An attractive and successful doctor places a personal ad in a newspaper to try to meet (and eventually marry) Mr. Right. A succession of blind dates ensues, featuring men who are lonely, des... Read allAn attractive and successful doctor places a personal ad in a newspaper to try to meet (and eventually marry) Mr. Right. A succession of blind dates ensues, featuring men who are lonely, desperate, dangerous and perverted.An attractive and successful doctor places a personal ad in a newspaper to try to meet (and eventually marry) Mr. Right. A succession of blind dates ensues, featuring men who are lonely, desperate, dangerous and perverted.
I don't want to spoil any details. The film was basically made of this eye doctor Du's meeting with various men in a teahouse in Tian Mu, a surburb of Taipei. Through various shots, we sensed the desperate loneliness and isolation in Du, a 30 something attractive but a bit naive woman. It's something most people who live in metropolies can relate to. Rene Liu's performance was simply excellent. The subtle reactions to the wild stories/pitches her suitors told. The vulnerability when she poured her heart out on the phone to the answer machine of her former lover. The wordless heartbreak at the end. Rene Liu's performance was so convicing that I felt I knew this woman personally and I cried with her at the end. The film also contains some of the most blunt discussions of homosexuality. But despite the poignant story at its core, the film never dips into melodramatics or histronics. It also avoids the pretentous artsy traps (which "In The Mood For Love" got into a few times). The only flaws I can say about this film are that a certain unsuitable suitors were a bit too stereotypical (for comic effect no doubt) and the meetings with various suitors went on a bit too long. But through the long process of meeting these men, we sensed there was a reason for Du's detachment and it was revealed at the end.
Since I grew up in Taipei, various references in the film were amuzing to me. One was a real life actor who showed up to meet Du told her she must be a graduate of Jing Shing when she said he looked familiar. Jing Shing is a private school I graduated from. The smog-shrouded citiscape of Taipei looked both familiar and unfamiliar (because it has changed so much since the last time I saw it). Those characters' mannerism was familiar, so familiar in fact that I suspected some of them might not be professional actors. I only recognized three professional actors in the bunch: Ching Shi Jieh (as a lonely and stingy grade-school teacher), Nu Cheng Zer (as himself) and Gu Bao Ming (as the security equipment salesman I think). Ching is a great stage actor in Taiwan. He made a wonderful guest appearance in the film. I'm sorry to say I can't place the actress Rene Liu. I haven't paid close attention to Taiwan's actors/actresses since I left.
An old couple sought me out after we walked out to ask me my interpretation of the ending. Both of them thought it a very emotional film. Yes, it's a very emotional film, and for a single woman, it hits a bit too close to home. :-)
- Apr 15, 2001