Compared to its neighbors, Taiwan is quite tolerant of its GLTB citizens. Communist China not so much. Nonetheless, the
gay marriage debate has yet to reach Taipei.
To start a family, one middle-aged man went back into the closet, yet
events cause him to question that decision in Arvin Chen’s Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? (trailer here), which screens
during the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival.
is hard to imagine Weichung hitting the club scene. The straight-laced optometrist is almost painfully
reserved. He is a good father though,
and a dutiful husband. He thought he had
buried his past, but much to his surprise, Stephen, one of his flamboyant former
club buddies, is his sister Mandy’s wedding photographer. At least, he was supposed to be. During the rehearsal dinner, Mandy kind of loses
it, calling off the wedding soon thereafter.
Having reawakened Weichung’s memories of his younger, freer days, Stephen
starts counseling Mandy’s nebbish jilted fiancé, while Weichung starts a tentative
flirtation with a flight attendant customer.
might be finding himself, but he still has a wife likely to consider his
actions a deep emotional betrayal. In
fact, the relationship between him and Feng constitutes the guts of the
film. To his credit, Chen does not take
any easy outs. Feng is no shrew. In fact, she is played by Mavis Fan and
happens to be a good mother and responsible bread-winner. All of which make things complicated both for
the characters and viewers’ emotional responses.
the Taiwanese popstar successfully transitioning to the big screen, will be
most familiar to American audiences from Tsui Hark’s all kinds of cool Flying Swords of Dragon Gate. She still has a cute screen presence, but the
acute sensitivity and down-to-earth sensibilities she brings to bear as Feng
are quite impressive. Johnnie To regular
Richie Jen will also surprise viewers as the convincingly conflicted
Weichung. Unfortunately, Lawrence Ko’s Stephen
and his cronies are mostly shticky caricatures.
not a didactic message movie. Chen
resists the Glee-like temptation to
lecture his audience on tolerance, but he understandably spotlights Fan in a
karaoke number, thereby boasting the Tomorrow’s
domestic commercial appeal. Like most of
the film, it is actually quite well staged.
While a few more broadly comic scenes fall flat, the film and its
characters are surprisingly endearing, getting a nice assist from Hsu Wen’s
lush, unabashedly sentimental score. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow is not a
towering cinematic experience, but it is extremely likable. Recommended for fans of Eat Drink Man Woman, it screens tomorrow (4/19), Saturday (4/20), Sunday
(4/21), and next Thursday (4/25) during this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.
Labels: Mavis Fan, Richie Jen, Taiwanese Cinema, Tribeca '13