Friday, August 15, 2014

Film on Friday #18 - Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?

As with all of Film Movement's releases, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow by Arvin Chen is an official selection of numerous film festivals. (Chen both wrote and directed the film.)

Weichung works as an optometrist and lives a quiet life with his wife and six year old son. His wife is pressing to have another child and his sister is getting married - well, maybe - she's still unsure about committing. And then a handsome young male flight attendant walks in the shop - and all that Weichung has suppressed for many years is awakened. You see, Weichung is gay, but has resisted since marrying his wife Feng.

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow is billed as a "madcap and lighthearted comedic romp", but I think that's a bit of a misnomer. I thought the film was more poignant than comedic. Mind you, there are some comedic bits, much of it provided by the gay wedding photographer and his friends. But the exploration of love, where we find it, what happens when doing the wrong thing feels right and when doing the right thing is no better is more of the focus. I thought Chen handled this theme very well. There are no judgement calls or morality lessons in the film - rather just a thoughtful look at modern life and love.

I found the mix of Taiwanese and Western culture fascinating. The string musical soundtrack seemed very appropriate and mirrored what was happening on screen. The Shirrell's musical fantasy scene went on a little too long for me. (Although that is of course where the title is derived from.) I thought the acting was good all round, with the sister and photographer standing out for me.

The short film (always included in Film Movement releases) was also from Arvin Chen. Mei is a short also set in Taiwan,about a restaurant helper who can't tell the owner's daughter he loves her. It won awards for Chen and seems to have been the testing ground for this full length feature.

2013 /Mandarin with English subtitles / 106 min

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