Forty-something Cecilia better known as Sissy to her friends is a cheery and vivacious seamstress. Wai Mun her husband of many years is the captain of an acclaimed Chinese restaurant. Although somewhat discontented with life since his migration from Hong Kong to Singapore, he and Sissy are a loving couple and enjoy a blissful marriage. They have a 15-year-old son and a nine-year-old daughter who has a very close relationship with Sissy and is a source of great cheer and comfort to her.
In a twist of fate, an unexpected occurence befalls their seemingly mediocre and uneventful lives. One day as Sissy feels a hard lump in her left breast. A gush of complex emotions overwhelms her...
Let’s set things straight right from the beginning of this review: This is one movie which we will not recommend to our readers.
We feel rather mean for bashing this movie supported by the Health Promotion Board (HPB). After all, there is a well meaning message in this 118 minute production. But did the filmmakers really have to spend two precious hours of our lives to tell people that breast cancer can happen to anyone (we heard it happens to men too, so don’t you chuckle, mister), and that regular mammogram checks should be conducted?
Sure, the movie stars a certain “Ah Jie” (Big Sister) of Caldecott Hill, but even her believable acting as a cancer stricken seamstress cannot salvage this intolerable viewing experience. Sure, the movie also stars many other familiar faces (Hong Kong’s Kenny Ho, Malaysia’s Kristy Yow and Singapore’s Allan Wu), but the members of this ensemble have so little chemistry between them, we cannot help but feel that watching a television drama about quarreling housewives would be more interesting.
The story’s protagonist is played by Zoe Tay, and boy, can there be anyone more perfect than her? The seamstress offers discounts to her customers, gives in to unreasonable deadlines, spends time with her family and always wears a welcoming and comforting smile. The filmmakers must have wanted to create a likeable character so much, they forgot to look around them for real life inspirations. Anyway, our heroine also provides a listening ear to a busty fashion model (Yow in a badly dubbed role), and as fate would have it, the two woman soon bond and give support to each other as both may have contracted breast cancer.
Elsewhere, there is an uptight husband (Ho), a very hunky boyfriend (Wu) and two kids (Edwin Goh and Regene Lim) who attempt to make you weep buckets of tears through melodramatic slow mo shots and excruciating close ups of sad expressions.
While the DVD cover tells us that this Gerald Lee directed movie is last year’s “most heartwarming drama”, we seriously think otherwise. The plot developments are too trying and fail to evoke any genuine emotions and empathy, and more often than not, we ended up chuckling at the unintentional comedic effect. Besides Tay who delivers a fine performance, Ho who looks constipated more than he is upset, Yow who is nothing more than a great asset (we mean it) to have on the production, there is really nothing much to look forward to in this movie.
And before the credits rolled, HPB’s message to raise breast cancer awareness appears on screen. Already feeling exhausted from the past two hours of dreary TV drama material, we could only wish that this was a TV commercial instead of a long drawn feature film.
This Code 3 DVD contains Theatrical Trailers for this movie, as well as Reign of Assassins and Old Cow vs Tender Grass. It also includes the Love Cuts Theme Song, a 22 minute The Making of (you get to see how Tay’s bald look was achieved), a six minute Production Commentary (you get to hear Clover Films founder Lim Teck talk about the inspirations behind this movie) and a Photo Gallery.
There is nothing to complain about the movie's visual transfer, and it is presented in its original format comprising of Mandarin and Cantonese dialogues. You won’t miss Yow’s badly dubbed Mandarin (we are guessing her Malaysian accent was too much for the producers to take).
Review by John Li
Posted on 13 February 2011