Sex and the Beauties (2004)
Reviewed by: ewaffle on 2007-05-05
Summary: Not funny or sexy
“Sex and the Beauties” is a sex comedy. It is well made, properly structured and has a terrific cast of gorgeous actresses. It is also unsexy and very dull.

Everyone is coupled with someone else and the unlikely pairings are what should drive the movie and make it funny. There is a psychiatrist who is attracted to a Triad boss, a parachute jumping daredevil who is courted by a guy afraid of heights, an almost virginal writer of steamy romance novel who has a father and son trying to get her into bed. She doesn’t know about the relationship between them and neither knows the other is in the picture. Cecilia Cheung is along for the ride as an ugly but very wealthy duckling who is ignored by her father—she is dumped on Carina Lau, the psychiatrist who had an affair with the father years ago. Pinky Cheung Man-Chi does an extremely sexy turn as the daughter of a retired Triad chieftain who, when she sees someone she wants, is willing to break a few rules to acquire him.

Nothing gets overlooked. There are no loose ends when the final credits role which is not always the case in a movie written, directed and produced by Wong Jing. The frame of the narrative is completed by the fairy-tale like return of a fortune teller’s slip to the person who lost it in the first scene. Everything gets resolved—Tony Leung Ka Fai’s Triad boss shows courage when decides to go straight and disband his gang; the son goes back to the States leaving the way open for his father, Hui Siu-Hung, to seal the deal with Athena Chu Yun who is saddled with the unlikely character name of “Philadelphia”. Cecilia Cheung’s Yuki not only bonds with her father but also finds true love in the arms of her formerly disgraced bodyguard. Even Cheng Pei-Pei who plays the mother of the psychiatrist Selena and who gets married for the eighth time in the first few minutes of the movie is still happily married at the end, one of the few surprises.

We are never really concerned with how things will turn out for anyone—this is the cinematic equivalent of spun sugar cotton candy. It looks nice but has no substance and is forgotten as quickly as it is consumed. It is like a new car without an engine—looks great with its great paint job and shiny chrome but doesn’t go anywhere. “Sex and the Beauties” is as vapid, simple-minded and humorless as any typical Hollywood romantic comedy over the past several years.

Not recommended despite the stellar cast and sharp cinematography—a lot of potentially funny performances get wasted in this movie.
Reviewer Score: 3