Film Review: Forever Fever - That's The Way I Like It
There's strange fever sweeping across the island of Singapore. Forever Fever. Its only symptoms: a sudden urge to put on spandex and go disco dancing! And a humble but hapless grocery clerk named Hock is hopelessly infected with it.
It all begins when Hock's friends entice him to come to the movies with them after work one evening, with the promise of seeing a Bruce Lee movie. To his disappointment, what's showing instead is Forever Fever, a Saturday Night Fever knock-off that nearly puts Hock to sleep, that is until the movie's main character steps off the silver screen (a la Purple Rose of Cairo) to be Hock's personal mentor in his sudden urge to become the local disco king.
This 1998 film, written and directed by Glen Goei, at once mimics and mirrors the classic 1977 discodrama Saturday Night Fever, yet remarkably, it does so without being the least bit contrived or derivitave. Its parallel plots and commensurate characters are as individual and dimensional as their SNF counterparts, but the fun lies in watching as Hock and his friends imitate their favorite cast of cinematic icons, while unwittingly living out their fates in perfect parity as well.
By now, you must know the story...John Travolta as Tony Manero is a wistful young man from a blue-collar Brooklyn family on the fast track to nowhere, but he looms larger than life in the dizzying sparkle of the mirrored disco ball on the dance floor every Saturday night. His brother, a priest, is the family's pride and joy, and his circle of friends are the same ones he's known for years. Just a bunch of kids from the neighborhood, until he meets Stephanie, a slightly older and more sophisticated girl who has just the right look and all the moves Tony needs to help him win the big dance contest at the Odyssey disco.
On the other side of the globe, Adrian Pang as Hock is a wistful young man from a middle-class Singapore family on the fast track to nowhere, but he lives in hopes of buying a fancy motorcycle. His brother, a med student, is the family's pride and joy, and his circle of friends are the same ones he's known for years. Just a bunch of kids from the neighborhood, until he meets Julie, a slightly older and more sophisticated girl who has just the right look and all the moves Hock needs to help him win the big dance contest at the Galaxy disco so he can buy the motorcycle of his dreams.
The Singapore cover band music featured in the film is dead-on faithful to the BeeGee's immortal soundtrack, and despite its quirky premise, Forever Fever manages to invest its characters with the same sympathetic qualities as the original SNF cast, but with the added elements of humor and comic irony that are absent from the original story. And it's those very elements that give Forever Fever its charm.
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Forever Fever (That's The Way I Like It) is available on DVD at Amazon.com.
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Published on 12/23/05