Dallas Movie Screening

Dallas Movie Screenings started out as a mailing list on Yahoo Groups to facilitate finding free screening passes in the DFW area. When Yahoo Groups shut down, we are now posting screenings on our Facebook page at http://www..facebook.com/groups/dallasmoviescreenings
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Sunday, July 21, 2019

AFFD2019 - Missbehavior

In his film “Missbehavior,” writer / director Ho-Cheung Pang takes a single-minded theme for his movie’s ribald humor, building his movie off of a paper-thin concept – the quest for a bottle of breast milk. “Missbehavior” is a feature that’s more interested in relishing in its ridiculousness without thinking whether it should. It quickly places itself in the gutter and stays there.

The film gets its start when, following a cheeky seventies era title sequence, a policewoman (Gigi Leung) is confronted by her estranged friend (Isabel Chan) who begins to tell of the recent woes of their friend June (June Lam). When June’s boss, Luna Fu (Isabella Leung), asked her to make a cup of coffee for a prospective client, a miscommunication led June to make the coffee using Fu’s own refrigerated breast milk instead of the office’s low-fat milk. Fu’s breast milk is in the company refrigerator in a generic glass bottle with the letters “LF” taped on it. Maybe this is a cultural barrier but Fu’s bottle of milk looks nothing like a bottle you’d expect to find in a store, especially with its hand-written label, making the film’s premise one that’s already highly implausible. Leung and Chan’s characters start a crusade to bring their group of friends, now only held together by an internet chat group calling themselves “the bitches,” together to help June get a bottle of the precious liquid before her boss goes home for the day.

It’s possible to make an excellent film out of a ludicrous premise but “Missbehavior” doesn’t even come close to being a passable one. Jokes fall flat, again perhaps due to cultural barriers, without a single one of the ensuing shenanigans causing even a slight smirk (it’s probably a good idea to note that there were multiple walk-outs during this screening).

“Missbehavior” is driven by its own misguided manic energy. It opens with a nauseously quick-paced editing style that never lets up as it quickly introduces the lead group of characters and begins to flesh out the quarrels within the group. Since so many characters are introduced at once, it can be a bit hard to decipher who is who throughout the film’s opening act. Once the movie settles into its groove (for better or worse – in my taste worse) and established its characters, it’s easier to identify and keep up with who’s who.

Pang keeps his film rolling with increasingly absurd episodes ranging from breaking-and-entering (in bright blue bodysuits) to posing as a fictional non-profit organization outside the breast-feeding room in a mall. There’s even an aside in one of the movie’s vignette-like scenarios about one of the women having to poop in a restroom in the elementary school, putting the film’s frequent potty-driven humor in the spotlight. Within each episode, strung together via a connecting device featuring a cityscape broken up with shots of the group, Pang enters into dramatic territory working to resolve the issues that have arisen within this group of friends.

“Missbehavior” is sure to be divisive with it’s over-the-top and often juvenile humor, though I suspect most will not find this one in the slightest bit enjoyable.
(Review by Bret Oswald)

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