Maya Entertainment // 2009 // 86 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // March 15th, 2011
"A slut is just a woman with the morals of a man." -- Gabriel
Angela (Karin Anna Cheung) is a severely promiscuous woman who turns up preggers. So what does she do? She turns to her gay best friend (Wilson Cruz, My So-Called Life) to help her figure out who she should shanghai into thinking he is the father. Angela narrows the field down to the five guys she has had unprotected sex with, and sets out to grab DNA samples from each. The whole idea of having a baby changes her fundamentally, and makes this thirty-something reconsider her policy of having sex in bar bathrooms.
This is Hong Kong wunderkind director Quentin Lee's (Shopping for Fangs) first outright foray into humor without any tinges of drama or violence. It's a romantic comedy without any real traditional romance, but a whole lot of the old bump and grind. It seeks to liberate women much in the same way that Sex and the City did back in its day. The only thing is that the ladies in the HBO series figured out early on that thinking like a man in terms of sex never works out well for the woman. The most unique thing here is that the girl is Asian, and most of her prospects are as well. This adds a different layer to the angst, particularly when the traditional parents have to face the reality of modern relationships.
The film never feels all that fresh or new outside of the Oriental orientation, but it does work on a certain level. The characters are certainly free and easy, and they are likable all the same. There's something charming about a girl and a gay guy who embrace being slutty with no apologies. The only sad part is everybody seems a touch old for this kind of game, but I wonder if there is an expiration date on fooling around a lot? When does it cross from naughty fun to pathetic tragedy? I suppose that is exactly what the film is examining. When do we grow up and decide to take responsibility for our actions?
The DVD looks just fine, showcasing the independent film with natural colors and no digital artifacts. There are two audio tracks which include a functional surround and a serviceable stereo mix. Dialogue is front and center as it should be, and only atmospheric noises drift into the rear speakers. Extras include two alternate openings and a closing as well as a making of featurette. The optional ending and openings really don't add much, but they are nice to see to get an idea of some different ideas the filmmakers had. The making-of featurette has a nice discussion about how the Asian American slant was what they felt gave the film its edge.
The People I've Slept With is a turgid romantic comedy that provides a simultaneous celebration as well as a cautionary tale about being a slut. It's cute when it's the kids in American Pie getting their freak on, but once high school and your twenties are distant memories it becomes different. When you are over thirty and you're asking "Who's your Daddy?" it seems the best you can hope for is a recurring guest spot on the set of Jerry Springer. This is a fun little independent movie that takes Sex and the City's ideas and runs them into the Asian and party girl culture. It has a gay edge as well as an Asian one, and that makes it seem a little fresher than it should.
Guilty of channeling Sex and the City by way of Hong Kong.
Review content copyright © 2011 Brett Cullum; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Maya Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 86 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Alternate Opening/Closing