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Mr. & Mrs. Player
Mr. and Mrs. Player

Chrissie Chau and Chapman To
get played in Mr. & Mrs. Player.
Chinese: 爛滾夫鬥爛滾妻  
Year: 2013
Director: Wong Jing
Producer: Wong Jing
Writer: Wong Jing

Chapman To Man-Chat, Chrissie Chau Sau-Na, Pang Ho-Cheung, Matthew Chow Hoi-Kwong, Kimmy Tong Fei, Wilfred Lau Ho-Lung, Jeanette Leung, Michelle Hu, IRis Chung, Bella Lo, Suki Shek

The Skinny: Standard lazy Wong Jing filmmaking that offers some funny stuff amidst a morass of tepid and forgettable filler. Aside from a few surprisingly dirty jokes, Mr. & Mrs. Player is pretty much what one expects it to be, which means it's not really a disappointment. Low standards for the win.
by Kozo:

Ribald romcom Mr. & Mrs. Player serves up Hong Kong Cinema mediocrity like it’s going out of style. On the surface, that’s disappointing, but do you really expect more from a Wong Jing movie? Ribald cinema go-to guy Chapman To stars as Carson, a Feng Shui master who’s been a devout player since grade school. As an adult, he beds as many women as he can, as often as he can. However, Carson meets his match in Chi-Ling (Chrissie Chau), a veterinarian who brazenly flits from guy to guy, yet would give up being a playerette if she ever met Mr. Right. Carson and Chi-Ling find instant chemistry but Chi-Ling is uncertain of further commitment because of Carson’s sexual history. Thus, a bargain is struck: The two will cohabitate, and if Carson can handle celibacy for the next 100 days – which includes not touching Chi-Ling herself – they’ll get engaged. Carson wants in because Chi-Ling is brainy and busty – basically the dream combo for a woman-appreciating man of his high standards.

If only the movie had similarly high standards. True to the Wong Jing playbook, Mr. & Mrs. Player is a labored, somewhat sexist sitcom dressed up with crass asides. Carson wrestles with his libido and Chi-Ling wrestles with her confidence in Carson, while a peanut gallery of actors and non-actors offers their two cents. Occasional moments threaten to be thoughtful, but any complexity is quickly pushed aside in favor of snarky acting and hit-or-miss jokes. The hits are appreciated, in particular the opening five minutes depicting Carson’s childhood, and also a costume party where guests dress like sex organs. The gag is an amped-up retread of the Wong Jing-produced Eternal Evil of Asia, but given Mr. & Mrs. Player’s abundance of self-referential gags, that’s par for the course. Also par: the tepid dialogue and performances, which range from average to worse. Considering the material, Chapman To and Chrissie Chau are fine, however, and show decent chemistry. Pang Ho-Cheung, who plays Carson’s friend Thirteen Chan, shouldn’t change careers just yet.

Rating Mr. & Mrs. Player as disappointing is hard, because it’s pretty much what one expects it to be, from its jokes to its casting to its tame Category III rating, which is given for language and sexual references, not sex or nudity. Pushed-up bosoms do get plenty of screentime, but that’s Cat IIB territory and not the ballyhooed Cat III, which has increasingly become a marketing gimmick rather than a true measure of transgressive content. One personal disappointment is the unequal treatment of the sexes; whereas Carson is portrayed as understandably needing sex, Chi-Ling seemingly has no problem with 100 days of celibacy – and that’s despite being the “Mrs. Player” of the title. Showing the growth of two super-horny players would have been an interesting way to push the film thematically and also comedically, but that would require extra work and Mr. & Mrs. Player is standard Wong Jing Lazy Filmmaking™. It’s all good, though – swearing, dirty jokes and fleshy teases will always find an audience. There’s really no accounting for taste. Yours or mine. (Kozo, 7/2014)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 3 NTSC
Universe Entertainment
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
*Also Available on Blu-ray Disc
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