ǿa (2002)
Frugal Game

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 07/28/2006
Summary: "don't inject me, i will fart"

wai tai hon (eric tsang) has been unemployed for a while, his wife left him with two children (daughter, miriam yeung, and son, yui tak shing) to raise and things are pretty tight. still, tai hon pretends to go to work, but spends his time sitting in a fast food restaurant with a group of other people, who all pretend they are at work. one day, tai hon's ex-boss (carol cheng arrives in the restaurant; she has been sacked, but she has a proposal - she want's to join the wai family, so that they can go on the 'frugal family' gameshow. eventually, he agrees...

so, the four enter the gameshow; they are moved into a new house in a tv studio and given hk$400 to last them a week, they will be competing against the lai family. the family with the most money at the end of the week will have all their debts paid off!

now, although i did quite enjoy this, it could have been so much better; it wasn't as funny as it should've been and it felt a bit rushed. miriam yeung was great though and i always like eric tsang.

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 11/17/2002
Summary: Yikes

This may effect my judgement but i saw a very poor quality version of this movie. But saying that i rarely laughed!! I was going why are they doing this, what a waste of time!! More thought should of been put into the movie to make it funnier, it seems a little rushed in production~!!

Remember i did see a poor quality version but i didn't laugh much at all.


Reviewed by: abc_in_nyc
Date: 08/05/2002
Summary: Frugal on the Funny

If the purpose of this film was to create annoying characters to put more whine in your diet, then "Frugal Game" (more literally, "Frugal Household") was a resounding success. The DVD includes a brief "Making of" track with a quick clip of Eason Chan claiming that something is funny. Since he did not specify a name, I can only assume he was talking about something other than this film. Ok, so I'm exaggerating a little bit. I like the premise of the movie. I like the way it started. I like Miriam Yeung. There were a few good laughs. What went wrong?

The movie is about an unemployed "family" that entered a reality-based game show to pay off their bills. The game show pitted two families against each other to see which could live on less money in a seven day period. Dodo Cheng played any one of my shrewish, naggy aunts. This was more than enough to ruin the entire movie for me. I spent most of the time hoping for Miriam Yeung's character to slap some sense into Dodo's. On top of that, the film meandered around through a series of marginally interesting subplots. I never felt the gravity of importance of these subplot elements to the characters. It felt like all their problems were pretty trivial and they'd be worried about them because there was nothing better to do.

There really were a few good laughs though. I'd recommend this film only for Miriam Yeung fans. She played a sensible character and for once, the on-screen giggles were kept to a minimum. I think she's showing some real improvement as an actress. Eason Chan did a decent job as well. He did plenty of the usual on-screen brooding, but his character was somewhat likeable.

Rating: 1.5/5

Reviewer Score: 3