How will your loved one[s] react if you suddenly put on 200 pounds? Will they love you any less? Does being beautiful = thin? What sort of message is this film trying to send? These questions whizzed through my head as I watched Love on A Diet, Johnnie To’s latest offering, with HK’s über popstars, Sammi Cheng and Andy Lau [suffering for their art by packing on heavy sumo suits]. These human insecurities form the basis for the premise of Love On A Diet.
The cast might be fat but the plot is skinny: Mini [Sammi] has a mission [some say impossible] – to lose weight so she can win back her boyfriend. She gets a helping hand from her new friend Fatso [Andy]. No, I didn’t make those names up. There, 3 lines.
So what makes this movie watchable? For me, it was To’s capable direction, which provided many hilarious and well-executed scenes, especially of Mini’s desperate attempts to lose weight. The Sammi and Andy combination [last seen in Needing You] possibly two of HK’s skinniest actors, also earns a notch in my book. The location [Japan] gave the film a unique backdrop. And most importantly it’s damn funny.
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie despite a few misgivings [Mini's character was a little grating] I guess if I could stop being ‘serious film nitpicker’ then Love On A Diet would be a highly amusing and entertaining film. It seems to be that way for the rest of the audience, judging from the happy laughter around me. [Stat of interest: Love On A Diet was the second highest grossing film at Hoyts Cinema, George St. on its opening weekend!]
Even with the critical hat on, Love On A Diet was still hell of a fun movie. Whatever the message the film might have had [if it had one at all] certainly didn’t stick on me because my pal and I were off to a local sushi bar straight after. The delicious Japanese food in the film was just too much to bear.