The Temptation of Office
Even though this title has a slightly pornographic
ring to it- it instead falls within the tradition of many HK films that
deal with the lives of single women living in the big city. Like some earlier
films (Why Wild Girls, Modern Love, Modern Romance) it follows in the footsteps
of three women who are concerned primarily with two troublesome issues
– money and men. They have too little of the former and too much of the
latter. It’s particularly an odd title though when you consider that there
are no office ladies in the film and very little temptation – unless it
was to fast forward at times!
It’s basically a frivolous little low budget film,
but it also attempts occasionally to interject some serious subject matters
– the death of a child and gang rape – but does so in such a clumsy and
ill conceived manner that it really hurts what little charm the film had
going for it. For example, at one point a boyfriend of one of the girls
has uninvited sex with another of the girls who has passed out from drinking.
Later through her foggy memory she asks him ”Did you touch me” to which
he giggles. End of issue. What does make the film enjoyable at times is
simply the comradery of the characters and solid performances from the
The three young women – Jo Jo (Lam Hung-Yi), Ida
(Claire Yiu) and Mon (Pinky Cheung) live together in a small Hello Kitty
festooned apartment and try to get through life as well as they can. Jo
Jo works at a bar where she has to play “fist games” all night long leading
to her usually being drunk by evenings end. Ida has a good for nothing
boyfriend who wants only to laze about and live off her meager earnings.
Mon doesn’t seem to do much of anything except live off the favors of sympathetic
men. At one point, she pouts enough to get one man to buy her an expensive
watch, but as soon as he is out of the room she is on the phone calling
another male friend. She tells him that she was forced to buy this expensive
watch because he wouldn’t do so. He immediately agrees to compensate her
to which she gives a rousing victory cheer! Apparently these manipulative
skills are enough to qualify as the stockbroker that she later becomes!
For the most part, the male species comes in for
a ten round thrashing in this film. Liars, boors, rapists, cheats are only
a few of the bad characteristics that the men in this film have. The message
here seems to be – if you see a man, squash it!
Perhaps the only reason to see this film is for
the performance of the actress who plays Jo Jo. Lam Hung-Yi, a Taiwanese
model, whether in long hair or short - absolutely sizzles in this
film like bacon on a burning grill. When she walks into a room she exudes
sexual heat like a leaking radioactive plant ready to explode.
Veteran character actor Billy Lau shows up
for a while as an extremely dislikable fellow and Ben Lam makes a short
cameo as well.
My rating for this film: 5.5