Boys are Easy (1993)

January 29, 2003 • Film, hong kong

[director Wong Jing]

Color 86 min

Indeed they are! But girls, as this film would have us believe, are much harder. The story gives us Richard Ng as the father of three very independent, headstrong, aggressive daughters. Ng is proud of his daughters, but he is distressed that each one of them is so wrapped up in their work that they have no time for boyfriends. So, with the help of a friend, Ng concocts a ploy to get his daughters hitched up: he claims to have a fatal disease. The daughters feel terrible about it, and so, when their dad gives them an invitation to a sort of “”Final Family Dinner,”” each girl starts frantically searching for a boy to bring to the festivities to show off to their dad so he can “die in peace.”

The girls are played forcefully by Brigitte Lin, playing a tough-minded cop, Maggie Cheung as a gentle social worker, and Chingmy Yau as a successful doctor (Wong Jing always had to include his girlfriend in each movie he made back then). They bring a sense of fun to the proceedings, as they start searching for boys to act the part of suitors. Brigitte grabs gigolo Tony Leung Kar-Fei, whom she hires to pose for the part, Maggie asks it as a favor of roughneck triad Jacky Cheung (who is also under orders from his mob to kill Maggie’s older sister Brigitte anyway), and Chingmy actually seduces some guy, who presumably had his 15 minutes of fame on this movie. Of course the girls don’t really like these guys too much, but the guys grow to like them a lot, and they go to great lengths to win the hard-headed girls’ hearts.

It’s full of cheesy comedy, but the spirit of it is so fun that the dumb stuff just flies on by. Brigitte and Tony make a magnificent comedy team–Brigitte plays it deadpan, while Tony goes into hysterics. The part where he hypnotizes himself into becoming Bruce Lee is priceless.

This is really one of Wong Ching Jing’s best movies. It’s much more accessible than his usual junk, featuring a solid cast that doesn’t randomly shrink or expand during the production, no ridiculous cameos by children Wong is grooming for stardom, very little Chingmy Yau idiocy (her part as the youngest sister is relatively small), and a fine sense of the fun of romance. It’s not a great movie, but it’s entertaining.

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