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Young & Fabulous

Opening Date
26 May 2016
PG Some Coarse Language
107 mins
Mandarin / English with English & Chinese subtitles
Michael Woo, Joyce Lee
Aloysius Pang, Joyce Chu, Joshua Tan, Henry Thia, Quan Yi Fong, Gurmit Singh, Jeffrey Xu
YOUNG & FABULOUS is a coming-of-age story of a group of teenage friends—Royston, Violet, and Hao Ren—who overcome all challenges and obstacles to fulfil their dreams. On their journey of self-discovery, they also learn the meaning of friendship, the different perspectives in parent-child and teacher-student relationships, and ultimately the need to have the courage to stand up for what they believe in.

In this competitive era with an education system that focuses on academic excellence, how will the younger generation find courage and confidence and hold on to their dreams and hopes in a society that values practicality over creativity?
By Jason Lin  26 May 2016
Young and Fabulous motivates the youth to actively seek their dreams and the adults to never forget to do so.
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Reportedly made over the span of some three years, Young and Fabulous is a local film that reflects the difficult process of filmmaking. Translating an idea and concept into a feature film is no easy feat and is deemed as a remarkable achievement for so many filmmakers – a realisation of dreams.
This film by Joyce Lee and Michael Woo prompts viewers to look beyond its jovial façade and perceive the importance of dreams. Set against the eclectic performance art commonly known as ‘cosplay’, an insight into the realm helps to establish a better understanding among all.
Often donning flamboyant costumes and cosmetics, cosplayers are often opined to be weird characters that are detached from society. Inspired by Japanese manga/anime characters that enable fans (including a pilot, a lawyer and an engineer in real life) to escape realism and explore their imagination, there is something beyond the apparent costume party.
A trio of secondary school friends Royston (Aloysius Pang), Hao Ren (Joshua Tan) and Violet (Joyce Chu) rub shoulders with cosplay enthusiasts like Chen Jun (Jeffrey Xu) and began investing interest as amateurs. It is however not intended as a film of underdogs that eventually progress into winning professionals (like inspirational sport dramas).
The plot gravitates towards the characters and their family to debate their differences in terms of expectations somewhere from the second third of the film. Parents in Singapore today mostly aspire their children to pursue academic degrees and prestigious careers like lawyers and doctors. An outcome of this phenomenon is a form of social suppression against non-capitalistic dreams and aspirations.
The definition of a bright future typically involves earning a high salary and attaining a certain social class status. Lee and Woo’s film may well be an expression of the need to empower and encourage anyone –be it youth or seniors – to pursue their dreams.
There is a particular scene between Royston and his mother (Quan Yi Fong) that hints of family influences on one’s dreams and goals in life. Royston may well be an excellent academic scholar but is driven by his innate desire to become an established fashion designer. A dream, which Royston’s mother failed to fulfill when she was younger.
Other notable highlights of the film include the rousing comedy by television veteran Henry Thia and Jeffrey Xu (who provided a side of him that nobody has seen before). Technical qualities are closer to those of television productions with a relatively linear screenplay that doesn’t try too hard to play with its narrative structure and approach.
Much like how its filmmakers spent three grueling years to eventually see their production through, Young and Fabulous motivates the youth to actively seek their dreams and the adults to never forget to do so.
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