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Feel 100% 2003

From left to right: Miki Yeung, Stephy Tang, Shawn Yue and Cyrus Wong in Feel 100% 2003.
Year: 2003  
Director: Chung Shu-Kai  
Producer: Raymond Wong Bak-Ming, Simon Lui Yu-Yeung, Philip Chan Yan-Kin, Peter Chan Chi-Keung
Cast: Shawn Yue, Cyrus Wong Ka-Ming, Stephy Tang Lai-Yun, Miki Yeung Oi-Gan, Theresa Fu Wing, Helena Ma Si-Hung, Serena Po Sai-Yi, Angela Au Man-Si, Kary Ng Yiu-Fei, Elaine Ho Yi-Ling, Gloria Chan So-Ying, Cheung Tat-Ming, Ken Wong Hap-Hei, Leung Wing-Chung, Tats Lau Yi-Tat, Natalie Ng Man-Yan, Lee Fung, Zuki Lee Si-Pui
The Skinny: The first Feel 100% project that doesn't come with Joe Ma's name attached. Not surprisingly, it's not as good as his efforts. In fact, it's so inferior that the word "crap" comes to mind. Featuring the Cookies. Yay.
by Kozo:

     It doesn't matter if you're sick of Feel 100% movies because Hong Kong will give them to you whether you like it or not. The previous Feel 100% incarnations (three films and a TV series) were brought to you by Manfred Wong and director Joe Ma, who pretty much made his name on the series. His rep was well-earned; both Feel 100% and Feel 100% II managed an effective blend of comic silliness and subtly-telling trials of youth. They were also certifiable hits, which is more than enough reason for some suits to resurrect the series. However, these are the wrong suits. Instead of Manfred Wong and Joe Ma, this latest Feel 100% adventure was brought to you by Raymond Wong Bak-Ming and Simon Lui Yu-Yeung. Say what?
     The usual Feel 100% protagonists are back, only this time they're not played by actors in their thirties. Shawn Yue is Jerry, a renowned player who decides he wants to stop playing around and get serious. However, that intention isn't apparent in the beginning, as it's clear he's a promiscuous jerkoff who's so damn handsome and charming that women will gladly become his love slaves. He befriends new co-worker Hui Lok (Cyrus Wong), who looks up to Jerry for his suave and apparently foolproof way with the ladies. Yes, truly every young man's idol is a woman-using lothario like Jerry.
     Still, neither Jerry nor Hui Lok has never encountered anything approximating their "100% girl" until they meet the fabulous Cherrie (head Cookie Stephy Tang). The two decide to compete for her affections, but Jerry gets there first. He manipulates her into keeping him company then decides to come clean. Why? Because she's one of those ultra-rare movie good girls and Jerry simply can't be dishonest with her. Even more unbelievably, Cherrie goes along with Jerry, presumably because he's so handsome and charming that she still wishes to be with him. Never mind the fact that he continues to womanize and be dishonest, but Jerry has true emotional scars which haunt him. And, if only those things could be solved than he would be able to embrace true love. Anybody feeling sick yet?
     The biggest problem with Feel 100% 2003: it makes next to no sense. The previous Feel 100% movies may have had far-fetched characters, but they were grounded in real emotions and not scripted platitudes. The same cannot be said for their 2003 counterparts. Jerry has secrets, and they're cheesy movie-of-the-week secrets which would only touch those who buy egregiously manufactured backstory. Shawn Yue plays him in a charismatically blank way, but his character is more deserving of a severe beatdown than sympathy or affection. Likewise, Cherrie is a remarkably empty character, whose purity and sense of goodness is so unbelievable that it's hilarious. Stephy Tang's soft plastic prettiness makes her seem appealing enough, but her acting only makes Cherrie seem even more vacant. True, she didn't have much to work with, but her acting chops aren't very apparent.
     Of all the characters, Hui Lok seems to be more real than the others. This is partly due to Cyrus Wong, who portrays Hui Lok in a likable, if not charismatic fashion. He also benefits from a smaller allotment of annoying speeches—until the very end, that is. When the big finale rolls around, everyone gets to say their platitude-filled piece, and zero actual emotion ever comes through. It's questionable whether anyone really grows up, or even if the script earns such a thing. Conflicts get resolved, people end up with the correct people (fellow Cookie Miki Yeung shows up as Hui Lok's consolation prize), and the mega-mega happy ending gets thrown upon us. The previous Feel 100% movies worked because they felt real in spite of their avowed silliness. The attainment of love came with some consequences, and even happy endings led to new uncertainties. Feel 100% 2003 lets everyone live happily ever after. In real life, does that ever actually happen?
     The fault for this can probably be laid at the feet of Mandarin Films. Head honcho Raymond Wong Bak-Ming has never been a guarantee of good cinematic quality, and his handle on the teen genre seems tenuous at best. True, he had writer Simon Lui and director Chung Shu-Kai along for the ride, but the world they've created seems to be a manufactured fantasy land which could only exist in the minds of people who aren't young. Lui isn't really a bad writer, and some of his horror work has been surprisingly effective. Still, these guys were also responsible for Nine Girls and a Ghost, which should tell you just how deep their youth comedies get. Feel 100% 2003 is all manufactured pathos and set-up storylines, and not an ounce of real emotion seems to come through. If Joe Ma sued Raymond Wong for ruining his franchise, he would probably win. (Kozo 2003)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Asia Video Publishing
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

images courtesy of Asia Video Publishing Co., Ltd. Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen