Director Lee Thean Jeen brings together a formidable Malaysian and Singaporean comedic cast, including Mark Lee, Jack Neo and Ah Niu, to usher in the Lunar New Year with Chinese New Year flick, Homecoming.
Homecoming, as its name suggests, is a film made up of three intertwined straightforward and, at the same time, true-to-life stories of characters who grapples with the meaning and significance of reunion dinner in this modern age.
First up would be cross-dressed Jack Neo as Karen Neo, who sacrificed her lottery prize to help a teenage girl reunite with her family for the Lunar New Year and delivers a baby in a cab. All these happens as insufferable mom Karen and her blur like sotong son, Ah Meng (Ah Niu), makes their way home to Kuala Lumpur for the all-important Lunar New Year reunion dinner. Interestingly, the family values and the importance his character places on the reunion dinner seems like an obvious redemption attempt after his rather past scandal.
Next up, the second story deals with Hong Kong celebrity chef and control freak (Mark Lee) who almost loses his daughter, Mindy (Koe Yeet), thanks to his arrogance. And finally, Rebecca Lim who puts pressure on hubby Wenhong to give up their free Bali trip to attend the family's reunion dinner. Also, not forgetting top Malaysian comedian Afdlin Shauki. The seasoned actor plays a hilarious taxi driver with all the right touches… and sound effects.
The music score, sung by Jack Neo and gang, was cheesy beyond words. And while the movie is more Malaysian than it is Singaporean with common slang such as "ni hen huai de wo" and "fantabulous", the film does well in reiterating traditions such as waiting for all to arrive before beginning the reunion dinner and avoiding the colour black during the festive season – a film to catch to guilt-trip the rest of your family and perhaps yourself.