Movie Review - Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?
|Richie Ren (left) and Mavis Fan in|
"Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow"
Written and directed by Arvin Chen, this film from Taiwan premiered at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival. Film Movement gave Chen's movie a limited theatrical release in January 2014 in the United States. It's now streaming on Netflix.
The story revolves around two couples. The first couple is Weichung and Feng. Weichung, played by Richie Ren, is the manager of an eye-glasses store. He's in his mid to upper thirties. He's married to Feng, played by Mavis Fan, an office worker at a pharmaceutical company. The other couple is Weichung's sister Mandy, played by Kimi Hsia, and her adorable fiancé San-San, played by Chin-Hang Shih. Each couple is plagued with the problem that one person in the couple falls out of love with the other.
Despite having been married for nine years and having a son named Awan, Weichung starts to develop feelings for a very handsome flight attendant named Thomas from Hong Kong. Thomas, played by Ka-Lok Wong, wears glasses and comes into Weichung's store needing a new pair and flirtation occurs.
Meanwhile, Mandy and San-San are walking through a grocery store, not long affair their wedding, when Mandy is overcome with a feeling that perhaps this life isn't for her. She says nothing to San-San. She doesn't talk to him. She merely runs away. She literally runs away and abandons her husband.
Chen's film runs away too. Yet, it abandons Mandy as a character. San-San is distraught and he does what he can to get Mandy back. He evens employs the help of Stephen, the gay photographer at their wedding. Stephen, played by Lawrence Ko, and his friends try tactics out of Cyrano de Bergerac, and we really sympathize with San-San. However, Mandy remains a mystery.
The basic idea is that Mandy realizes she doesn't want to live a boring married life. Yet, Chen never says what she does want, or what she thought married life would be when she first agreed. How is that her expectation differs from reality so much? We see her fantasize about a gorgeous TV actor who comes to talk to her, but we're not sure how that connects.
By the end, Mandy learns that she's pregnant. This changes Mandy and makes her go back to San-San. The question is that her life would probably still become the boring one she imagined in the grocery store, so why does she go back?
Chen never explains her reasoning. She's not happy to be having San-San's baby and she doesn't want to be with him, so for her to make the decision to go back, her reasoning articulated would have helped. Chen never allows the audience too far into her mind.
It could be that Mandy lives too much in her own head like her brother Weichung. Yet, we get why he does what he does. He's gay and in the closet. Like his sister, he fantasizes a lot. Many of his fantasizes involve people floating away. Chen pays homage to Mary Poppins at one point, but one very beautiful fantasy has Weichung and Thomas kissing.
Their relationship hits a lot of familiar beats. Chen rightfully pivots his focus to Feng to explore her inner life. It's good to see Feng at the center, even as she sings her karoake number, but Chen doesn't go too deeper or further.
Three Stars out of Five.
Not Rated but for mature audiences.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 46 mins.