Xiang used to be a promising boxing player of Beijing United University but he lost his memory after an accident, he then went back to Taiwan to start a new life.
Jie, the leader of boxing club has never won any competition because he broke his arm in a fight in junior high school. However, he never gave up. Instead, in order not to disappoint his Grandpa, he participates in every game and has tried so hard to win.
Shan-shan, an exchange student from Beijing is a genius violinist. She tries very hard to persuade Xiang to join the boxing club and to regain his memory. However, what is the real purpose of her? Is she just Xiang's big fan as she claims?
Kui is the manager of the boxing club who secretly love Jie and gives him full support. Kui tries to recruit Xiang to save the ill-fated club but this has irritated Jie. When can Jie know Kui's real feelings?
When Xiang finally joins the boxing club and when Jie beats off his competitor, the fates of the four young people connect so closely at that moment. Looking back, deep in their memories, the answers of all the questions were so far and yet so close.
This one is for those who enjoy watching irritatingly cute Taiwanese drama series. It has all the elements which are present in a respected Taiwan idol drama. Cute guys (it helps if they appear topless in some scenes)? Check. Cute girls (it helps if they spoke in annoyingly squeaky voices)? Check. Cameos from well known pop stars (it helps if these celebrities play themselves)? Check. And there you have it, a movie which serves no other purpose than to entertain you the frills free way – all in a matter of 103 minutes.
We have no idea why the title of this Taiwan production is “Close to You”, but the unspectacular plot involves a boxer suffering from amnesia who helps to boost the moral of a down and out boxing club. Somewhere in the mix is this boxer’s fan who also happens to be a great violinist, a cocky boxing club president who hurt his left arm during his younger days, and a boxing club manager who, well, manages the boxing club while she is not idolizing the smug fella.
The script has these four young people crossing each other’s paths and a less than innovative twist at the end which attempts to make viewers feel melancholic about life. But with such pretty faces set against a picturesque background, who has the time to ponder about those forlorn things about life? Besides, the rather superficial dialogues do not provide much inspiration, and coupled with the cast’s unaffecting delivery, we are guessing that you’d be better off reading a self help book if you really wanted to figure out what life means in the big scheme of things.
The good looking Ming Dao and Eddie Peng play the charming male leads. Their good looks more than make up for the cardboard acting. A toned bod (they are boxers, remember?) also help to distract viewers from their mediocre performances as actors. Amber Kuo plays the manager of the boxing club, and we don’t know about you, but for someone our age, she is really too cute for comfort. Faring better is Mainland Chinese actress Renee Yuan, who plays the violinist who reveals the twist towards the end of the movie. Elsewhere, you’d probably spot a few other familiar faces (watch out for a certain member of the popular Taiwanese group Mayday) filling supporting roles.
That said, this Cheng Hsiao Tse directed drama is so entertaining and lightweight, you’d have no trouble sitting through the entire movie. It may be formulaic and predictable, but who doesn’t enjoy a harmless piece like that which are perfect for killing time?
This Code 3 DVD contains Theatrical Trailers for Love Cuts, Reign of Assassins and Old Cow vs Tender Grass, as well as a Photo Gallery.
There is nothing to complain about the movie’s visual transfer. It is presented in its original Mandarin audio track.
Review by John Li
Posted on 13 February 2011