You Are the Apple of My Eye (那些年,我們一起追的女孩)– movie review
I first saw some reviews of this movie and thanks to a generous friend, who brought me back a disc of this show, I was able to enjoy, laugh, cry and reminisce, about times gone by.
She even gave me a caveat that it would be slow, and I will be using the fast forward button with great alacrity, but actually she may not know that I was in ROC, in 1987, and spent time studying in 中正高中, in Taipei… so there were many poignant moments, which I can really relate to…
This story evolves around a certain female, Shen Chia-yi, who is the class, if not the school flower. And every male can attest to someone who was their first love, the one who makes you do stupid things, lose sleep and whom you will always remember with a certain fondness and a sigh.
She is pursued by a brace of classmates, and they are friends with the only guy who remains aloof and despite being her classmate of a few years, has no interest in her, well at least for the first 20 minutes of the show.
Shen is played by a veteran Michelle Chen, and she is the epitome of sweet. One look at her will increase your blood sugar by ten points. Did I mention that every male knows someone like her? Someone you wrote poems, songs and drew sketches of, the girl who remains forever etched into your subconscious, and even in the depths of dementia, will always remain in your memories.
She is joined by a newcomer, who plays Ko-Teng, the male protagonist who is her love interest. And the story revolves around their time together in high school, and into university, along with their interactions with their classmates in the 90s, when cassettes, Jacky Chueng and many other icons of the 90s ruled.
Now I did mention earlier that I was once a third year high school student in 中正高中, and carried the same school bags (only in green), wore the same uniforms, and even spoke the same way as many of the males, sans the self stimulatory activities, so prominently and (in my personal opinion) unnecessarily repeated on a few occasions in the movie.
The movie is divided into the high school period, with all the antics and things you do, and this is followed by a period in university and finally the curtain closer which wraps up the opening scene, which actually shows the male protagonist preparing to attend a wedding. You will need to watch the movie to find out if he gets the girl, but I feel some of the melodrama in the final chapter to be a bit draggy and certainly I was rooting for him.
There were plenty of moments of humor, joy and each familiar moment of those school days, almost like how Tom Brown’s School Days may stimulate chuckles for those who attended Reading or other public schools.
You also feel the bitter sweet struggle of these young actors, who despite having some new comers to acting, put together a totally convincing portrayal of the awkwardness of teenage love, of the struggles of youth, and the difference in maturity of guys and gals at that age.
Good chemistry, great earnest acting prevent this movie from sinking into an American-Pie-esque teenage movie, especially with the multiple scenes of hand jobs.
That aside, a good working knowledge of Taiwanese Mandarin is helpful but not vital, and will help you get into the humor more, just as Hong Kong movies sound best in Cantonese.
This movie will help you remember your youth, let you smile, perhaps tear a bit and then smile again, and maybe close a chapter on a part of your life which will remain with you for life.
Recommended for a viewing, and for those with memories of that time, and wish to relive it, buy the disc.
And yes, the pigtail works for me too...
And yes, the pigtail works for me too...
Who is the Shen girl of 1987? Well I guess it will be the girl who went with me to the same Taiwanese exchange…
There were 76 of us on the program and 37 out of the 38 guys were in love with Chan Lai Cheng, aka Yvvone Chan, save one chap who was already attached…
Her photo from 1987 saved my skin more than once in NS... when the instructors came round, they were more interested in her photo than punishing us, so we escaped unscathed during the torture week in OCS.
I have no financial interest or other interests in any of the items / events I write about.