‘Love in Taipei’ Brings A Simple Coming Of Age Tale To Taiwan – Review
Based on the young adult novel written by Abigail Hing Wen, Loveboat, Taipei, comes a new romantic comedy movie called Love in Taipei. It is directed by Arvin Chen and stars Ashley Liao as our protagonist, Ever Wong, Ross Butler as Rick Woo, and Nico Hiraga as Xavier Yeh.
Ever Wong is a young woman who is sent to Taiwan by her parents to partake in a program to learn about her Taiwanese culture. There, she makes some friends, reunites with her cool artsy aunt, and goes on adventures to figure out who she is and wishes to be.
While the movie is not entirely faithful to the book, it is charming and lovely. It echoes similar vibrant and playful visuals of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Crazy Rich Asians, as well as an upbeat soundtrack that features some pop songs in both English and Mandarin. It is a visually beautiful movie that plays with color very well and captures the youthful spirit.
The film moves at a slow pace, despite it being only about 90 minutes long. Doing so allows Ever to explore the nuances of her love interests. More importantly, it allows her and the audience to journey through her decisions about what she wants for herself. The cultural clash of who she is and who people expect her to be, especially in the context of the Asian American lens, demonstrates a struggle that many young Asian Americans experience and continue to experience.
In going to Taiwan, Ever is given the opportunity to become closer to her culture and possibly closer to herself. She has the chance to explore before fully deciding on the next step in her future.
Due to the leisurely pace of this movie, the overall plot is lax and mostly directionless. However, the character growth and dynamics flourish in place instead. Hardly any resolutions come to fruition at the end, leaving it prime for a potential sequel, especially since the book has two sequels, one of which releases later this year in November.