The Irresistible Piggies/Women

Reviewed by YTSL

This 2002 Wong Jing produced and co-scripted offering is one that I don’t foresee being in the running for any film awards.  Neither does the funny bone targeting Liu Kim Wa helmed work appear to have been that huge a box office hit in Hong Kong (or anywhere else, including officially Muslim Malaysia -- where it had to undergo a title change due to “irresistible piggies” being a far bigger oxymoron than in such pork -- even if not “human pork chops” -- -loving territories as the HKSAR).  Indeed, at least from the viewpoint of such as your stereotypical PC American, the “look-ist” office comedy -- which has three of its usually pretty physically attractive female leads looking well below their best, and Karen Mok in a hairily freakish role, for much of the movie in a bid to solicit laughs -- would seem to contain more that can offend than amuse (including a story-line that could be read as effectively making an argument for people’s fortunes being allied to their physical appearances; what with the farcical offering’s protagonists losing their jobs in large part because they were considered unsightly, then coming by higher paying others post their undergoing successful make-overs).

Nonetheless, the truth of the matter is that when my mother, brother and I sat down one afternoon to view his girlfriend’s copy of THE IRRESISTIBLE PIGGIES (AKA THE IRRESISTIBLE WOMEN), that which contains a few blood-spattering moments (primarily courtesy of Michelle Reis’ character) -- and a couple of scenes in which a gathering of women raucously bay to be provided with a roaringly good floor show! -- came across as largely innocuous plus satisfyingly entertaining family fare.  Chief among the reasons for our thinking this are that: For starters, the starry ensembled giggle fest -- like with “Boys are Easy” and some other efforts that have borne the imprint of the Mr. Wong who seems to incorrigibly delight in being the anti-thesis of Wong Kar Wai -- is replete with the sort of humor that does not solely rely on the possession of local knowledge but still may well be culturally specific.  Relatedly, there was an implicit understanding on our parts that this generally unabashedly zany affair is one that it would be a great mistake to take all that seriously (even if its makers actually did look to have gone out of their way at one point to put out an anti-suicide message that some denizens of a territory that’s experiencing high – by its usual recent standards – rates of unemployment and own life taking might do well to heed).
THE IRRESISTIBLE PIGGIES is, after all, an often light on logic movie which presents its viewers with the at times downright jaw-dropping sights of: a follicle deficient Michelle Reis (whose Ah Mo character is prone to going berserk upon hearing the word “bald” being applied to her); Karen Mok as an individual named So Mei who is afflicted with a hormonal imbalance that causes her to be looked upon as a “female man” (as well as unbecoming “human pork chop”); a buck teethed as well as squint eyed Suki (AKA Shooky!) Kwan (whose Ah Pao -- AKA Patriciana -- character this work’s villainess --- who is thanklessly played with a surprising amount of relish by Florence Kwok -- cruelly described on one occasion as a “mini eye monster”); and Kelly Lin playing a woman named Ah Hung who gets nicknamed Panda as a result of her having a red (birth)mark on her face which dwarfs the one that Sammi Cheng was saddled with for much of “Wu Yen”).  And lest it be thought that the men in this work get off better, here’s pointing out that Raymond Wong Ho Yin’s character is regularly referred to as Turtle -- probably due to his being a retiringly shy personality -- and also was dubbed as a Tomato -- because his face has a propensity to turn bright red when he feels embarrassed -- by the woman he loved (and first knew as a radio deejay he christened “Ms. 7:15”).
As if THE IRRESISTIBLE PIGGIES were not already full of the kind of personalities that might be said to be only encounter-able via Hong Kong cinematic productions, the effort additionally has: Jordan Chan essaying a peroxide blonde (known as Spring Chow or Chun Chun) who is as flamboyantly attired as he is flaming gay and a giving plus good friend of the four London Mobile (Phone) Factory office mates who were openly proclaimed by others to be ugly and consequently infinitely romantically resistible; and Alex To’s surficially normal Gordon character being the kind of fellow who is afraid of mice plus liable to faint upon encountering a flying cockroach.  Arguably far closer to reality than the others, and probably as what appears to be a sop to those who wish to affirm that one’s being beautiful on the outside doesn’t always mean that (s)he’s that way inside, there’s provided the pointed example in this not completely unscrupulous picture of Stephen Fung’s undeniably good looking Alan character being probably the least attractive human being of the designated “good guys”.
Also having distinctive parts to play in this broad comedy are: The Hong Kong based quack who came in the decidedly weird form of Bobby Yip; the “curing by scaring” advocating Shenzhen based “doctor” played by Chatman To; and the lecherous gweilo boss who doesn’t seem to have all that much up there in his thick head.  IMHO, with characters like that (which make the often memorably hang doggish looking Hui Siu Hung’s less than fortunate one pale in comparison), it’s actually quite easy to overlook the fact of THE IRRESISTIBLE PIGGIES having the kind of “flying paper” script that Wong Jing is noted for.  If you’re this way inclined as well as willing to put your brain on hold for 90 minutes or so, some substantial guffaws as well as cheap laughs might result from your checking out a guilty cinematic pleasure that’s the sort of effort which will not make converts of the critics of the HKSAR’s Schlockmeister but should please those who already are his fans.

My rating for this film: 7.