Beauty and the Breast

Breasts are just out there. Everywhere. There is no avoiding them. Of course, sometimes you don’t want to avoid them, sometimes you do. Men fixate on them often to a degree that most women can’t understand. But then neither do we really. Whether it is genetic or environmental, we just do it without worrying about the why. Men talk about them, think about them, ogle them but rarely have the discipline to analyze them. Considering how important they have become in our modern culture almost to the point of becoming icons of our times – in fashion, film, marketing – it is surprising that so little attention has been paid to them from a more distanced and professional perspective.
Francis Ng, Daniel Wu, Sohpie Ngan and Angela Tong
Mario (Francis Ng) is both a professional admirer and an astute analyst of the female breast. They speak to him in their own language – they tell him things about their owners – he is in a sense a Sherlock Holmes of the breast. Just like that sleuth could take one look at you and decipher what you had eaten for breakfast and if you were a widower, Mario can take a mere glance at a passing breast and tell you something about the woman. He tells his bosom friend and breast apprentice, Daniel Wu, that oval shapes are optimistic, pointed ones are violent, pyramid shapes are passionate and bowl like ones are devoted. Things I never knew but am glad I now do.
Michelle Reis, Francis, Halina Tam and Amanda Strang
Though breasts play a big (and sometimes small) role in this film, they are firmly supported by other plot themes such as brown nosing, office politics and romance – but in the end the breast takes center stage in this nonsensical but affable effort. As in the recent La Brassiere much of the enjoyment of viewing this is simply seeing fairly well respected actors such as Francis Ng, Michelle Reis and Daniel Wu going a bit down market but clearly having some fun with their characters and the absurd situations. While La Bra explored the issue of men trying to understand what it was like to wear a bra, this one goes to the next step – men trying to understand what it is to have female breasts. Breasts or as they are referred to here at various times as – micro-waves, mosquitoes, BBQ pork buns and fried dumplings – are as the men find out often much easier to treasure than to have.
Angela, Matt Chow, Sophie and Michelle
Francis and Daniel work in a company that produces Piggy skin lotion and spend the large part of their workday sycophantically fawning over the President, Matt Chow. Other employees include Halina Tam, Amanda Strang and the newly arrived bookish looking Michelle Reis. Soon two others arrive (their breasts arriving a little bit earlier), Sophie Ngan and Angela Tong, who are intent on getting whatever they can and using whatever womanly ways are available to them. They are marketing a breast enhancement crème produced in Bosnia! Interestingly, in real life Angela is a spokesperson for a breast enhancement crème as are a number of other well-known actresses – Anita Yuen, Fennie Yuen and Teresa Mak. Francis makes a bet with Chow that he can seduce Michelle and tries out the well-tested “I am dying of a brain tumor” ploy on her – but when she discovers his ruse, her revenge is sweet – and to the point – or make that points.
Amanda and Halina
If this all sounds silly and empty headed, I suppose it is – but actually it is more sweet than salacious and much of it is simply goofy fun. It has a few nice scenes such as the three female friends showing (but not to us!) and then talking about their breasts to one another and some shocking (!) ones that had me repulsed and in stitches at the same time (to see these click here – but please first take the children out of the room). Francis is terrific – even in a role like this it is a pleasure watching his facial expressions and those eyes of his react to the characters and situations around him. Daniel Wu goes very non-serious and badly coiffed here – “I just want noodles and toilet paper”, Michelle is lovely and being a good sport and I loved her adjust her glasses habit, Halina and Amanda are solid in their supporting roles and Sophie and Angela – two of my favorite bad girls of Hong Kong film – have smaller roles than I would have liked but are still an eyeful whenever on screen. Others appearing are Wong Yat Fei as Michelle's father, Lam Chi Chung as the brother and Wong Tin Lam as the father of Matt Chow.

My rating for this film: 7.0