97' Lan Kwai Fong


I suppose the most amazing thing about this fairly harmless endeavor is that though it was produced in 1997 and even has that date in the title – I could not find one reference or even a slice of subtext to the Hong Kong Handover to China! What were they thinking? I suppose it could be there – hidden cleverly in the dark and smoky discos or the conflict between two groups of women – but if so it passed me by without incident. Instead, this appears to be nothing more than a dreary attempt to get as many young actresses on the screen as possible and surround them with only the flimsiest of plots.
A group of female twenty-somethings with names like Benz, Porsche, Dior, Baby and Gee spend their days working in ordinary jobs, but at night they strut their stuff at the clubs in the Lan Kwai Fong area of Hong Kong. The “Seven Princesses” as they are referred to flit from club to club in this trendy neighborhood deflecting men, making merry, taking drugs, gossiping and finally wobbling home in the wee hours of the night. The film sketchily throws together a few of their stories – Eileen Tung starting up a fashion boutique on her ex-boyfriends money, Farini Cheung stealing clients from one of her friends through trysts in the lady’s room, Bak Ka-sin secretly driving an unfashionable minibus for her job – but none of these stories seem to have any purpose other than padding the film to the 90-minute mark. The main story revolves around Porsche played by Alice Chan and the troubles she innocently gets into.
Alice Chan has primarily been a TV actress, which is a shame because she comes across quite well in this film – especially considering that the film is rather pointless and empty headed – but what really struck me was her astonishing resemblance to a young Anita Mui. For me that is quite a plus and I spent most of the film just thinking to myself – “damn, she looks so much like Anita” and her short hair style seems built to emphasize this. She attracts the attentions of handsome stone faced Marco, a disco manager played by Michael Tong, much to the annoyance of Sister Peacock. Sister Peacock is a young and up and coming pill pusher and Michael finally decides they don’t really have much in common besides looking good and so boots her out of his apartment. The camera sadly follows poor Sister Peacock as she walks away down the street – looking back over her shoulder for the change of heart that never comes.  And follows her for some more - and more - until finally they run out of film.
Resenting Michael’s attention to Alice and possibly jealous of her looking so much like Anita, Sister Peacock and her two drugged up female assistants frame Alice for stealing a shipload of pills from the triads. It looks like trouble for the Seven Princesses – oops make that the three Princesses – as four of them decide this isn’t really their business – and it may intrude on tonight’s fun. Triads trying to kill you have that effect. None of this is in the least bit interesting and unfortunately both Farini and Eileen are given the short shrift in terms of screen time – and only the presence of Alice Chan makes this at all bearable.

My rating for this film: 4.0