Scratching your heads over which movie to watch this weekend? Why not support our “made in Singapore” production and watch the new movie by our million-dollar director, Jack Neo, Wonderful! Liang Xi Mei “旺得福梁细妹”? Read on to find out some interesting facts about the festive-themed movie you are sure to enjoy watching with your family and friends.

Liang Xi Mei origins

If you were a keen follower of local variety shows in the 1990s, you will most definitely remember Channel 8’s Comedy Night which featured a regular skit titled Liang Xi Mei, played by actor and director, Jack Neo. The plot of this light-hearted skit revolved around widowed Liang Xi Mei and her two sons as well as the hilarious situations they find themselves caught up in their daily lives. The highly popular skit started entertaining Channel 8 audiences in 1996 and ended its run on a high 3 years 8 months later.

Wonderful Liang Xi Mei 旺得福梁细妹 -The Movie

Wonderful Liang Xi Mei 旺得福梁细妹 movie poster
Image credit: Liang Xi Mei Facebook Page

Here’s some great news for you if you are an avid fan of the Liang Xi Mei’s skit. Jack Neo and his ensemble cast are back with a bang to light up our silver screens and to usher in the Lunar New Year with you. The movie entitled “The Wonderful! Liang Xi Mei” literally translating to 细妹 in Chinese, features a solid line-up including former cast members Neo as Liang Xi Mei, Mark Lee as Robert, (Xi Mei’s elder son) and Henry Thia doubling up as Lion King (Robert’s friend) and Robert’s Grandpa. Neo has also beefed up his cast for the movie with new characters introduced like Wang Lei as Cantonese Lady (广东婆) and Jaspers Lai as Lion King’s son.

In line with the festive spirit of this season, Wonderful! Liang Xi Mei will be playing in theatres simultaneously on 15 February across Singapore, Malaysia, and Brunei. And to promote the movie, the entire cast of the movie attended the Singapore Gala Premier for Wonderful! Liang Xi Mei which was held on 12 February at The Cathay Cineplex.

Wonderful Liang Xi Mei 旺得福梁细妹 Premiere

Image Credit: Sonnie Leong

The Singapore Gala Premier was a mini glitzy affair as fans and the media waited in eager anticipation for the arrival of the movie’s cast. Neo and his cast were warmly welcomed by the crowd of enthusiastic fans and media personnel when they appeared on stage.

During the gala premiere, Director Neo told the media and fans who attended that he was excited for supporters of Liang Xi Mei to see the movie on the screen. Neo shared that it was always his dream to make a movie about Liang Xi Mei and he was glad that he was able to produce a festive movie about Liang Xi Mei and her family this new year. Former and new cast members also introduced the characters they played in the movie and Neo and his protégé, Mark Lee belted out the catchy soundtracks of the movie as the hyped-up audience sang along in unison.

Image Credit: Sonnie Leong

After the gala premiere, much to the delight of fans, the cast joined them for the sneak preview after another round of meet and greet at the Grand Cathay theatre. The movie’s opening elicited plenty of guffaws from the amused audience with the appearance of another immensely popular character played by Neo in drag, Liang Po Po (Grandmother Liang). Liang Po Po had the audience in stitches with her hilarious antics and idiosyncratic “wooh wooh wooh wooh” interspersing as she spoke.

Watching Wonderful Liang Xi Mei 旺得福梁细妹

Here at ShopBack, after watching this funny and heartwarming movie, we have gathered five other top reasons on why you should make a date with Liang Xi Mei and her family in the cinema soon.

1. Jack Neo in character

One of the major attractions of the movie is to see Jack Neo cross-dressing again. Two of his most prominent female character roles are undoubtedly Liang Po Po and Liang Xi Mei. We don’t know about you but Neo as a woman had us sold hook, line, and sinker as Liang Xi Mei in his skits, the Liang Po Po movie and Wonderful! Liang Xi Mei. From his mannerisms to his gestures, Neo portrays his role as a heartland housewife to a perfect T. And of course, his iconic green, floral blouse, that elaborate hairdo and “artificially enhanced” physique lends credence to his woman persona.

2. Easy chemistry among the main cast

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The friendship between Jack Neo and Mark Lee goes back a long way when Neo started casting Lee in bite-sized roles in Comedy Night and later recognizing the latter’s talent, gave him his big break as Robert in the Liang Xi Mei skit. The zany duo has collaborated on multiple projects together including several of Neo’s movies and maintained a lasting friendship for over two decades and this is certainly evident in the Wonderful! Liang Xi Mei. Acting as mother and son with several misunderstandings and who are constantly bickering, their chemistry in the movie is unmistakable and effortless.

Besides the chemistry of Neo and Lee, the rapport between Neo and Wang Lei as well as Neo and Henry Thia when he is playing Lion King is also commendable and compelling to watch. The chemistry between and among the leads is definitely one of the major pluses of the movie. Watch it for yourselves and you will get our drift.

3. Comedic timing and solid acting

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In Wonderful! Liang Xi Mei, seasoned comedians including Neo himself, Mark Lee, Henry Thia deliver their funny lines with great aplomb and have perfect comedic timing. Even veteran getai singer, Wang Lei’s turn as the Cantonese-sprouting granny is convincing and hilarious. Noteworthy mentions are Lee’s acting chops and how he manages to make us burst out laughing with simply a strait-laced or poker face. Even minor characters like Robert’s children and the kidnappers in the show put up believable performances.

As many will agree, a movie is only as good as its actors. If this perception is anything to go by, we are sure that you will concur with us that Wonderful! Liang Mei is a movie that you cannot miss.

4. Resonance with Singaporeans

J Team Productions I Facebook

As in most Jack Neo’s box-office hits, the movie delves into several endemic issues that most certainly strike a chord with Singaporeans. From jibes about being Singapore’s Transport Minister due to the never-ending plethora of MRT issues to warnings regarding prevalent health diseases like diabetes to mechanisms in place for elderly care to Singaporeans’ desire to get rich and the criticisms of the stressful Singaporean education system, Neo has effectively tapped into the psyche of Singaporeans once again with his movies.

Wonderful! Liang Xi Mei presents this issues in a light-hearted manner and will allow you to reflect on these issues. The movie also explores meaningful themes like family conflicts, love and reconciliation and the idea of fear stemming from superstitions.

5. Dialects, Singlish, and jokes galore

Image Credit: 梁 细妹 I Facebook

Wonderful! Liang Xi Mei shines a light on the use of ethnically colourful dialects from Hokkien to Cantonese and our favorite “dialect”, Singlish. Dialects and Singlish are parts of Singapore’s rich cultural heritage and conversations among the cast members are peppered with these native tongues. Together with the string of endless jokes and comical situations, the use of the dialects is one of the highlights of the movie which got us craving for more.

The verdict

The movie delivers good entertainment with its light humor, a bit of family drama and a certain old-school feel. If you are looking to spend a couple of hours having e a laugh with the family, this is the movie for you.

What’s even better, book your tickets via Cathay to get as much as 4% cashback on your tickets if you watch at Cathay Cineplexes. So hurry now, book your tickets to watch Wonderful! Liang Xi Mei and support local productions.

Featured Image credit: Sonnie Leong

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