manager and a 'love expert' where she seeks her "love consultant" friends to aid her in finding her way out of this labyrinth...
If the title La Lingerie sounds vaguely familiar to you, that’s because you’ve probably heard of its predecessor- La Brassiere. Yes, writer-director Chan Hing-Kai has made somewhat of a follow-up to his moderately funny hit comedy from seven years back. Unfortunately, while the cast may be new and younger, La Lingerie is stale and not even mildly funny.
Like its earlier counterpart, La Lingerie uses lingerie as a metaphor as the running thread throughout the movie. To writer-director Chan, lingerie can be seen in the same way as a woman’s feelings. You see, most women don’t want to let men see them in lingerie entirely; instead, they want to give men a glimpse or a peek. Ditto for their feelings- women don’t want to bare their souls but neither do they want to keep it all hidden.
Don’t get the wrong idea though- this is not a thought provoking expose on women. Instead, this metaphor is probably the most intelligent aspect of the movie. The rest is pure fluff, an excuse to string together several loosely connected stories of women trying to find love and direction in their lives. At the centre of it is Miu Ho (Stephy Tang), a sweet girl who is still a virgin, recruited as a lingerie researcher (what!?). Miu is assigned to find out how the lingerie makes the woman, or perhaps, the other way round.
Meanwhile, she and her other friends are striving to find Mr Right. There’s Donut (Janice Man) who is having an affair with an older married man; then there’s CC (JJ’s the actress’ name) who thinks she might be in love with a shy Harvard grad (Andy On); and there’s also an air stewardess dreaming about marrying a rich guy.
Alas what this all amounts to are artificially concocted emotions that basically are just as hollow as the multiple characters here. The young cast, especially Stephy Tang and popular model Janice Man, are good to look at, but they do little to make the characters feel more real.
Commercial urban comedies a la ‘Sex and the City’-lite appear to be a fad in Hong Kong cinema nowadays (driven by the appeal of Patrick Kong films) and Patrick Kong-regular Stephy Tang seems to be the go-to person for such movies. Unfortunately, La Lingerie is nowhere near the best of these at-best mediocre efforts. Coming from Chan Hing-Kai who’s proven to be capable of much better, this is nothing less than a disappointment.
To use the movie’s own metaphor, La Lingerie may look pretty from the outside, but it’s ultimately flat and unattractive.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
The fact that the jokes sound boring even in the dual Cantonese audio track available on this DVD should give you a hint of how unamusing this movie really is. The movie’s visual transfer however does great justice to the movie’s bright colour palette.
by Gabriel Chong