When three rebellious students leave their hometown to pursue their lifelong dreams in the big city, their relationships start to face the pressures of real life as the 1980s Taiwanese ...
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Written and directed by ER (1994) castmember Lily Mariye, this gritty, sexually frank coming-of-age story has won 11 awards. Set in inner-city Los Angeles. Stars the immensely sympathetic ... See full summary »
A delivery Boy falls for a young girl who is hearing impaired. Comparing themselves with "water birds" and trees, together they are going to break the barrier and pursue their dreams and take their relationship to the next level.
A Taiwanese boy joins gymnastics at school and has talent for it. His mother forces him to stop and help with the family business. He goes on a downward spiral of fighting etc. Hitting rock bottom he decides to pursue his dream again.
Set in 1980s Taiwan, after the end of military dictatorship, Monga centers around the troubled lives of five boys coming of age together. The narrator of the story, Mosquito, is invited to ... See full summary »
Madame Tang colludes and mediates between the government and the private businesses for the benefits of her all-female family. One case does not go according to plan, and an entire family close to Madame Tang fall victim to a cruel murder.
When three rebellious students leave their hometown to pursue their lifelong dreams in the big city, their relationships start to face the pressures of real life as the 1980s Taiwanese socio-political reformation movement unfolds in the background.Written by
Of all topics, who would have thought the concept of Taiwanese nationalism would have been such a difficult one to convey on screen? Last year, the ambitious but bloated Warriors of the Rainbow made a respectable attempt to tell the story of the Taiwanese Indigenous and their battle to keep their land against the invading Japanese. In 2012, director Ya-Che Yang travels down a more contemporary path, as Girlfriend Boyfriend recounts the changing lives and persistent love triangle between three close friends against the backdrop of social upheaval, as Taiwan breaks free of its martial law rule and attempts to forge a new identity.
Admittedly, this film's political agenda plays a secondary role to the interplay between its three main characters (Lun Mei Gwei, Hsiao-Chuan Chang and Fon Yuen Vaughan), for which it should be commended, but that is where the applause ends. Because for all its promise, Girlfriend Boyfriend simply cannot decide what sort of film it wants to be, and the result is a disjointed cluster of unnecessary side plots and generally melodramatic fare.
For a film that classifies itself as a comedy, it facilitates no laughs beyond the opening act, instead gradually descending into a miserable soap opera. That is not to say that its attempt at humour was off the mark; an impossibility due to the total lack of humour in the first place.
The film's attempt to deepen the story by throwing in new themes for the characters to intermittently deal with (including adultery, homosexuality and self-inflicted disconnectedness) actually has the opposite effect, as the plot becomes needlessly convoluted. It closes on an ending intending to justify the struggles each character has endured, but the fact that it completely overlooks the fate of Aaron, arguably the film's most relatable character, leaves the viewer wanting more, but also glad that the ordeal is over.
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