Jun arrives in Hong Kong from mainland China, hoping to be able to earn enough money to marry his girlfriend back home. He meets the streetwise Qiao and they become friends. As friendship ... See full summary »
Adolescence is like a heavy rain. Even though you catch a cold from it, you still look forward to experiencing it once again. Ko-Teng has several close friends who had a crush on Shen ... See full synopsis »
I wrote this way back when I saw it in February of 2002
"A fantastic film about adolescence"
Unfortunately, I doubt many in the U.S. will ever see it. I'm also unsure as to whether U.S. audiences would like it much anyway. I myself loved it - it's very beautiful, one of the best films on that age group I've ever seen.
The story revolves around three teens in a Taipei high school, two girls and a boy. The girls like to think of themselves as BFFs ("best friends forever!") and, like any two best friends, they talk to each other about boys. The third character is the boy one of them likes. The two girls look for him one night and the girl who doesn't like him approaches him to tell him that her girlfriend has a crush on him. The second girl, however, is too nervous and flees the scene. The boy then thinks that the girl who approached him actually likes him but won't say it straight out.
I won't go on with the plot. If I am wrong and it does get a U.S. release, I don't want to be the one who ruins the surprises (I'll let the professional critics do that). Suffice it to say that, unlike American films about high school, Blue Gate Crossing remains simple and honest all the way through. There are no subplots or melodramatic developments. No one gets knocked up or dies in a tragic drag racing accident. We are just left to witness the sweet and beautiful events in the lives of these three characters. The reason that I believe it will never be officially released in the United States is this: it'll seem far too innocent. These kids are meant to be between 16 and 18 years old. For a U.S. audience, their actions and attitudes will seem like those of sixth graders. Perhaps even in Taiwan it will be seen as quaint. One of the film's producers, Peggy Chiao, was present at the screening I attended and she said that the director himself (Yi Chih-yen) was afraid that the film was too sweet. It's really up to 1) distributors and 2) film critics. Let's face it, the first obstacle for U.S. distribution will be nearly impossible to overcome. As for critics, people love to flaunt that critics in this modern day and age are meaningless. That may be true for the latest teen sex comedy, but for foreign films they are of the utmost importance. I am afraid that they will see little but an after school special in Blue Gate Crossing. Let's all hope I'm wrong and that this'll be the biggest foreign hit since Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. 9/10.
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