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L-O-V-E (Taiwan)

  Publicity Stills of
(Courtesy of Cathay-Keris Films)

In Mandarin with Chinese and English Subtitles
Director: Jiu Ba Dao, Vincent Fang Wen Shan, Chen Yi Xian, Mickey Huang Zi Jiao
Cast: Van Fan Yi Chen, Megan Lai Ya Yan, Blue Lan Zheng Long, Annie Liu Xin You, Alan Ke You Lun, Tammy Chen Yi Rong, Tseng Kai Xuan, Ethan Ruan Jing Tian,
cy Chou Cai Shi, Alec Su You Peng, Ken Chu Xiao Tian, Wang Zi, MoDi , Makiyo, Lu Yi Ching
RunTime: 1 hr 33 mins
Released By: Cathay-Keris Films
Rating: PG
Official Website: http://filmko.pixnet.net/blog

Opening Day: 2 April 2009


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.

Movie Review:

If staring at attractive Taiwanese idols for 90 minutes is your thing, then you’ll find this omnibus of four stories about love right up your alley. But if it’s not, you had best stay away from this movie because there’s really nothing much here to grab your attention except the eye candy on display.

First on the list is singer Van (from Cape No 7) and Megan Lai. The two play a young couple who love each other as much as they like playing with their Star Wars light sabres- his blue and hers orange. Their love story unfolds in a non-linear fashion with a fair bit of melodrama thrown in. Alas online novelist Jiu Bai Dao’s writing/directing debut rests on a premise that borders on incredulity and when revealed, will probably leave you frowning.

Next up is Annie Liu, popstar Lens and TV actor Blue Lan in a triangle love story directed by famous lyricist Fang Wen-Shan. This is probably the worst of the four stories, because it looks and feels like an extended MTV. Again an attempt to inject tragedy and melodrama into the story makes it unnecessarily complicated. Its only saving grace is its meaningful quote repeated at the start and the end, a reflection on how there cannot be love without memory (expressed with much more flair in the movie ‘Away From Her’).

The third story is the most unfathomable one. Headed by Ethan Ruan (of You’re My Destiny) and Alice Tzeng (from Secret), the two play a bickering pair of lovers who learn how to reconcile their differences just before Alice Tzeng’s stewardess character flies off. This segment is helmed by music video director Chen Yi-Xian and while it starts off promising, it ends in a particularly unfulfilling climax. Moreover, the deliberately slow unfolding of events tests your patience even through its short runtime.

Quite fortunately, the movie ends with a surprising delight in an exaggerated comedy starring Tracy Chou. She plays a young girl who can’t seem to find love, and begins questioning everyone around her about her unfortunate predicament. Director Huang Zijiao uses a riot of colourful characters and over-the-top scenarios to engage and entertain you thoroughly. Yes, as you’ve probably guessed, this is also the best of the four short stories here.

Indeed, don’t expect to learn any lessons about love going into this popstar fuelled vehicle. There’s nothing here that hasn’t been said in all the Taiwanese love dramas you can find on the goggle box. Just go in for the fun of star-gazing and you’ll find this a harmless diversion. For anyone looking for anything else, you’re better off leaving this alone.

Movie Rating:

(Pretty cast, unremarkable stories, unaccomplished directing. Only good if you’re in the mood for star-gazing)

Review by Gabriel Chong


. Cape No 7 (2008)

. Island Etude (2007)

. My DNA Says I Love You (2007)

. Spider Lilies (2007)

. Eternal Summer (2006)

. The Shoe Fairy DVD (2006)


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