Gay-themed "Metrosexual" reps another merry, thoroughly non-P.C. laffer from Thai helmer Yongyoot Thongkongtoon. Crowd-pleaser notched a healthy 600,000 admissions in Bangkok alone earlier this year and has landed distribution deals in Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Gay-themed “Metrosexual” reps another merry, thoroughly non-P.C. laffer from Thai helmer Yongyoot Thongkongtoon (“The Iron Ladies,” “The Iron Ladies 2″). Smartly calibrated to please straight, liberal auds, tale of four gal pals investigating a friend’s suspiciously sensitive fiance zips along nicely before flagging in the final furlong. Crowd-pleaser notched a healthy 600,000 admissions in Bangkok alone earlier this year and has landed distribution deals in Hong Kong and Malaysia. Extensive dates at gay fests seem assured, with specialized tube sales most likely to follow in Western markets.

“Sex and the City” on uppers is the cue as five crisply etched thirtysomethings gather for lunch in downtown Bangkok. Leader of the pack is chatterbox Pom (Patcharasri Benjamas), a reporter for “Lady of the House” magazine who gawks shamelessly at hunky male catwalk models.

Matching her penchant for sassy talk and objectification of the opposite sex are penny-pinching beautician Fai (Pimonwan Suphayang), virility drug telemarketer Nim (Ornpriya Hunsat), and publicist Pat (Kulnadda Pajchimsawat), who’s engaged to a Japanese man very much her elder.

Fifth gang member is the sweet Pang (Meesuke Jangmeesuke), who announces plans to marry a guy she’s been dating secretly for several months. One look at well dressed, stylishly coiffed and food-knowledgeable Kong (Thienchai Jayasvasti) and the girls figure Pang’s fiance to be a closet gay.

Seeking expert guidance (and proving that mincing fairy stereotypes are far from a spent cinematic force), the gals enlist flight steward Brother Bee (Michael Shaowanasai) as “gay-dar” consultant and begin snooping for hard evidence to prove Kong’s orientation. Among the most amusing situations is an invasion of Kong’s apartment, which turns into revolving door hijinx when he and Pang show up unexpectedly.

While happy to have Brother Bee buzzing on the sidelines with gags and campy posturings that have done the rounds for decades, scripters Aummaraporn Phandintong and Benjamaporn Srabua keep the main comic focus on how contempo sexual identity issues suggested by the buzzword title affect women’s perception of men. Result is a consistently amusing farce as the ladies draw hysterical conclusions after inspecting Kong’s range of hair care products and his color-coded shirt closet.

Propelled by agreeably rambunctious perfs by the femme quintet — all co-hosts of a chatshow on Thai TV’s Channel 3 — pic needs all its reserves of energy to surmount an unwieldy and overlong conclusion. Far too much wrapping up of absolutely everyone’s side issues sends the narrative into neutral just when it promises a big bang finale.

Tech package is in keeping with most of Thangkongtoon’s other works: just OK and a bit sloppy on the edges, with pacy editing and perky perfs — at least in the first two-thirds — helping to mask the shortcomings.

Metrosexual

Thailand

Production

A GMM Tai Hub Release (in Thailand) of A GMM Tai Hub and Hab Ho Hin Films production. (International sales: GMM Tai Hub, Bangkok.) Produced by Yongyoot Thongkongtoon, Jira Maligool, Prasert Wiwattananongpong. Directed by Yongyoot Thongkongtoon. Screenplay, Aummaraporn Phandintong, Benjamaporn Srabua.

Crew

Camera (color) Samboon Piriyapakdeekul; editor, Parn Busaban; music, Jiant Wave; production designer, Ruttanakra Poolguay; art director, Kornmapoj Churviwat; costume designer, Boonchai Kiattirarat; sound (Dolby Digital), Yuttana Thisawat; casting, Jarupas Patamasiri. Reviewed at Hawaii Film Festival (Comedy Focus), Oct. 20, 2006. Running time: 117 MIN.

With

Patcharasri Benjamas, Meesuke Jangmeesuke, Thienchai Jayasvasti, Pimonwan Suphayang, Ornpriya Hunsat, Pimolwan Suppayang, Kulnadda Pajchimsawat, Michael Shaowanasai.
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