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… On this day, I see clearly, everything has come to life.

Note: This blog expresses only the opinions of the blog owner,
and does not represent the opinion of any organization or blog
that is associated with 聚言莊﹕The House Where Words Gather.

Archive for the ‘Michelle Reis’ Category

Kozo Entertainment Group Presents: LOVE FOR HIRE

A little business to conduct before we get to the holiday festivities:  My 12-year “artistes” contract with the Kozo Entertainment Group obligates me to remind you that voting is underway for the “Top Hong Kong Films of the 1990s”.  Go here for details.

With Lunar New Year and Valentine’s Day falling on the same day, it’s the perfect time to release the Kozo Entertainment Group’s first feature film.  It’s a holiday release called LOVE FOR HIRE.  I got the idea for the movie after reading news articles about demographically-challenged Mainland males “renting” girlfriends to bring back home for Lunar New Year gatherings.  Being a fan of LAW & ORDER for close to twenty years, ripping a story from the headlines came naturally.  After running it up the flagpole to my superiors at the KEG, we got some funding from The Feinstein Company and the China Pajama-Producers Co-operative.  Consider this our “red packet”/valentine to you …

* * * * *

LOVE FOR HIRE:

A romantic comedy/drama about the lives and loves of people who work at an agency that provides fake girlfriends to guys who need someone on their arm for a social occasion.  The movie has two main plots:

Chrissie Chau

MAIN PLOT A:  Normal but shy guy hires a girl to practice social situations with (asking her out, going on dates, etc.) because he’s in love with a hot girl in his office.

Normal/shy Guy: Jaycee Chan (Fong Cho-Ming)
Girl For Hire: Charlene Choi Cheuk-Yin
Hot Office Girl: Chrissie Chau Sau-Na

Due to his shyness, Jaycee has never dated a girl before so he wants to work out all the kinks of dating with Charlene before asking Chrissie out.  Naturally, over the course of a few practice dates, Jaycee falls in love with Charlene but, because she’s only doing this to make a few dollars for a plane ticket to see her boyfriend who’s studying in Australia, he doesn’t want to admit his love — even though it’s clear she loves him back.  He ends up going through with asking Chrissie out.

On his date with Chrissie, Jaycee realizes that he has to profess his love for Charlene so he races to the airport to stop her from getting on the plane to see her boyfriend for the Lunar New Year holiday. (Thus satisfying the romantic movie commandment of always having a scene where one of the main characters is racing somewhere to declare their love for someone.)

MAIN PLOT B:  Widower needs to hire a fake girlfriend because his parents are flying in from Canada to visit him and his cute kid for the Lunar New Year holiday.

Widower: Andy Lau Tak-Wah
Agency Owner: Michelle Reis

As Andy’s wife has been dead for four years, his parents have been on his back to get a new woman in his life and the life of their grandchild.  He wants to get them off of his back so he goes to the agency to hire a woman for a Lunar New Year “performance”.  He has a specific type of woman in mind so he asks to meet directly with the agency owner to pick out the right girl to play the part.

Andy and the agency owner end up meeting several times because they can’t agree on the right girl for the job.  During these meetings, Andy begins to admire Michelle for her work ethic and professionalism while Michelle begins to admire Andy for his dedication to his kid, his parents and, most touchingly, his late wife (ie. I’m still in love with her, I’m not ready to find another woman).

Since Michelle knows exactly what Andy is looking for, she decides to take the job herself and, during their “show” for Andy’s parents, Andy and Michelle end up falling in love.

Besides the two main plots, the film also has three mini-plots that fill out the movie:

MINI-PLOT A:  The Assistants

Agency Owner’s Assistant: Stephy Tang Lai-Yan
Tycoon’s Assistant: Ronald Cheng Chung-Gei
Obnoxious Tycoon: Jim Chim Sui-Man

Stephy has been working with Ronald because Ronald’s boss (Jim Chim) is an obnoxious jerk of a tycoon who has been hiring arm candy to get photographed with in the tabloids.  As the tycoon has been doing this for months, Stephy and Ronald have been talking to each other over the phone for a while.  Through casual bits of conversation between making arrangements for the tycoon, Ronald starts to wonder what it’d be like to date Stephy while Stephy begins to imagine what it would be like to have Ronald as a boyfriend.  Obviously, there’s mutual interest but, since they just have a professional phone relationship, neither has acted on it.  One day, they happen to be in the same Starbucks and when they hear each other order, they realize who the other is and it’s the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

Donnie Yen

MINI-PLOT B: Husbands and Wives

Husband: Eric Kot Man-Fai
Wife: Miriam Yeung Chin-Wah
Businessman: Donnie Yen (looking to show his skillz in a non-action role)
Businessman’s wife: Lynn Xiong (because she’s Mrs. Ip Man)

A businessman (Donnie Yen) needs to hire a companion to sit in with him for business meetings.  He wants to avoid all-night negotiation sessions that are actually just excuses for the other business guys to do heavy drinking.  So, he hires a “wife” (Miriam Yeung) as an excuse to get business done quickly or to bail out of booze-soaked all-nighters.  Sometimes Miriam goes with Donnie to the meetings, sometimes she calls on the phone to interrupt, sometimes she shows up to interrupt.

Donnie has been working with Miriam for months and everything is strictly platonic.  However, Miriam’s husband (Eric Kot) is jealous that she’s spending all this time with Donnie.  Things come to a head when Donnie invites Miriam over to his flat for Lunar New Year dinner.  Eric is blind with jealousy and goes to the dinner with a chip on his shoulder.  When they arrive at Donnie’s place, both Miriam and Eric are surprised to find that Donnie has a wife and two young daughters.  When Donnie’s wife (Lynn Xiong), thanks Miriam for helping Donnie come home at night to be with his kids, Eric realizes the foolishness of his jealousy.

MINI-PLOT C: The Ex-Con

The Ex-Con: Nick Cheung Ka-Fai
The “Mainland” Girl: Vicki Zhao Wei

A guy (Nick Cheung) hires a “Mainland” girlfriend to bring home to his parents for Lunar New Year.  He’s been telling his parents that he’s been away “on business” in the Mainland for the past three years but, in actually, he’s been rotting in jail after being framed by a former friend for a crime he did not commit.

Vicki Zhao misses her own family back in China so she feels kind of sad to see this sham of a Lunar New Year gathering.  Nick Cheung feels the emptiness as well.  After the dinner, Vicki Zhao tells Nick Cheung to be straight with his parents, she points out that they may be more understanding than Nick Cheung thinks.  This story ends with Nick Cheung coming clean and truly reconciling with his family.

* * * * *

I think that’s enough plot for a 90 to 120 minute movie.  What do you think?  Even with stiff competition from 72 TENANTS OF PROSPERITY and ALL’S WELL THAT END’S WELL 2010,  this makes HK$10 million - no?

Now, as the late-Michael Jackson said repeatedly in THIS IS IT, I wrote this story out of “love” for the readers who have been reading my nonsense over the years.  As I said earlier, it was my “red packet”/valentine to the readers.  It’ll be upsetting if some knock off, possibly called LOVE FOR RENT, pops up in the Lunar New Year 2011 movie slate.  It’ll be especially upsetting if the knock off includes stories about a shy guy, a widower, a jealous husband, an obnoxious tycoon, assistants and an ex-con.  Not only will it upset me, it’ll upset the mighty KEG, the Feinstein Company and the China Pajama-Producers Co-operative.  Most people know better than to upset the CPC - especially in China. ;-)

To avoid all the nastiness, get in touch with me.  My demands may be as simple as a cameo role as one of the business guys at a Donnie Yen business meeting or the barista who hands Stephy Tang her latte at Starbucks.

All right … time for the traditional House Where Words Gather Lunar New Year greeting.  As you can tell from years past (Ox, Rat), my wishes for all of you are less grandiose than unimaginable wealth.  Sticking with that tradition, I’m going to channel Dan Rather and Al Pacino by wishing you:

Greeting for the Year of the Tiger

I’m hoping that the Year of the Tiger gives you courage to make improvements in your life.  May you find the courage to inch your way towards greater happiness be it finding the guts to ask that cute girl out, the courage to find a better job or the cojones to change an unhappy circumstance in your life.

And, as always, 身體健康!  Happy Year of the Tiger!

On The Threshold Between 哥哥 And "Uncle"

I was going to write an entry on ISABELLA and its young star Isabella Leong Lok-Si for today’s post but that would mean I’d have to talk about an actress who was born after 1980. As one of your fellow readers chided me for in an e-mail about my last post, all the actresses I mentioned were, as Jessica Simpson would say, “ancient”. I even mentioned one, Ha Ping, who was born in 1937 — 1937! In my defence, I did mention Joyce Cheng Yan-Yee (born 1987) and came close with Niki Chow Lai-Kei (born 1979). In the future, I promise I will write posts extensively slurping the likes of Crystal Liu Yifei (born 1987), Katrina Bwden (born 1988) and Sarah Carter (born 1980) but, for now, I’ll stick to my old-fogeyism and talk about items I recently discovered on some favourite actresses born before 1975 — even though it puts me perilously close to crossing the threshold between being called 哥哥 (”gor-gor” or brother) and being called “uncle”.

Here we go:

  • Ruby Wong Cheuk-Ling is now Mrs. Ruby Yu Cheuk-Ling. Reportedly, she got married in Las Vegas during the summer of 2005 to a non-entertainment circle personality named “Mr. Yu”. This probably spells the end of her acting career.
  • Blasts from the recent past: Carrie Ng Ka-Lai, Yvonne Yung Hung, Kathy Chow Hoi-Mei (not to be confused with Kathy Chow Man-Kei, model/sister of Niki Chow Lai-Kei), Loletta Lee Lai-Chun (Lee in action) and Christy Chung Lai-Tai were all contestants last year on LET’S SHAKE IT (舞林大會) — a Mainland television station’s version of DANCING WITH THE STARS. (Click links to see promotional stills of the actresses.)Other HK personalities that participated included: Law Kar-Ying, Shing Fui-On (I guess Baat Leung-Gum aka Bobby Yip King-Sun was busy), Michelle Mai Suet, Lawrence Ng Kai-Wah, Wong Hei, Elvis Tsui Kam-Kong, Karen Mok Man-Wai, Gigi Leung Wing-Kei and EEG starlets: Yumiko Cheng Hei-Yi, Charlene Choi Cheuk-Yin, Gillian Chung Yan-Tung and Joey Yung Tso-Yi. While it’s nice to see Carrie Ng actually doing something (I don’t think she’s been in a film or made a significant television appearance in more than five years), it’s a shame that one of the better actresses of the 1990s — she won the HKFA Best Supporting Actress award for her performance in Jacob Cheung Chi-Leung’s vastly under-appreciated THE KID — can’t get good work.Related LET’S SHAKE IT links: Official site (as with most Mainland sites, it’s very slow), promotional poster, Elvis Tsui (1, 2, 3), Joey Yung, Charlene Choi (1, 2) and Gillian Chung (YouTube video of Gillian Chung dancing).
  • As far as movies are concerned, it appears Sammi Cheng Sau-Man continues to be missing-in-action. Meanwhile, Miriam Yeung Chin-Wah is working on a Milkyway Image film called HOOK ON YOU with Eason Chan Yik-Shun. The romantic comedy has the two playing fishmongers. Sounds cute. By the way, Miriam Yeung spent part of 2006 working on a Mainland television series.
  • Fennie Yuen Kit-Ying is not doing much besides getting photographed going out to various spots with friends. As far as I can tell, her latest appearance was in an August 2006 episode of the TVB show BEAUTIFUL COOKING (video highlights from the show). Sadly, her skin-and-bones look at the taping (1, 2) has re-ignited suspicion that she’s suffering again from an eating disorder. Also, there were rumours that she is involved in a same-sex relationship. Related link: Fennie Yuen photo gallery courtesy Sing Tao Net.
  • Michelle Reis (Lee Ka-Yan) is supposedly going to marry a rich tycoon sometime this year but he, uh, has to finalize his divorce first. They’ve been seeing each other for several months and have, reportedly, already made wedding plans. I’m not a fortuneteller but I could see this coming (Michelle Reis marrying a rich guy not the “have to get divorced first” part) since about, oh, 1993.
  • Pinky Cheung Man-Chi is wrapping up her contract with ATV then exploring opportunities elsewhere.
  • … and, finally, on a few actresses born after January 1, 1975: Yoyo Mung Ka-Wai, Niki Chow Lai-Kei and Fiona Yuen Choi-Wan are all working for TVB in various capacities. On the personal front: Yoyo Mung is involved with Kozo’s boy Ekin Cheng Yi-Kin. Niki Chow is rumoured to be dating TVB co-worker Kevin Cheng Ka-Wing while Fiona Yuen is supposedly going out with some Canadian dude. Unfortunately, the Canadian dude is not me.

And now for some non-actress related items:

  • Heavenly Kings Round-Up: It appears Andy Lau Tak-Wah is still the hardest working man in the entertainment circle while Leon Lai Ming is making more news for being in a relationship with Gaile Lok Gei-Yi than anything else (he has, however, a concert series coming up in April). Aaron Kwok Fu-Sing got some dap for his performance in AFTER THIS OUR EXILE while Jacky Cheung Hok-Yau had problems with a domestic worker in between appearances at various events that included the recent Asian Games.
  • Would some kind soul do me a favour and save me the effort of looking up how THE PROMISE and THE BANQUET were received last year? Did they get acclaim or did they stink the joint like previous bloated and over-hyped attempts for international prestige? Are they worth watching? Surprisingly, I’ve seen THE PROMISE on the shelf of my local Blockbuster.Also, anyone know what’s up these days with Stephen Chiau Sing-Chi?

Bringing a close to today’s post:

Some things never change. Back in December, when I heard about Yumiko Cheng Hei-Yi’s “wardrobe malfunction”, I thought it was much ado about nothing. I mean, you didn’t really see anything, so what’s the big deal — right? Of course, at that point, I hadn’t been exposed to Chinese-language media for ten months so I had forgotten some of its idiosyncracies and its fascination with things like “revealing points” and “accidental exposures”. It’s hilarious that this photo of Charlene Choi Cheuk-Yin (courtesy PhoenixTV.com) qualifies as an “accidental underpants exposure” (露底):

c_choi_shake_it.jpg 

This just goes to show how sexually-repressed Chinese culture still is in the 21st Century. Then again, it’s only been 95 years since the Qing Dynasty ended (February 12, 1912) so “one step at a time”. After all, China is only just now trying to get a man on the moon (something the Americans did almost 40 years ago) so it’ll probably be thirty some years before a young Chinese starlet shaves her head bald, smashes a car with a golf club and goes in-and-out of rehab, four, five times a day. I was going to use an Anna Nicole Smith analogy here but well it’s, uh, already sort of happened in the entertainment circle milieu. Remember Pauline Chan Bo-Lin?

 
 
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