Taiwanese film tries to recapture bittersweet love of youth

AP News
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Posted: Aug 13, 2015 6:38 AM
Taiwanese film tries to recapture bittersweet love of youth

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — It's been dubbed the female version of "You Are the Apple of My Eye," the 2011 Taiwanese blockbuster that took Asia by storm and broke box-office records in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Four years later, "Our Times" is hoping to duplicate that success. Whereas "You Are the Apple of My Eyes" was told from the viewpoint of a male protagonist, "Our Time" looks back on a young woman's bittersweet first love.

The film is helmed by first-time director Frankie Chen, who found success previously as a television drama producer. While the resemblance between the films is undeniable, Chen said there's a reason that movie fans enjoy revisiting their youth on the big screen, "youth is short and it's mixed with bittersweet emotions. That's why it's called youth. During that time, every little thing can be a big deal.

While adults can forget things when they are busy, youths have the time to focus, she said. "So anything that happens to you seem like a huge shakeup, whether if it's falling in love, or screwing up on an exam, or you skipped school. I put the emotions that you once felt in your heart, magnified them and put them into the film. I think it's something that everyone will be relate to."

Like its predecessor, "Our Times" has fresh-faced talents as its leads. Vivian Sung who's also worked with Giddens Ko, the director of "You Are the Apple of My Eyes" said that she was a huge fan of Ko's film but thinks ultimately "it's up to the audience to decide what the film means to them."

The comparison doesn't faze actor Darren Wang, who actually thinks it's unfair. "You will know (the difference) if you just watch it," he said.

Sung and Wang don't have to look back many years to remember their high school days, but both said shooting the film brought back memories.

"My first love was a boy in my class. He was a great writer so I was really touched by his words. My life is kind of boring. I'm the girl who obeyed all the rules. It was bittersweet," Sung recalled.

Much like the rebel he played on screen, Wang remember a moment he confessed his love to a girl, "I saw the girl I liked, and she gave me a flower. In front of a lot of people, I hugged her and told her that I wanted to be with her."

The confession had a happy ending.

"She was so happy," Wang said before bursting into laughter.

"Our Times" open in Taiwan on Thursday.