July 25th, 2005

Imagine this:

A comedy film that: 1) Is actually funny throughout; 2) has a political subtext; 3) is well-directed; 4) gets its laughs from real situations; 5) is about young guys obsessed with sex but isn't stupid; and 6) doesn't look down on its female characters.

You've probably guessed by now it's not an American film, and you win the cigar! It's AV, the newest film by Hong Kong's homegrown comedy auteur Edmond Pang Ho-Cheung. I think this is Pang's fourth film as director (he made one of my favorite films of last year, the delightful Beyond Our Ken), and he manages to continue to make wonderful low-budget comedies that feel fresh, true and are really funny. AV is about a group of four Hong Kong university student's who decide their dream is to sleep with a Japanese porn star; to achieve their goal they manage to rook the government out of a grant that's big enough to actually hire the porn star and fly her over from Japan. They then proceed to make a fake film, complete with a film school director who doesn't know it's a fake film.

Hong Kong's had great fun with a few of these sex comedies, and this one earns its place right next to Viva Erotica (still the best of the bunch) and Naked Ambition. It's worth noting that the subtitles on the Mei Ah DVD are very good, managing to catch much of the verbal humor of the original Cantonese.

You don't think I'm considering trying to rip this off in some way for American audiences, do you? Naaaaaahhhh...