Four love stories by four talented Taiwanese first-time directors – well-known lyrist, Vincent Fang Wenshan; TV host, Huang Zijiao; online novelist, Jiu BaDao; and commercial director, Chen Yixian.
How apt it is, after the successful Taiwan movie Cape No. 7, that we are treated with this Taiwan production starring the Golden Horse winner’s Van Fan and Chie Tanaka. Oh, the star gazing doesn’t stop here. Throw in names like Annie Liu, Ethan Ruan, Alec Su, Ken Chu, Makiyo Claire Kuo Jing, Blue Lan, Lu Yi Ching, Charge Pu Hsueh Liang and Chang Hsiao Yen, and you’d get this omnibus of love stories that markets itself as the ultimate love experience. If you are a fan of these well known Hong Kong and Taiwan TV personalities and pop idols, then you’d be dazzled by the star gazing that’s in store for you.
The four stories centre themselves on different themes like death, memories, communication and destiny. Directed by Giddens Ko, Vincent Fang Wen Shan (Jay Chou’s favourite lyricist), Chen Yi Xian and Mickey Huang Zi Jiao (the famous TV host), viewers are brought onto a 92 minute razzle dazzle of love embodied by melodrama, tragedy, music and comedy.
When you have four filmmakers with four distinct styles, it’s only natural that you prefer one over the other. The first story about sentiments of two strangers sharing the same voice stars Fan and Liu, and the natural chemistry between them distracts you from the unnecessary plot twists that prove to be gimmicky. The second story about the production of a music video (as helmed by Fang, of course) stars Liu and Lan, and while the two good lookers provide eye candy for the younger viewers, the somewhat slipshod storytelling shows the thinness of the plot. The third story starring the very popular Ruan is a mood piece about the importance of communication with your loved one, and it easily stands out as the most competent of the lot. When you reach the fourth story directed by Huang, you wonder whether you should tolerate the over the top acting and exaggerated comedic style.
If your expectations for this movie aren’t too high, the four tales are easy to sit through. There isn’t much thinking involved, and there aren’t many feelings for the protagonists either. We guess that would be the down side of featuring so many stars in a weakly plotted movie, because all attention would be given to spotting the countless cameo appearances throughout the movie.
If you are a male viewer watching this with your female companion, expect reactions like: “Look, it’s Alec Su from The Little Tigers! Look, it’s Ken Chu from F4! Look, look, look! Ethan Ruan is gorgeous! Look, look, look! Blue Lan is simply charming!” Yes, you’ve been warned.
There are no special features on this DVD.
There is nothing to complain about the DVD’s, and the movie is presented in its original Mandarin and Cantonese audio tracks.
Review by John Li
Posted on 6 June 2009