Saturday, December 16th, 2017

Relationship issues for 30-something Taiwanese

I liked Arvin Chen’s 2013 “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” better when I saw it on a big screen with a big, appreciative audience than when I streamed it into my living room. I remembered it as more of a romantic comedy than it is. It is more a melodrama about disappointed women than a comedy, though a very good-hearted but unromantic fiancé (San-San played by Shih Chin-Hang, better known as “Stone”, guitarist in the Taiwanese band Mayday) whose fiancée (Mandy, played by Hsia Kimi) doesn’t just break off the engagement but leaves without telling him she is leaving in a Carrefour supermarket acquires a team of four fairy godfathers who attempt to help him woo her back. They play indoor badminton and San-San is too naïve to know that they are gay.

Stephen (Lawrence Ko) is their leader and knows San-San from having taken the photographs of the bride and groom (in western garb). Stephen is married to a lesbian who is the business manager of the wedding business and hung out with Mandy’s brother Weichung (Johnnie To regular Richie Ren, who was born in 1966) before Weichung married Feng (Mavis Fan, who was born in 1977) nine years earlier and stopped being gay… Well, that is his definition of the situation speaking to Stephen and to other gay men.

Weichung is very attracted to Cantonese flight attendant Thomas (Wong Ka-Look) who is also very attracted to Weichung. Just when Feng is pressuring Weichung to produce e a second child, he is in an emotional tumult not just about falling in love with Thomas in particular, but realizing that he is still gay despite avoiding the scene and his gay friends. Feng happens to see Weichung with Thomas and demands to know if he is gay, which he reluctantly cops to.
Feng’s boss is in love with her, though she fails to notice that. Weichung is a very good father to their six-year-old son A-wan, which she does notice.

And Mandy has a fantasy companion (who calls her “older sister”) a Korean soap-opera star big on Romance (as are San-san’s new gay posse).

Even before there was a shot down at a crowd of umbrellas, the bright colors and the tristesse reminded me of Jacques Demy (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg), as well as Edward Yang (Yi Yi) and Nakajima Takehiro (“Okogé,” with another gay father, Goh, who looks somewhat like Richie Ren) There’s at least one happy ending (scorers may differ about the total number of happy endings). Though sometimes whimsical and often quirkily funny, the movie is dealing with credible relationship difficulties, hopes, and disappointments.

There are no sex scenes, gay or straight, and no violence. Though there are gay characters, I don’t think it is a “gay movie.” Despite processing a lot of pain, it is a feel-good movie, at least for the long-suffering San-San. BTW, Feng sings the title song at a karaoke bar after she is promoted to team leader in a pharmaceutical company. And what is least realistic is not a character flying away but the lack of traffic in the movie’s Taipei.

The Film Movement disc includes a seven-minute interview plus his 2006 short film Mei (twelve and a half minutes).

Rating:4.3/5
Pros: cast, colors, wit
Cons: all emotion, no sex

©10 Jan. 2015, Stephen O. Murray

About The Author

Stephen O. Murray grew up in rural southern Minnesota, earned a B.A. from James Madison College (within Michigan State University), an M.A. from the University of Arizona, a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto (both in sociology), and was a postdoctoral fellow at Berkeley (in anthropology). He is the author of American Gay, Homosexualities, etc. and lives in San Francisco.

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