Yi Yi: A One and a Two... (2000) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Each member of a middle-class Taipei family seeks to reconcile past and present relationships within their daily lives.

  • Buttressed between two milestone events within their personal sphere, the lives of the Jians - husband and wife N.J. and Min-Min, teenage daughter Ting-Ting, and eight year old son Yang-Yang - and to a lesser extent that of their broader grouping of extended family and friends, are presented. The Jians live in an upscale apartment complex in Taipei along with Min-Min's mother, who has fallen into a coma, each family member who takes turns by her bedside to relay life's goings-on to her regardless of if she can hear them. While Min-Min has troubles with this on-going task, the other three use her as an unofficial sounding board for their issues, primarily in the realm of finding their place in current life and their role in her predicament. Yang-Yang still has a child's simple perspective of the world, such as the reason he has a penchant for taking photographs of the back of people's heads, that naiveté exactly the reason he is the target of bullying especially among a group of older girls, and by one of his teachers. Ting-Ting is acting as the unofficial intermediary in the complicated relationship between her best friend and next door neighbor Lili, and her boyfriend Fatty. It is made all the more difficult as Ting-Ting has feelings for Fatty herself. And N.J., a computer electronics engineer, is seen as the honest one among him and his partners, which is why he is chosen to deal with Japanese Mr. Ota in assessing if it worth the expensive but potentially lucrative risk of going into business with him. Concurrently, N.J., who uses Mr. Ota as a confidante of sorts in their emerging friendship, reunites and becomes reacquainted with childhood friend Sherry, married and now living in Chicago, she who could have been the one in his life if he ended up keeping their appointment thirty years ago. Min-Min's younger brother A-Di may face that same conundrum thirty years down the road as he just married Xiao-Yan partly for a very specific reason, while his old girlfriend Yunyun fumes on the sidelines.

  • Each member of a family in Taipei asks hard questions about life's meaning as they live through everyday quandaries. NJ is morose: his brother owes him money, his mother is in a coma, his wife suffers a spiritual crisis when she finds her life a blank, his business partners make bad decisions against his advice, and he reconnects with his first love 30 years after he dumped her. His teenage daughter Ting-Ting watches emotions roil in their neighbors' flat and is experiencing the first stirrings of love. His 8-year-old son Yang-Yang is laconic like his dad and pursues truth with the help of a camera. "Why is the world so different from what we think it is?" asks Ting-Ting.


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