Hey gang, Valkor here. Next up on the TOV chopping block is somewhat related to my latest geek adventures with Sphero and Attack on Titan at Universal Japan - somewhat yet totally related. It's a film from Taiwan and it’s definitely caught my attentions because hey, I’ve been there. It's “Da Zhai Men” aka "My Geeky, Nerdy buddies". Oh and spoiler alert, especially in the bad section where I get on my soap box.
Take one part comedy and toss in a little soap opera drama into the mix and you’ll have "My Geeky Nerdy Buddies”. The film centers on a trio of geeky friends whose goal it is to get girlfriends, which would eventually relieve them of being virgins. But because they’re nerds with no money, no house, and no car… well they gets no women. While each male character has a female interest, the film primarily focuses on Otaku (Jam Hsiao) whose main interest is a girl named Ling (Shuying Jiang). The problem is Ling has a boyfriend named Wu, who has money and gives her pretty much whatever she wants except the love and attention a woman of her caliber wants or deserves. According to Ling, Wu likes to have one night stands. Otaku however worships the ground she walks on, calls her "goddess" and even dismisses the attentions of another female who throws him into coupledom. The big question for Otaku is: will he ever get his goddess in the end or will she begrudgingly accept Wu and his lusty affairs? Hmmmmm. Take a guy with no money but promises to love you forever or stay with a guy who has money but doesn't appreciate you?
As for Otaku’s buddies, well they have their own issues with women who have caught their attentions. First there's "Mr. Cheap" (Da Peng), who is really cheap. How cheap is he? He literally beats the last drop of toothpaste out of the tube and takes food and drink from parties. He falls for a girl named Mei (Xie Na), but she has issues all her own such as indecisiveness. Then there’s Xiao Ying (Kuan Ji Wen), who likes any and every pretty girl who passes his way. Ying mainly has eyes for Ah Mei (Agnes Zhang), but unbeknownst to him, the two have a past, that didn’t end well for Mei. So she’ll use her feminine charms to seduce Ying to get even.
“My Geeky Nerdy Buddies” is reminiscent of “The Last American Virgin”, at least from Otaku’s standpoint; the protagonist of both films follow similar paths of attempting to get with that one special gal - only with “Virgin”, it as a much harsher ending. Still, with the ending of “Buddies”, it’s almost the same, because I still raged though not as hard. Also if I’ve gotten any of the names wrong, please let me know in the comments below. I did my best with the cast lists I could find around the interwebz.
My rage aside “My Geeky Nerdy Buddies” is a fun flick that injects the right amount of laughs with drama to make things interesting. Thankfully the jokes are mainly of the “slapstick” variety, which is a plus for me as usually the verbal jokes in subtitled films go over my head. The drama portions are extra thick - almost cheesy and soap operaish and take up a good chunk of the film. But thankfully those parts aren’t at all boring; in fact I think it enhances the experience, drawing you into the plot of our nerdy buddies looking to score. You gotta feel sorry for this threesome, especially for Otaku, though he does get the girl in the end… and then some. The acting overall is solid and the chemistry amongst the characters works to perfection; Jam Hsiao and Shuying Jiang carry the bulk of the film and make an impressive showing of how well opposites attract, even through all the struggles and heartache. Da Peng and Kuan Ji Wen bring up the funny as the majority of the slapstick jokes rest on their shoulders – and they carry it so well. I didn’t think I’d laugh as hard as I did at some of their antics. But I did laugh and it was funny. My Geeky Nerdy Buddy isn’t perfect, but it is an entertaining film that I’m glad I didn’t pass up.
Again the film isn’t perfect; for starters, the film focuses too heavy on Otaku to the point that you’ll forget about the other two dudes or just about any other character who might be involved. Why is this bad? Well, the film tries to give importance to Ying and Cheap, whose stories are just as interesting as Otaku’s, but I wound up forgetting about them at one point. Hell Ying’s story was much more interesting I think. Come on, he’s a fatty who is in love with a ten, whom he rejected when she was a four. She (Ah-Mei) gets revenge on him by recording him doing a “sexy” dance and putting it out on the internet. That's a movie by itself! And what happens after that, well you kinda feel bad for the dude as he really tries to win her back (not happening by the way). But Otaku’s story… so much rage! I can’t fault the film for my feelings toward his outcome, because we all know that one guy who is in loves a woman so much that no matter what she does, he’ll always stand by her and even wait for her eventhough she's in the arms of another dude. Hell I used to be that guy! But the film had the chance to score some cool points when Otaku runs to catch Ling at the airport and you think maybe she’d realize how much she cares for Otaku that she’ll run out, see him and poof instant happy ending. NOPE! She goes to the states, gets pregnant and THEN comes back into Otaku’s arms. The level of facepalming went through the roof. Again, it’s a happier ending than Last American Virgin, but it still groanworthy.
You’re gonna have to search high and low for My Geeky Nerdy Buddies, but if you’re geeky enough you won’t have to try so hard. Anyone else, you could always import. Either way you can’t go wrong as the film does a fine job mixing comedy and drama into one entertaining film. And out of TOV 5 stars, I give My Geeky Nerdy Buddies a 4.