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Single Blog

     

(left) Monie Tung and Rain Li, and (right) Chan Fai-Hung and Jo Koo in Single Blog.

Chinese:

單身部落

 
Year: 2007  
Director: Lee Po-Cheung
Producer Chan Hing-Kai
Writer: Fung Chih-Chiang, Vivian Lai Dik-Man, Chan Lai-Man
Cast: Rain Li Choi-Wah, Jo Koo, Monie Tung Man-Lei, Anya, Chan Fai-Hung, Raymond Wong Ho-Yin, Derek Tsang Kwok-Cheung, Hui Siu-Hung, Jolie Chan Yuen-Kei, Hiro Hayama, Andrew Lin Hoi, Carl Ng Ka-Lung, Eddie Peng Wai-On, Otto Wong Chi-On
The Skinny: Single Blog posits your usual assortment of urban relationship issues, gives them an attractive, modern window dressing, and also delivers on some fully-clothed raunch. Lively and fun, if not that substantial or conclusive.
 
Review
by Kozo:

A trio of single Hong Kong girls reassess their lives in the fun, if somewhat aimless urban comedy Single Blog. Rain Li leads the pack as Kitty, a reserved young woman who spies her boyfriend (Derek Tsang) snogging someone else, leading to the expected break up and oodles of self-doubt, self-pity, and finally self-realization. Kitty eventually gets some girl power lessons from flirty roommate Vivian (Jo Koo), and looks to remake herself into a girl who just wants to have fun. Meanwhile, Vivian is comfortable in her promiscuous, hedonistic lifestyle, until she falls under the spell of the dorky, but utterly likable Don (Chan Fai-Hung). She ends up pretending to be a chaste, reserved girl (or basically her roommate Kitty) in order to hook Don and his nerdy ways. Finally, third roommate May (Monie Tung) suffers a breakup and spirals into moodiness, only to reawaken thanks to the attentions of her new female boss Elley (Anya). May ends up tackling that age-old question: which side should she play for? Should she give into Elley's advances, thus providing audiences with some female-on-female heavy petting?

In a rarity for a Hong Kong movie, Single Blog gets its starring girls into plenty of potentially revealing situations, frequently taking advantage of their photogenic qualities without actually revealing anything. Red-blooded males should be paying attention, as Jo Koo and Rain Li are more than easy on the eyes, while cute Monie Tung and the long-absent Anya are still worthy eye candy. Having these girls fake sexual situations is an obvious plus for sex-starved audiences, as this sort of fan service has been all but absent in the ultra-chaste Hong Kong Cinema of the 21st Century. Heterosexual ladies fear not: there's male eye candy too. Raymond Wong Ho-Yin shows up to overact shirtless as Kin Ma, a sleazy fellow who sleeps with Vivian on the eve of his wedding night, and later leads Donald to a night club where they conveniently run into the starring trio of girls who are trying out the club's services for themselves. Andrew Lin makes a suave appearance as the owner of a local pub, who teaches the somewhat inexperienced Kitty how to really please a man - and also herself. Soon Kitty is a swinging sex machine, leading to plenty of episodic sexual interludes (with members of EO2 no less), as well as the eventual reevaluation of what all these singles escapades mean.

Purportedly, it does all mean something, and Single Blog sometimes tries to put that forth through fourth wall-breaking narration scenes where the three girls talk diary-like about how their friends are faring in the big bad singles world. It's questionable if the film really accomplishes anything that telling, however. Single Blog recalls early nineties sex/relationship comedies like Tom, Dick, and Hairy or Why Wild Girls, in that it mixes observations on modern romance with randy sexual situations, likable stars, and sometimes some fully-clothed raunch. The mix is of course welcome, but more needs to happen than just sex and pseudo-existential musings. Characters need to make felt changes, and there needs to be the sense that something is both lost and gained by these characters' seemingly random sexual escapades. Single Blog stumbles in that area, as it seems to subordinate the most telling aspects of its material for quick laughs and frequent raunchy action. Usually, the film seems more concerned with moving from one extended set piece to another, with reflection being only a quick afterthought.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. Single Blog is purportedly not an original screenplay creation, and was instead based on numerous single experiences shared on Chinese-language blogs. This attention to passed-along reality can be seen in the film's structure, which doesn't possess a narrative flow as much as it does a blocky set of sketches, each detailing some romantic misadventure likely told from person A to person B on some forum somewhere. The result of this is that some of the romantic misadventures go on far too long. There's little crosscutting here - we're frequently stuck with one of the girls for an age, before her sequence ends and we finally join another one. Sometimes we spend an inordinate amount of time with a seemingly fringe supporting character, and some characters disappear for long stretches before they finally show up again. The effect can be disjointed, but the film does channel some sense of life through its selective attention on characters and situations. Life is not a Point A to Point B journey, and Single Blog definitely isn't one either.

And even if the film isn't very conclusive, at least it's all in good fun. Single Blog is often fun and interesting, which is half the battle for this sort of urban relationship comedy. Director Lee Po-Cheung keeps things light and frequently funny, and the actors acquit themselves well with the sometimes broad material. Rain Li delivers a convincingly type-busting performance, and Monie Tung is effective despite her character being shafted for screentime or development. Jo Koo is probably the standout here, and is dynamite as the sexy, trouble-making Vivian. There's certainly some enjoyment in seeing this much sexual innuendo onscreen in a Hong Kong movie; it seems like Hong Kong movies have not tried to be sexy since the last decade, and seeing actresses at least attempt sexiness is a welcome thing. Single Blog doesn't cover tough questions or tough answers, and seems content to glide along the surface of its subject matter. Still, we don't always need depth. While not very substantial, Single Blog is fun, lively, and surprising enough to warrant a look. (Kozo 2007)

 
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Universe Entertainment
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
Deleted Scenes, Premiere Footage

image courtesy of www.mov3.com

   
 
 
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