Nobody’s Perfect (Review)

Nobody’s Perfect

aka Chut doi seung giu

Directed by Patrick Kong Pak-Leung

So not every film I watch is filled with girls dressed as cats, giant monsters, or a Turkish take of American culture. Sometimes I end up watching many things that are just regular films. And even though Nobody’s Perfect is from Hong Kong, it is a pretty straightforward comedy involving body switching and learning life lessons that could easily have been churned out of the US in the late 80s when body switching movies like Big, 18 Again, Vice Versa, and the like were all the rage. Oddly enough, the title screen and credits effects also looks like it was straight out of late 1980’s Hong Kong. Somebody needs to update their title graphics, because it stood out pretty remarkably compared to most other recent Hong Kong films I have seen.

Stephy Tang and Kary Ng were both members of the Cookies, a 2002-era prefab Cantopop band that started out with nine girls, but was whittled downed to Kary Ng Ka-Wing, Miki Yeung, Theresa Fu Wing, and Stephy Tang and the group was renamed Mini-Cookies. Just watch out for the Mini-Cookie monster, as he will eat all your Cookies! Which one is more popular? Well, Kary Ng has huge images on Wikimedia Commons, while Stephy Tang only has very large images. Also Kary Ng has a cooler solo album cover, so Kary Ng wins.

Alexandra (Stephy Tang Lai-Yan) – is a high-powered entertainment industry insider Stephy Tang wrote a book in July 2009 that had numerous typos thanks to Chinese language phonetics. Then she caught Swine Flu (H1N1). Poor girl can’t catch a break.
Alexis (Kary Ng Yiu-Fei) – is completely opposite, as she is poor. She lives in a chicken coup! Luckily for her, there are no chickens living there. She and Alexandra hate each other. After Cookies, Kary Ng became lead vocalist for band Ping Pung, which has a cool name, in addition to her solo albums.
Norman (Sammy Leung Chi-Kin) –Alexis’s brother is dating the spoiled daughter of a family that runs a shop, where he has managed to get his sister a job. Both of them are orphans, so all they got is each other. He really puts up with a lot from his crazy girlfriend. Norman is comedian Sammy Leung Chi-Kin, who has finally gotten more popular in recent years.
Dad (Tin Kai-Man) –Dad is the leader of the family running the store and spends most of the film insulting everyone. Tin Kai-Man is probably best known in the west for parts in Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle.

So the plot of Nobody’s Perfect involves two girls with the same name (Alex, or Gui if you speak the Cantonese) who used to be friends but now hate each other. Or so we are told, as the film takes around twenty minutes to even give us that much information. Alexandra (Stephy Tang Lai-Yun) is a high-powered entertainment industry insider whose job seems to be covering up scandals of various celebrities before the Hong Kong press gets wind of them. If you know anything about the Hong Kong Press you know they are a million times worse than the American paparazzi, so it is no small task. She earns considerable bank from this and has a famous boyfriend

Alexis (Kary Ng Yiu-Fei) is completely opposite, as she is poor as poor can be and has only a pity job at her brother’s girlfriend’s family store to earn enough to live in the chicken coup she lives in. Her brother is comedian Sammy, who has some of the funniest parts in the film, and the family running the store is lead by Tin Kai-Man (from Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle) who constantly says rude things and is always always always reading pornography.

The two girls run into each other at a wedding party for another friend who we never see, and soon the two girls are fighting with each other. And they are dressed as cats as this is a costume wedding party, so I guess I lied up in the introduction about there not being women dressed as cats in this film. I am sorry for my lies, I promise there will be no Turkish Spocks or Godzillas, this time I mean it! The girls happen to be fighting somewhere that if you fight with other people you switch bodies with them (I run into those places all the time…), and as they wake up in the hospital later they have done just that. Now Alexis has all the money she could ever want, while Alexandra has to go home to the poor house and obnoxious family.

Soon the two girls have to work together, and Alexandra realizes money isn’t everything after boyfriend dumps her and frames her for owing triads a lot of dough. Alexis comes to realize the life she was jealous of all along isn’t what she thought it was and living with her brother was better than being alone. And Stephanie Tanner learns not to hate her glasses while Michelle says “You got it, dude!” Sorry, jumped to Full House all of a sudden. Weird….

After some more wacky hijinks, they all learn their lessons, become happy people, and get their lives switched back. Almost. You’ll have to watch the last two minutes to figure that out, but things to end up quick as neatly fixed as you would imagine. I did think that the ending was a bit creative, and is something that you could never get away with in the US.

Kary Ng makes an unlikely poor person, it is unbelievable she wouldn’t have a pack of dudes chasing after her. The girls both seem to be pretty good actresses, I’ve seen them both (along with Sammy) in the romantic comedy My Sweetie long ago, and they are at least memorable this time out. The films started slow but once the body switching began and the plot was rolling it improved drastically. There are a lot of references thrown in that you will only get if you know a lot of details about the Hong Kong entertainment industry, but some of those jokes were broad enough that I could understand even with my only partial knowledge of recent scandal events like Edison Chen. It is the perfect film to put on while you are finishing up dinner, so by missing parts of the first ten minutes or so you don’t end up missing anything. For what should be throwaway comedy, it does its job well and I salute Nobody’s Perfect for that. It isn’t perfect, but it doesn’t claim to be. It’s even claiming it isn’t perfect in the title. What much more do you want? A robot? Okay, this film will buy you a robot.

Rated 7/10 (Invited, Eye-stuff, new guy, USB necklace, Agent, Cameo, ricemouth)

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