If you are a romcom fan like me, you’ll see the connection in the title between this movie and the most famous romcom of all time. (Sigh…don’t know? When Harry Meets Sally!)
That, however, is where the similarity ends. This director/writer Han Yew Kwang, in his opening address to the audience on opening night, calls this movie a romcom. Yes, it is, except that in Hollywood, romcoms are fronted by pretty actresses and popular actors. Here, we get a ‘manly woman’ and a ‘womanly man’.
Usually, i would get an uncomfortable eeky feeling watching effeminate men. If not for my friend who invited me along to support an Nanyang alumni (Lee Chau Min, the lead actress), I would have missed this wonderful, heartwarming story.
It’s such a clever twist of romcom. Teochew, an effeminate man working as a stylist ( does not cross-dress in his daily live, thank goodness), has shampoo-advert-kind of flowing tresses, got kicked out of his apartment by his Tamil landlord (how local can we get?) and ended up renting a room from Hainan, a woman who dresses in man’s clothes.
Although both had same-sex relationship before, they are now single. Attraction between them is hinted in their dreams of each other and threatened to be exposed in real life when Hainan’s ex-girlfriend arrived to stay.
The movie also highlights the difficulty their family faces with having a gender-challanged member. While Hainan’s mother is more forgiving, Teochew’s father has not spoken to his son in years.
The show’s dialogue, although mainly in Mandarin, is peppered with Hainanese, Teochew, Tamil and English, making the movie endearingly Singaporean.
Overall, a uniquely Singaporean movie that is worthy of your support.
By the way, I learned a Teochew phrase and couldn’t wait to repeat to Mike. He said his Granny used to tell him that.
要吃好鱼吃白鲳 AI JIAK HO HU JIAK PEH CHEO,
要娶新娘苏六娘 AI CHUA SIM BO SU LAK NEO
(Funny how this was not in the Book of Teochew Idioms which I bought in Chaozhou recently.)