Weakness of Man (1991)
Reviewed by: STSH on 2001-08-20
Summary: Patchy Black Farce
This film has a number of the elements of bedroom farce. Four people who are close, whose relationships change quickly because of unfolding events, most of which are caused by their own foibles and foolishness. The expression of previously repressed feelings. The flaring up of mild suspicions into dangerous reality.

But WOM also mixes in quite a bit of black humour and, far more than typical farce, explicit violence and menace which seriously borders on horror. There are several sequences where characters imagine revenge they'll take, and the sights are quite brutal and even a little shocking, considering that the victims are heavily pregnant women.

WOM takes quite a lot of material from the wonderful Preston Sturges film UNFAITHFULLY YOURS as well as its 1984 remake. But WOM is in nowhere near the same class. Though the tone is often as dark and menacing as the nighttime scenes, the tone is mostly very silly. Now of course a farce is supposed to be silly, but successful farce has other ingredients. It works best if the pace is furious enough to paper over any cracks or bits which don't make sense. The pace in WOM is too stop-start and is often too creaky. Also, the script is not particularly good, and includes many features which really don't make sense and are obviously forced. This combined with the slow pace gives you time to think about the script inconsistencies, and this is something you cannot get away with in a farce.

I had been looking forward to this film for some years, and this expectation may have unfairly predisposed me to think less of what I actually saw. There are some genuinely funny scenes, and any film where Cec Yip is the dominant lead actress can't be all bad. Still, don't expect too much.
Reviewer Score: 4