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Saturday, July 5, 2014

'Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow' DVD: Awesomely Upbeat LGBT Taiwanese Romcom

Product Details
The uber-awesome Taiwanese film "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow," which the uber-uber-uber-awesome Film Movement is releasing on DVD on July 8 2014, is a perfect example of why Unreal TV loves every independent (and mostly foreign) movie that Movement selects for its "Film of the Month Club." The fact that "Tomorrow" won the Gold Q Hugo Award at the Chicago International Film Festival validates the well-deserved praise for it.

The following clip, courtesy of YouTube, for "Tomorrow" provides a good (albeit unduly dramatic) sense of this film. It truly is a great choice for a summertime Saturday afternoon when it is too hot or stormy to go out.

"Tomorrow" stands out from the roughly 15 Club films that this site has reviewed because it truly is one that could have been made word-for-word and shot-for-shot in any American city and been just as awesomely relatable and hilarious. One can only hope that this becomes a well-produced reality.

The highly recommended 1998 American film "I Think I Do" comes closest to the spirit and themes of "Tomorrow. Then again, any film that aptly features elements of both "Gilligan's Island" and "The Partridge Family" must be good. 

Although "Tomorrow" is an LGBT romcom, it largely avoids every stereotype of that sub-genre and the larger one to which it belongs. Freshly scrubbed doe-eye twinks are limited to glorified extras in scenes at a gay club, the gay best friend is only mildly flamboyant, and every main character has at least moderate intelligence and is (at worst) only a lukewarm mess. Additionally, the romantic gestures and heartfelt public speeches do not spill over the top.

The film opens with yuppie married couple Weichung and Feng living a relatively happy life with their young son until an engagement party for Weichung's sister Mandy gets the couple thinking. A highly amusing chance encounter with former friend Stephen gets Weichung thinking about the pre-marital gay lifestyle that he thought that he could leave behind on deciding to pursue a "normal" life with Feng.

The moderately free-spirited Stephen inviting Weichung to have it all by reconnecting with his former posse while remaining married adds to the temptation to resume homosexual activity.

Another test comes in the form of mutual attraction regarding a cute and charming flight attendant whom Weichung meets at the optical shop where he is the new manager. Their extra-marital courtship is incredibly cute and makes the audience want these two crazy kids to end up together.A related desire is to fly to Taiwan in the odd chance that the steward will work that flight.

For her part, Feng faces pressure from her parents to have another child. She experiences additional stress in the form of circumstances resulting in her arriving at her office job late and leaving early during a period in which layoffs are a strong possibility. Her suspicions that an increasingly literally and figuratively distant Weichung is having an affair with a woman contribute to the aforementioned anxieties.

For her part, anxiety about her upcoming wedding cause Mandy to hallucinate conversations with a soap opera character. A more reality-based manifestation of these cold feet has Mandy's fiance hanging out with Stephen and his Golden Girls style gang of four. Stephen definitely is the Blanche of the quartet.

Because revealing much more regarding the plot runs the risk of spoiling the fun of "Tomorrow," this focus of this review will shift to the larger issue of the surprisingly enlightened attitudes toward homosexuality in the film. Director Arvin Chen states in an essay on the inside cover of the DVD release that this acceptance relates to Taiwan being a gay-friendly country. He adds the tidbit that "Tomorrow" is based on a true story.

The exceptionally well-chosen bonus short is "Mei." This 13-minute film by Chen is a charming tale of the undeclared love that a young man feels toward the daughter of the owner of the noodle stand where out hero works. One scene that shows that the boy is more than a pretty face is one of the best in this delightful story.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Tomorrow" is encouraged to email me; you can also reach out on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.