Reviewed by: JohnR
Summary: Jim Chun Goes Ca-Ra-Zy!
Light comedy whose message is, "we're all actors, so let's get it right, and the best way to get it right is to learn to act like your authentic self." I think.
Reviewer Score: 7
Plot's been well-described below, so I'll just drop in a few notes.
Jim Chun's character, Chan Man Long, is supposed to be annoying. He's a would-be actor who over-acts in every situation he enters. One problem with the movie is that Jim Chun plays him so well: it really is annoying watching him. I wish he would have toned it down a little; Chan Man Long comes across as learning disabled. The biggest mystery in the movie is why his wife has stayed with him so long.
I thought Charlene Choi was convincing as Dani Dan, the soft-core actress yearning to be accepted as a legitimate actress. I suppose Charlene had a lot to draw on in acting the roll of someone who's not taken seriously as an actress. I thought she got her part down right; Dani has simplicity but there's depth revealed. Charlene could have followed Jim Chun and gone over the top, but instead she's delivered a strong, quiet performance. She gets lost in the part and "Charlene" disappears. Good job.
(Mild spoiler: In a further intermingling of art and life, Dani Dan, who longs to be taken seriously as an actress, eventually wins a Best Actress award in the movie while Charlene Choi, who faces relentlessly stubborn resistance from many movie buffs in being taken seriously as an actress, won Best Actress for her portrayal of Dani Dan.)
The movie does stumble along in places, but keeps going generally forward. It's amusing rather than roll-on-the-floor funny. Production values are high. Cameos from half the actors in Hong Kong.
Reviewed by: dandan
Summary: happy... sad... happy... sad...
chan man long (jim chim) is someone who has ended up being a cop; he's in his thirties, a theatrical character who would probably be quite annoying to work with, but he's someone who dreams of being an actor. strangely enough, when a police mole is killed, and found with the words "crappy actor" scrawled on his chest, the police decide a new tactic is in order: a policeman is going to be sent to acting school, with the hope of creating a more convincing mole. chan is selected and, needless to say, he is over the moon.
chan joins the class, along with another new student; dani dan (charlene choi), a softcore porn actress, who is looking to broaden her acting horizons. despite their differences, chan and dani soon find themselves becoming friends, but will chan be able to rid himself of his theatricalities and become a good enough actor to convince the triads and will dani be able to shake of the shackles of softcore be accepted, simply, as an actress?
after visiting the website for this film, the stupidly catchy theme tune became one of my most listened to tracks of the summer; needless to say, it swayed me to watch the film. although, that's not to say that i didn't think the premise sounded mildly amusing...
the film is, for the first hour, a pretty funny affair; it's nothing particularly new, but it moves at a swift pace and provides a reasonable quota of giggles along the way, despite (and maybe because of) it's silliness. however, once it hits the hour mark, the pacing becomes erratic and the narrative arc stutters and stumbles through it's second half. that's not to say that it doesn't work in places, but it does degenerate into a little bit of a mess, which is a shame, but not a total loss; i still enjoyed it.
jim chim does a good job of making an annoying character sympathetic, whilst charlene choi is as cute as she's ever been. there's also a whole host of cameos from eric tsang's movement teacher, chapman to's triad boss and anthony wong's thespian caretaker, not forgetting sandra ng, josie ho, isabell leung, patrick tam, fiona sit, lam suet, ann hui, alan mak, fruit chan and so the list goes on...
it's by no means great, and probably doesn't even drag itself to good, but it did, even with its flaws, entertain me and make me laugh. uneven, yet enjoyable...
and boy, is that theme tune catchy...