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Lazy Hazy Crazy


Fish Liew, Ashina Kwok and Mak Tsz-Yi are Lazy Hazy Crazy.



Year: 2015
Director: Jody Luk Yee-Sum
Producer: Subi Liang, Pang Ho-Cheung
Writer: Jody Luk Yee-Sum, Momu Lu, Zhang Mengyi

Fish Liew, Mak Tsz-Yi, Ashina Kwok Yik-Sum, Gregory Wong Chung-Yiu, Tse Sit-Chun, Dada Chen, Siu Yam-Yam, Ken Lo Wai-Kwong, Tsui Tin-Yau, Derek Tsang Kwok-Cheung, Harriet Yeung Sze-Man, Isabel Chan Yat-Ning, Sora Aoi, Peter Lau, Subyub Lee, Jacky Cai, June Lam Siu-Ha

The Skinny:

Pang Ho-Cheung-produced teen dramedy that’s stylish and attractive, with plenty of nudity and provocative content to interest those who are, uh, interested in such things. And yet what’s beneath the shiny surface is not much different than a Patrick Kong movie. A nice package but a disappointing work from filmmakers who we’ve come to expect more from.

by Kozo:

Jody Luk Yee-Sum, frequent screenwriter for Pang Ho-Cheung, gets her directorial break with Lazy Hazy Crazy, and at first glance her debut seems in line with Pang’s quality filmography. Luk writes and directs this ribald teen dramedy, which features copious nudity and a frank and provocative attitude towards sex that’s refreshing for current Hong Kong Cinema. Stylistically, the film is also very attractive, with fine cinematography and art direction that make Hong Kong’s grubby urban spaces into bohemian hipster hangouts. There’s also a European-influenced soundtrack that adds instant pop-art cred. It’s a shame, then, that Lazy Hazy Crazy ends as little more than commercial faux-art, taking rich themes of sexuality, friendship and personal awakening and pushing them in clichéd and tired directions. Notwithstanding its hip and edgy appearance, Lazy Hazy Crazy is rather routine and doesn’t live up to the deservedly-acclaimed names on its poster.

Based in part on true stories (with names changed to protect the not-so-innocent), Lazy Hazy Crazy centers on the friendship between three high school girls who become women in different ways while taking pretty much the same path. Alice (Fish Liew of Doomsday Party) lives alone in a relatively spacious flat, and works as a prostitute through WeChat. She helps out the sassy Chloe (Mak Tsz-Yi) with her WeChat dating profile, and soon Chloe is experiencing her own paid dating trials. Meanwhile, virgin Tracy (Ashina Kwok Yik-Sum) aspires to be sexually active, perhaps to impress basketball-playing bro Andrew (Tse Sit-Chun). She has Chloe introduce her to club girl work but gets cold feet in front of prospective customers, until handsome, rich and charming Raymond (Gregory Wong) tenderly requests her services for a month. Tracy still has eyes for Andrew, but she accepts the money and job anyway.

Meanwhile, the three girls start cohabitating in Alice’s flat, which may be sold depending on Alice’s absentee father (Ken Lo), who naturally disapproves of her part-time work. Alice has obvious daddy issues that may have something to do with her debasement at the hands of her clients, some of whom instant message her to negotiate fees for playing with “the plug”. Related: Alice’s classmates like to call her “Cheap Cunt” when she’s out of earshot. Meanwhile, Alice starts gravitating towards Chloe in a more than platonic way, while Chloe is oblivious but still happy with their closeness. Tracy notes her friends’ growing bond, and her nonplussed gazes show that she’s not comfortable with it. However, while these uncertain emotions lead to a blow-up between the girls, the film doesn’t build effectively towards it. The script seeds their conflict decently, but throws out a bunch of extraneous or unexpected details to unnecessarily complicate the schism.

Also, the plot devices are eyeroll-inducing. The dynamic between the girls is already rocky, and yet it requires a man to make them bare their claws. That choice is somewhat regressive, especially for a movie about girls maturing and seeking self-determination. When it’s not boys who push the girls to act, it’s apparently a dog. The film’s final bit of drama is a crisis involving a pet that’s used to get the girls to suddenly work together. This is the stuff of tired shojo manga. For a while, the style and wit of Lazy Hazy Crazy seem an OK substitute for actual substance, but these Patrick Kong-like story decisions drag the film into disappointment. Furthermore, the script turns plot details into trumped-up plot twists. This is a drama, not a mystery, and including the audience in the story development would work better than springing plot turns and flashbacks on them.

Lazy Hazy Crazy also lacks a discernible point besides just showing sordid ripped-from-reality drama. For example, Chloe ends up on a paid date with a delivery boy (Subyub Lee) who she knows in her daily life, but aside from edgy laughs, the scene does little for the character or story. Similarly, Tracy becomes interested in a Mongkok cosplay café and eventually decides to work there, which could be read as her showing independence from Chloe and Alice. However, that event happens simultaneously with Tracy unconscionably hurting one her friends, so it’s hard to reconcile. Alice’s daddy issues are resolved glibly, and when the credits roll we get the same old messages about how people are glad to know people who helped them become the people that they are. Yawn. Jody Luk’s script was based on the lives of real girls but the film seems so focused on adapting the details of the stories that it neglects to do anything interesting with them.

Some scenes do engender a strong response, like one between Tracy and her grandmother (Siu Yam-Yam) that combines identifiable family conflict with the provocative content that Lazy Hazy Crazy is so eager to advertise. However, that scene still works mostly as a one-off rather than a piece of a greater whole. Overall, Lazy Hazy Crazy needs a stronger through-line, like a resolute opinion or point of view beyond “this stuff happens”. The actresses do give brave, revealing performances, and carry their individual scenes with a strong abandon. It’s refreshing to see local talents try so hard for film, and in getting so much from them, the filmmakers deserve credit for doing things with Hong Kong Cinema that nobody else is. However, it’d be better if they could produce something more interesting or unexpected than what Lazy Hazy Crazy ends up being. Explicit content is cool and all, but using it in such uninspired and uncreative ways isn’t edgy or exciting at all. It’s just gratuitous. (Kozo, 12/2015)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 3 NTSC
Panorama (HK)
2-DVD Edition
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
*Also Available on Blu-ray Disc
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