Monday, February 13, 2012

One more for the franchise: the Taiwanese version of “Love, actually” - “Love” by Doze Niu

I watched the Taiwanese film “Love” by director, writer, producer and actor Doze Niu who also has a role in the film at the Berlin Film Festival this year. The film could be considered the Asian version of “Love, actually”, thereby fitting nicely into the pattern of more or less successful versions of that franchise. The storyline follows eight individuals, their interwoven lives (more interwoven than one realizes at first), and their quest for love and friendship, which they find at unlikely places. There is the hotel waiter dreaming of the unreachable society girl; there is the slick and wealthy business man constantly quarreling with his real estate agent but grudgingly falling for her; there is the love-triangle involving two best friends and their mutual love interest; there is the rough on the edges policeman with a heart who keeps showing up for comic relief; there is the cute little boy without a father looking for a male role model; there is the strained China-Taiwan-relationship – of course overcome by love.

This is candy for the eye and for the mind. Not more and not less. But, as such, it is very well done – and to me much more enjoyable than a comparable Hollywood-version. Absolutely gorgeous people (both men and women) in great settings (from Taiwan to Beijing, from rich to poor) and beautifully shot. There was not a lot of depth in the stories, but there was a lot of entertainment.

Rating for the film: four stars out of five.

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