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Chilli Laugh Story

A Surprisingly Fun, Touching And Spicy Movie

24th July 2022

COVID-19 didn’t only have a significant impact on the medical and business world but also the cinematic one. It causes many halts during filming and a lot of release postponements. However, the pandemic has also proven to be an excellent inspiration for film directors and documentary makers.

“The First Wave” by Matthew Heineman, Orlando von Einsiedel and his “Convergence: Courage”, “76 Days” by directors Hao Wu and Weixi Chen, etc. COVID-19 has been brought to the big and small screen many times already. Many of those features show the pandemic and its aftermath in a tragic way, but now director/co-writer Coba Cheng is about to change that with “Chilli Laugh Story”.

Instead of focusing on the tragedy and illness, Cheng takes the shift from working in the office to WFH and uses it as a starting point for his debut feature. The result? A surprisingly fun, touching and spicy movie.

For his filmmaker’s debut, Cheng based “Chilli Laugh Story” on his real-life family story. Since being forced to stay home, Alan (Ronald Cheng), Cheng’s father, has gained a curious interest in nature documentaries. Mother Rita (Gigi Leung) is trying to keep her chilli sauce business alive. Because of the pandemic, she can’t sell it psychically, and the lack of income and social interaction impacts her finances and mental state. Last but not least, Coba (Edan Lui is) is a music festival promoter who’s sadly out of work and stuck at home with his parents.

Coba wants to turn things around for his family, and after tasting his mother’s spicy and delicious chilli, his business state of mind takes the upper hand. He decides to start an online business and turn the traditional way of selling chilli sauce into a modern one.

After modernizing and scaling up production, the family reaches more customers than ever. However, the rise in revenue is secretively drawing a wedge between the family. Coba’s mum is about to buy a house in his name (because first-time buyers get a preferential rate), despite he not wanting to be tied down by a mortgage.

Coba is now concentrating solely on that business instead of his music promotion. If you add the heightened loneliness due to the pandemic to this tense situation, then you know it’s only a matter of time before the emotions run up too high…

While the movie is about a family in lockdown, it doesn’t overly focus on the pandemic. Instead, it uses it as a stepping stone to what will become a lovely, captivating, but also typical family drama. The movie starts in a very exaggerated manner, and even if that’s not your thing, sit through it; we promise it gets better and that the ‘too ridiculous’ moments will make space for more genuine, heart-warming and surprisingly tense ones.

What makes this movie extremely enjoyable are the impressive performances. While “Chilli Laugh Story” is being advertised as a comedy, it’s also a dramatic, silly and tough one. You need a stunning cast to pull off all those different emotions and atmospheres, precisely what director Cheng got.

Lui puts on an incredibly human and relatable performance, thanks to which you feel every emotion Lui’s going through. From having to deal with the uncertainty around COVID to giving up his music dream and from wanting to make something of himself to make his family happy.

With his on-screen girlfriend Sam (Angela Yuen), he creates one of this movie’s most impressive and memorable scenes. Who thought that taking a bath would have those consequences? A man who’s being incredibly stubborn, unaware of what a good life he has? Yes, that’s how you would describe Alan, and to make sure that each of his character traits comes through beautifully, Cheng (“Concerto of the Bully”, “Agent Mr. Chan”) brings a beautiful, hilarious and layered performance to this screen. As his on-screen partner, we see a sweet, fun and captivating Leung (“Misbehaviour”, “Sisterhood”) who absolutely shines as the underappreciated woman, wife and mother.

Seeing a movie about the pandemic is probably the last thing you want, but we hope you will make an exemption for “Chilli Laugh Story”. The film takes on the epidemic and its terrible aftermath in a fun, moving, entertaining way.

Lui, Cheng and Leung make for a wonderful, convincing and relatable family. Despite the movie being packed with (too much) silliness and over-the-top moments, “Chilli Laugh Story” doesn’t become agitating or annoying. No, despite it being for almost two hours, the good pace, genuine performances, and emotions ensure you will watch this movie to the end.

“Chilli Laugh Story” is out now in U.K. cinemas

DETAILS

   

RELEASE DATE
15th July 2022

DIRECTED BY
Coba Cheng

WRITTEN BY
Coba Cheng, Matt Chow

Running Time:
1h 34min

THE QUICK SELL
Work-from-home has led to a daily cage match with Coba's family. When he inadvertently learns his mother's homemade chili sauce is a hit with his co-workers, he convinces his family to turn the chili sauce into online business.

CAST & CREW
Angela Yuen, Coba Cheng, Edan Cheuk-On Lui, Gigi Leung, Matt Chow, Ronald Cheng, Sandra Kwan Yue Ng

DETAILS

   

RELEASE DATE
15th July 2022

DIRECTED BY
Coba Cheng

WRITTEN BY
Coba Cheng, Matt Chow

Running Time:
1h 34min

THE QUICK SELL
Work-from-home has led to a daily cage match with Coba's family. When he inadvertently learns his mother's homemade chili sauce is a hit with his co-workers, he convinces his family to turn the chili sauce into online business.

CAST & CREW
Angela Yuen, Coba Cheng, Edan Cheuk-On Lui, Gigi Leung, Matt Chow, Ronald Cheng, Sandra Kwan Yue Ng

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