SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER meets THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO and they go out for Chinese. Writer-director Glen Goei's debut film is set in 1977 Singapore, where "English is the official language and the chopstick the most popular utensil." Twenty-something Hock
(Adrian Pang) has a dead-end supermarket job, a loud family and a dream, to buy an expensive Triumph motorcycle he sees in a store window every day on the way home. But how? Inspiration strikes after Hock and some buddies see an American movie, FOREVER FEVER, about some Italian kids who hang out
at a disco. There's a local dance contest coming up, and if Hock can learn to dance in time he might win enough money to buy the bike. This is the point at which you realize (though Hock doesn't, which is one of the movie's many good running gags) that events are unfolding in an eerily familiar
way. FOREVER FEVER is, of course, SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER (restaged here with appropriately tacky, low-budget panache), but Goei has another big trick up his sleeve. When Hock sees the film for a second time, the John Travolta character (Dominic Tace) comes down from the screen and proceeds to play
Yoda to Hock's Luke. Can you say, "self-referential post-modernism?" It's a fragile conceit (and Pirandello probably did it better) but it pays off here, in part because there's something inherently funny and surreal about Chinese kids speaking Singlish while trying to be goombahs from Brooklyn.
Meanwhile, Goei gets a lot of comic mileage working small, inventive variations on FEVER's key plot points (though he sort of runs out of gas towards the end) and the soundtrack full of period disco tunes obviously not done by the Original Artists contributes yet one more little
layer of amusing unreality throughout.
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- Released: 1999
- Rating: PG-13
- Review: SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER meets THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO and they go out for Chinese. Writer-director Glen Goei's debut film is set in 1977 Singapore, where "English is the official language and the chopstick the most popular utensil." Twenty-something Hock (A… (more)