Last year's Love on a Diet featured two HK megastars
slimming down from three-hundred pound-plus bodies in the
name of comedy hijinks. The comedy could have been construed
poorly, but that crew managed to escape without blatantly
slamming the overweight. That's not the case for The Irresistible
Piggies, which casts four lovely HK actresses as physically
flawed office workers who exact revenge on their shallow bosses
by turning into runway models. Blaming it on any one person
would probably be unfair, but we have a convenient target
here: Wong Jing.
Mo (Michelle Reis) works in
a mobile phone company called LMF (an obvious joke on the
popular HK rap group) and moonlights as Miss 7:15, a radio
DJ. She's afflicted with baldness, which gives her an unsightly
lack of hair on top. Working with her are three other not-so-pretty
ladies. Hung (Kelly Lin) has a large red birthmark on the
right side of her face ala Wu Yen. Pao (Suki Kwan) has buck
teeth and abnormally small eyes. And So Mei (Karen Mok) developed
an abnormal output of male hormones when she was sexually
assaulted back in high school. Her superhero origin story
involves enhanced strength and an abundance of body hair,
making her look like the eighties version of the artist formerly
known as Prince. Together, the four are known as the "Four
Pork Chops", pork chop being Cantonese slang for an ugly
The four are singled out by
evil boss Christine (Needing You bad girl Florence
Kwok), who targets three of the girls for lay-offs when the
company has a cash shortage. Mo decides to follow her buddies
into unemployment, but luckily they find a plan for revenge.
Flaming homosexual Chun Chun (Jordan Chan with blond hair)
tells them that they need more than brains to strike back.
He asserts that beauty isn't just helpful, it's necessary.
Hopefully, this message will not sink in with the likely junior
high schoolers who might take in this film. Most youngsters
don't need any more body image issues, and this film slyly
hints that to get what you want (and indeed what's right)
you have to look like Michelle Reis, Karen Mok, Kelly Lin
or Suki Kwan. Which is to say, you need to look stunningly
Not that the movie really has
any messages to tell. It's what you'd expect from a Wong Jing
production, meaning lots of eye candy and barely a semblance
of a storyline. Whatever plot there is exists merely as a
tool to get good looking people together by the ninety-minute
mark. With that in mind, The Irresistible Piggies is
a resounding success, as almost all the ladies pair off with
their respective guys. Mo gets Turtle (Raymond Wong), a shy
guy who turns bright red in an amusingly virginal way.
cousin Alan (Stephen Fung) is a self-avowed playboy, but he
develops a mutual admiration for Hung. Pao hooks up with her
former boss Gordon (Alex To), one of the nicest executives
you'll ever meet. (In one fantasy moment, Gordon suggests
that everyone at LMF take a 20% pay cut instead of lay off
a few people - and everyone agrees!) And finally, So Mei develops
"something" with Chun Chun. Pretty people hook up
with other pretty people and the natural order is preserved.
Or something like that.
Still, it would be nice
if a passably creative production could surround the commercial
requirements. Unfortunately Wong Jing's script is lazy and
uninspired, and frequently turns unfunny and even cruel. And
director Lo Kim-Wah (Sunshine Cops, Marooned)
handles the proceedings with the delicacy of a wrecking ball.
His idea of funny is wacky fast motion violence and goofy
sound effects stolen from the Japanese Anime One Piece.
Unfortunately, the effect is more annoying than funny.
At least some of the performers
handle their parts decently. Karen Mok and Jordan Chan have
always been effective comic performers, and they perform well
even if their characters are so overdrawn as to be nearly
offensive. Stephen Fung makes a delightful jerk, and Michelle
Reis and Suki Kwan are their usual agreeable selves. Fans
of the stars might find a necessary fix with this production,
though the alternate reaction would probably be embarrassment.
Given Hong Kong's recent lack of output, it's nice for the
actors to get any film work at all. However, one wishes their
chosen projects left them looking better. (Kozo 2002)