I Wanna Be Your Man!

Reviewed by YTSL

If at first you don’t succeed, try and maybe try some more again.  This is the stubborn resolution that I suspect guided writer-director Cheung Chi Sing into making “Love and Sex Among the Ruins” two years after this 1994 work that not only is similar to the later movie in terms of its story involving a pair of lesbians whose homosexual love is put to the test by an affable male friend but also having a female character named Ron in it.  While it is a practice that I’d not generally condone, in this case, I am glad that this is what occurred since even while the 1996 film was only about half as commercially successful as the earlier effort, it is one that I found to be far better than the half baked offering which, at least on paper, does look to possess a generally stronger cast.

I WANNA BE YOUR MAN! started off promisingly enough with a scene that had the versatile Lau Ching Wan and the often fascinating Francis Ng in an interesting -- in large part because of it being atypical looking (for a Hong Kong film) -- rural outdoor setting.  Although their characters had genuinely appeared to be in the thick of some farming activity, Lau Ching Wan’s Liu Che Mo soon gets revealed to be a bachelor CID officer -- albeit one who had inherited some farm land from his father (plus lives with his widowed mother, a no-nonsense figure who is essayed by Petrina Fung Bo-Bo’s sister, Fung So-Bo) -- while Francis Ng’s never named character turned out to be a public prosecutor as well as single parent of a curly-haired cutie called Wah Wah plus a buddy of Mo.
Warning bells started ringing however with the onset of the succeeding scene -- one that introduces I WANNA BE YOUR MAN!’s two main female characters in a way that makes little bones re their primary function in this Raymond Wong production being one that is titillatory in nature.  More specifically, despite the individual who is actually well portrayed by Christine Ng being a police Inspector plus the professional unstellar Mo’s superior officer, the initial appearance in this uneasy mix of light hearted romance and crime drama of this motorbike-riding personality -- whose name is given as Suzan as well as Susan Wong Suet San -- and her lover (Ron comes in the form of Christy Chung) takes place in the pair’s assuredly feminine bedroom and involves their going about their morning toilet while, all the while, the sort of unsubtle music that one would associate with consciously sexy scenes filled the air waves.
At one point in I WANNA BE YOUR MAN!, Mo declares -- according to the film’s fractured English subtitles -- that “Now in Hong Kong really have a lot of weird people”.  This is something that Cheung Chi-Sing sought to go all out to establish plus assert in this frequently far too absurd movie.  For example, Mo is someone who his new commanding officer -- who, of course, just turns out to be a certain Madam Suzan Wong -- concluded is a policeman who many members of the public sincerely like but tend to look upon more as a social worker than orthodox enforcer of the law, and who many of his colleagues think is an outright ass.  Yet, not only does Suzan decide to keep Mo on the force (after having petitioned to get him out of her squad but then realizing that he’s far less homophobic than many other members of the Royal Hong Kong Police) but she also ended up becoming very chummy -- and more -- with the man she nonetheless openly persisted in referring to as “the idiot”.
Still, to my mind, it is not so much this observably flawed effort’s good natured protagonist who deserves to be labeled an idiot but, rather, Christy Chung’s Ron character.  As “Love HK Film.com”’s Kozo observed in his review of I WANNA BE YOUR MAN!, she -- who is revealed to be a professional model and originally from Canada (Hence her otherwise unexplainable propensity to more than occasionally lapse into English) -- “is so sweet and nice that she seems mentally retarded, which isn’t supposed to be the case.”  If this (re)viewer were in a more generous mood, she also would ascribe Ron’s doing such as sorely tempting the extremely good natured Mo by asking him to help stave off her loneliness by sharing a narrow bed with her to the doe-eyed female’s being an utterly innocent lass.  Unfortunately, I’m inclined to, instead, perceive this problematic request as further evidence of either Ron’s idiocy or that of whoever -- scriptwriter as well as director Cheung Chi Sing? -- came up with the plethora of implausible scenarios plus situations that are to be found in the movie (of which this was but one), or both.
As if this all were not already enough to condemn this offering (that I found so bad as to be ridiculously laughable), I WANNA BE YOUR MAN!’s proceedings got further unbalanced by the inclusion of a rather strange sub-plot that had Francis Ng’s prosecuting lawyer character electing to become a vigilante for little reason beyond his deciding that his belief in the law had been pushed to breaking point by an ill-fated member of the Four Kings of Wan Chai (who include one played by the hard-to-miss Bobbie Yip).  In light of the pretty lame fashion in which this “development” got resolved, it does seem that it only got put into the picture in order to pave the way for the movie’s self-described “sex-starved” plus “easy” main man to finally “score”, and in some of the more un-PC ways that was possible for him to do such that surely only people with IQs that are lower than Ron’s would be likely to applaud them and their depicted results.

My rating for this film: 4.