2 January 2006 | rsoonsa
Lively, But Lacks Satisfactory Plot Shaping.
The "But Brassiere Company" (blessedly not used as subject for jokes) is owned and operated by Mr. But who is grooming his two sons to follow him as overseers of his business, but the older son of 30 years, "Big But" (Kenny Ho), is fond of chasing after young ladies, a disturbing trait to his conservative father who wants to see Big But settling down to married life, but who nonetheless appreciates his skill at selling large lots of brassieres upon the international lingerie market, thereby substantially increasing the Hong Kong firm's normally modest sales figures. Mr. But is an autocratic man with unwavering habits while his wife (Lee Si-Kei) is obsessive about cleanliness, so it is hardly surprising when younger brother "Small But" decides, upon reaching the age of 21, to move away from such a rigid environment and move in with his ambitious but profligate sibling. This dismays his parents, and after a potentially profitable contract is lost to the company because of ill-conceived behaviour on the part of both brothers, Mr. But discharges his sons from his employ, although Big But continues to bolster company fortunes with his sales ability without his father's knowledge. Numerous subplots complicate this comedy melodrama, including one involving Big But and his girlfriend, performed by Vivian Chow, with her efforts to steer him away from his libertinism in order to marry her; another wherein Small But poses as a film producer in order to aid his brother; yet another has Mrs. But deciding to divorce her husband due to his conflicts with his sons. All of this is a bit much for director Cheung Chi-Gok and, as a result, the storyline is muffed through awkward handling of the sundry narrative threads for which tight control at the helm is essential; however, playing by most of the cast is excellent, with Chow, Ho, Lee, and Mok Wan-Mai (Karen Morris) as a desperately striving neophyte actress, all being standouts, while production values are quite fine for such a low-budgeted affair. Dubbing from the original Mandarin on the DVD version is uneven but as good as might be expected.