Riu Bo Gao Eng (1998)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Buddy Film  |   Run Time - 98 min.  |   Countries - Singapore  |  
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TV producer Tay Teck-lock made his feature directorial debut with this popular low-budget Singapore-made comedy about life in government projects. Featuring lead performers from the weekly Comedy Night TV series, this movie made $3 million in its first two months, climbing charts as the island's all-time top-grossing Chinese-language film (and outranking Hollywood blockbusters). Married father Chew Wah-keong (Jack Neo, the movie's writer), angry when he's not promoted, insults his boss and quits. Apartment renovator Ong (Mark Lee) has two weeks to pay off some loan sharks. The key problem facing waiter Hui (Henry Thia) is how to score with women despite his geeky appearance. This trio sets laughs in motion as they concoct wild money-making schemes. About 85% of the film's dialogue is Hokkien, the island's main Chinese dialect, with the remainder in Singlish and Mandarin.