From kung-fu background thug to a more front row center role (as action director and assistant director) once the 90s Category III wave hit, Chan Lau directs this Ho Fan (1*) produced take on some of the plot beats from the Blake Edwards comedy Switch, starring Ellen Barkin. Will being a woman make you a better man is a cool premise and the switch was a hot plot synopsis in Hollywood so it makes sense it turns into an Asian softcore porn version too. Right? Regardless, Chan Lau and Ho Fan (whose paws are over the film as will be explained) delivers a slight but entertaining comedy with digestible depth. Meaning it doesn't rub shoulders with the cheapest Category III material but instead aims to deliver the basic in a pleasant way. Even the naughty bits.
Ah Man (Lee Chung-Ling - Temptation Summary, I Love Miss Fox) is a sly but competent salesman with a supportive, often horny girlfriend (Goo Git) but all is turned on its head when he dies after fighting off a few thugs. Now in the afterlife and meeting demons deciding his destination of either heaven and hell, Ah Man has died before his time and has a chance to run back to life and enter his body. Unfortunately too late, he enters the body of a woman having been hit by a car and assumes the identify of Mandy (now played by Chan Wing-Chi). Helped out by loyal friend John (Michael Tiu), the two go to work to securing more lucrative contracts, John helps Mandy act more like a woman and develops feelings for his friend now in a woman's body...
Talking Ho Fan, whose eye for the visual in sex scenes can be seen towards the end in particular (wouldn't be surprised if he directed) was also on a bit of a comedy run carrying the III rating. Having had the delightfully funny Lee Chung-Ling at his disposal for the amusing Temptation Summary films, False Lady fits neatly into this phase as a sex comedy with a bit of heart but also one where you get out of nowhere, crazy sights that in False Lady cements yet another way Ho Fan thinks visually. Very much evident when Lee Chung-Ling showcases martial arts skills to appearing in the afterlife and flirting with the demons, a potential problem does arise obviously as Lee exits the picture pretty much for good and gives way for the gorgeous Chan Wing-Chi. While no one has the style of Lee, our female lead becomes a strong corner stone for the basic, even affecting (again, basic... no brainy, emotional challenge here) narrative that is going to unfold. All before Charlie Cho gets to play a little though obviously.
As Mandy dresses like a man, finds footing and advantage in the company, Charlie Cho yet again plays a company boss getting it on with his secretary and in a classic sight even squeezes her breasts to receive milk for coffee (secretary is called Milka, of course). That'll wake you up in the morning. It all isn't that distanced from the main plot and Cho even gets his comeuppance for cheating. Be sure to catch Cho's thrusting exercise too. False Lady expectedly rolls along from this point, mixing in the expected jokes of Mandy not used to working in high heels, the balance effects of a breast enlargement and the occasional longing look between Mandy and John as bonding takes place has us firmly sitting back and enjoying a good exercise in the pleasantly expected.
Even the crowd seeking out False Lady for the obvious reasons will find this well executed exercise to be an assurance you don't get with these adult movies. Sure the nudity and sex is plentiful, with mostly its angle being that of the wacky (sex during football matches, on training equipment, in greenhouses etc) but False Lady shows how stealing or borrowing plot beats still means you have to perform.
The DVD (Universe):
Video: 1.66:1 non anamorphic widescreen.
Audio: Cantonese Dolby Digital 2.0 and Mandarin Dolby Digital 2.0.
Subtitles: English, Chinese (burned in)
(1) Shaw Brothers actor that had lead roles in The Monkey Goes West and its sequels that turned into one of the more visually gifted directors of erotica. Resume includes Girl With The Long Hair, Yu Pui Tsuen and the funny look at the behind the scenes shenanigans of the Hong Kong adult movie industry in Temptation Summary II.
reviewed by Kenneth Brorsson