REVIEW: La Brassiere (2001)

labrassiere

 

Hong-kong-icon

2001, China Star Entertainment Limited/One Hundred Years of Film/Icon Pictures Ltd.

Directors:
Chan Hing-Ka
Patrick Leung
Producers:
Chan Hing-Ka
Amy Chin
Writers:
Chan Hing-Ka
Amy Chin
Cinematography:
Poon Yiu-Ming
Editing:
Chan Ki-Hop

Cast:
Sean Lau (Johnny)
Louis Koo (Wayne)
Carina Lau (Samantha)
Gigi Leung (Lena)
Lee San-San (Candy)
Chikako Aoyama (Nanako)
Vincci Cheuk (Gigi)
Rosemary Vandenbroucke (Eileen)
Asuka Higuchi (Suki)
Maria Chan (Jolene)
Chan Wan-Wan (Sharon)
Karen Mok (Shirley)
Jo Koo (Alex)
Stephen Fung (Fung)
Ji Gang (Miko)

This may seem like a romantic comedy, and for the most part it is. However, guys will enjoy the film not only for the content but both genders will absolutely laugh at the highlight portion of the film that comes in at around thirty-five minutes.

A bra company has decided to come up with plans to unveil an “Ultimate Bra”. The only problem? It hasn’t been made. Nanako, the owner of the company, has made the decision that since women wear bras as a way not only for women to feel comfortable, but appeal to men, that it would be be best to hire two men to help design their new project. Despite objections from Hong Kong branch manager Samantha and design manager Lena, the company moves forward with finding two men to hire.

Enter Wayne, a womanizer, and Johnny, a former men’s underwear designer. They have been hired to join the team and are constantly met with resistance from Lena, who feels men should not be hired because they haven’t experienced what it is like to be in a bra. Samantha, on the other hand, starts to become a little more open-minded despite some of the boys’ buffoonery. However, Johnny and Wayne soon realize that there is a job to be done and they soon begin to take the job seriously and begin to design the “Ultimate Bra”. And in the midst of all the chaos to get it done, Johnny starts to fall for Samantha and Wayne and Lena not only begin to respect each other, but realize something more.

This comedy from Hong Kong meshes two well-known subgenres in comedy. The film has elements of the American teen comedy mixed in with the romantic comedy. The first half of the film takes the former as we see our two male protagonists, Wayne and Johnny, interviewing and eventually being hired by the bra company. In natural form, their libidos and willingness to impress their female co-workers take a vital part of the first half, in which they act like total buffoons. When they are assigned to buy bras to get an idea of the industry, they purposely pretend to be a gay couple to frighten two old women who think they are maniacs and accidentally tick off a young woman buying her first bra.

The highlight of the film is the featured image seen here. When Lena challenges the boys to learn what it is like to wear bras, the results are hilarious. In fact, it seems like it would be a perfect fit in a gag reel because even Gigi Leung can’t help but start cracking up as she sees the boys attempting to put on a bra. Sean Lau of course takes the cake with what he does with his water balloon, making Louis Koo nearly fall to the floor. Louis Koo also brings something hilarious to the table when he tries to impress the manager of the building where Lena is to have her fashion show, he snaps the manager’s bra off with one finger and then is nearly assaulted when he must resort to a tactic which gives him the funniest reaction in the scene.

Of course, the second half delves into the romantic comedy portion. While Lena is at first disgusted with the two guys, especially womanizing Wayne, she soon learns that Wayne isn’t truly as bad of a guy as he sets out to be. Despite his playboy ways, he does have a heart and shows this with the whole manager scene and eventually, Lena sees something in Wayne. Wayne reciprocates because he has never found true love and realizes that they are more than just objects through Lena, whom he found a challenge to woo. On the other hand, Johnny starts in a relationship with Candy, played by Lee San-San, but after getting a lecture from Samantha about the functions of a bra, he is smitten with her first on a physical level, but eventually it does grow to something more, yet he wonders if Samantha feels the same way after a night of ecstasy, which leads into a very funny moment the next morning.

A sequel was released in 2002, entitled Mighty Baby, in which Johnny, Wayne, and Lena now must develop the Ultimate Baby product. However, it all starts with La Brassiere, a very funny meshing of American teen comedy and rom-com wrapped up a neat little package. You’ll either like it or in the words of Lena…”Huh!” (A high pitched huffing sound which is her trademark in the film)

WFG RATING: A-

DVD

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