The Shopaholics- -
Compulsive disorders plague Hong Kong: Fong Fong Fong, a foundling who's now a nurse, is a shopaholic who seeks psychiatric help from Kan Yan (Choosey) Lee, who's frozen by an inability to choose. Into the mix come Kung Fu (Richie) Ho, a wealthy man who is stingy but also will buy anything someone else wants, and Ding Dong Ding, Lee's binge-eating bargain-shopping ex-girlfriend who reappears in hopes Lee will now choose her. Both men propose to both women who say yes to both. Family and friends are inept at helping to sort it out, and even if the four get the wedding vows straight, will anyone be cured? Does Hong Kong need more than a Prozac?
Retail and therapy are the order of the day in Wai Ka-fai’s latest festive-season offering, The Shopaholics.
In a movie that shows it’s normal to be abnormal in today’s high-stress society, Wai pictures Hongkongers stuck with all sorts of maladies and phobias that relate to shopping.
Abandoned as a baby in a luxury-goods store, Fong Fong-fong (Cecilia Cheung) has grown up to become a prolific shopper, unable to hold down a job and cramming her flat with trophy hauls. Fired from her latest position, she opts to see psychiatrist Choosey Lee (Lau Ching-wan) but finds out he has a problem of his own: “decidophobia” makes him unable to pick what he wants and he’s hopeless at a checkout. Fong scores a job as Lee’s assistant but just as sparks start to fly with her new boss, she chances across Richie Ho (Jordan Chan), the spendthrift son of a stingy property developer. With both Lee and Ho soon wanting to date Fong, and the woman soon realising that the pair are among Hong Kong’s wealthiest bachelors, opposites attract and a farcical love tangle is set in motion.
Released over the Chinese New Year, when filmmakers traditionally produce upbeat and family-friendly fare, The Shopaholics is geared towards frivolous fun. Vibrantly coloured and starting off at a fast clip, Wai’s oddball comedy builds off its team of problem characters who are mutually supportive yet competing against each other as they head toward a grand wedding finale. Leads Cheung, Lau and Chan are joined by Ella Koon to make a lively comic ensemble, given charismatic backup from Wong Tin-lam, Ha Chun-wai and Law Kar-ying, along with veteran singer Paula Tsui making a rare screen appearance as an big-spending matchmaker.