Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
Original title: 17 sui de tian kong
Taiwan, 2004. Three Dots Entertainment Company. Screenplay by Rady Fu. Cinematography by Hui-Sheng Chen. Produced by Aileen Li, Michelle Yeh. Music by George Chen, Tze-li Hung. Production Design by Zac Gu. Film Editing by Hsiao-Tong Chen.
Handsome Tien comes to the big city of Taipei to escape the boredom of his small town and find true love with the man of his dreams (literally). Rooming with his school chum Yu and getting a job at a local gym, Tien makes the mistake of falling for a famously unavailable player named Bai who, big surprise, is jaded about love and is only out to conquer and abandon. Yu, meanwhile, is happy in a long distance relationship that traverses its own melodramatic path while Tien tries to decide if he’s willing to put up with Bai’s emotional distance or look for something else. Predictable and shallow, this film’s formulaic plot would be far less of a problem if the opportunities provided by the colourful supporting cast were better taken advantage of: the screenplay features some very funny characters who are never given much actual comedy to play, the whole thing all kookily dressed up with nowhere particularly memorable to go. The appeal of the lead actors, who are shamelessly exploited at every available opportunity (oh yeah, I’m sure he had no choice but to storm down the street in his underwear), will provide passing interest for the right audience, but otherwise it’s nothing to write home about.