Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow DVD Review
Will You Still Love Me
Tomorrow? is the latest film from
Taiwanese filmmaker Arvin Chen. The film is simultaneously a
comedic film with overarching romantic elements and a much more serious
dramatic character study that is about romantic relationships and about
for happiness. Film Movement presents Will
You Still Love Me Tomorrow? as a example of an intelligent and
independently-spirited film; one that was met with acclaim at film
and from critics.
The story centers
around a couple of characters all intertwined in a series of
them to think about (or re-think) their romantic relationships. The
and decidedly shy Weichung works at a glasses store as an optometrist.
story placement is curious as the metaphor of the film shows his
seeing himself as perfectly clear as one his prescriptions for vision
Weichung is a gay
man, but stopped seeing other men so that he could start a family. His
aspirations to be considered socially acceptable in Vietnamese society
be a father contributed to this change despite it not allowing his
seek the romance that was essentially being forfeited so he could fit
image of being a straight Vietnamese individual. Weichung was always
close to his wife Feng (as they started off being friends). However,
not know that she married a gay man. She wants another child with
they never consummate their love and haven't for years, and Weichung
doesn't want to have such relations with Feng.
but indecisive younger sister got engaged to an equally sweet, kind
is one of his sister's main attributes as she is in love with the man
became engaged to but is worried about what will happen if they marry
and if it
will be an ending to her having more possibilities in life. Will she
her time going forward only shopping at the food court, raising
working, watching television, and doing little else? There sorts of
permeate her and she becomes worried about getting married.
Later in the film she
decides to leave him... immediately following this decision she goes
watch soap opera romances all day while eating lots of ramen noodles
the point of her life entering standstill as she is afraid of what the
commitment to him will mean for her future. She loves him but doesn't
to do with herself now. She begins to envision characters from her soap
paying her a visit to give her love advice.
engagement rehearsals held for Weichung's sister he runs into an old
of his who he discovers has married to a lesbian friend. This concept
in him some of his repressed homosexual feelings, and he begins to
wonder if he
could be a good father and also return to having a relationship with
man. However, Weichung also doesn't want to be unfaithful in his
Feng. Yet over the course of the film he begins to flirt and spend time
customer who came to his glasses shop and they begin to slowly date.
Feng begins to suspect he is having an affair with another woman, and
notice what continually seems to be affection from one of her fellow
co-workers, who seems to be falling madly in love with her. He is
her... and so much so that he convinces his boss to let him go and to
her as it pains him to work with her knowing they can't be together.
story might not end there.
Over the course of
the storytelling, these characters relationships change and develop but
characters ultimately remain faithful and true to one another in caring
feelings of each other and revelations happen amongst themselves --
and Feng, Feng and admirer, and Weichung's sister and engaged 'would-be
Somehow the film works a careful balance of character development,
drama, and romance to be both believable and heartfelt without feeling
At the beginning of
the film, it seemed inevitable that the characters would wind up have
with others and break the hearts of the people they were in
It seemed like it would end up being a unpleasant and unkind film,
which as it
turns out was not the case at all. Luckily, the filmmaker was much
that and Chen makes the film compassionate, non-judgmental, and takes
it to a
happy ending where family and friendships can exist while allowing the
to find a way to be true to themselves, and ultimately be the happier
they were meant to be.
script is smart in a way that really
makes the movie work when a less talented writer would have made it
around unnecessarily and the results would have been a less moving,
and less successful tale. Instead, Will
You Still Love Me Tomorrow? isn't any 'less' of a movie: it's a
more. The film is a good character study and viewers who are
characters will find it a fascinating film. It's also a sweet-natured
despite the complicated subject matter involved, and that helps the
film to be
more enjoyable and audience friendly.
Chen's direction is
also superb and offers time for careful nuances and for some great
moments such as a scene in which a man floats into the air with his
newly happy Weichung drifts upwards into the sky as his emotions begin
him feel as if 'on air', when Feng begins to understand her
relationship to Weichung
in a different light and sings the famous song (the title of the movie)
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow as she
drifts into a fun, inventive song and dance number with great
(while remaining at the karaoke bar within the plot-line's reality). These quirky and offbeat moments give a lighter
spirit and heart, bringing the film a more vibrant feeling that
reminds one of something surreal that might be found in a Wong Kar Wai
the good-natured whimsy found in many of the best Disney movies.
This is certainly
more cheerful as a film than the more downtrodden and tragedy-based
Mountain, which comparatively shares some similar story concepts, even
if the filmmaking
approach is wildly different. Fans of good-natured character based
can appreciate what is a complex story of human relationships will find
to appreciate and explore with this high quality effort.
The performances by all of the leading actors are
effective, and impressive. The cast sinks into their respective roles
authenticity and manage to bring the script to life with a fervor that
the entire enterprise of this creative film all the more successful.
found that Will You Still Love Me
Tomorrow? had many surprises and
by the ending it was a much more accomplished and successful film than
imagined it being. Fans of smartly realized character studies and
comedies will find this is a film well worth seeing.
Will You Still Love Me
Tomorrow? arrives on DVD from Film
Movement. The release is one that once again demonstrates the quality
label with a solid quality presentation that is in the original
exhibition ratio of 2.35:1 widescreen (and it has also been done with
benefit of anamorphic widescreen enhancement). Colors
are generally subdued but accurate to
the film's style and the sleek cinematography is clean,
well defined, and proficient for what is a
The film is presented with a 5.1 Dolby Digital
sound audio presentation in the original Mandarin (with English
subtitles). No dub is provided. This is a
film and one I was not surprised to discover is quiet and character
film is really a character study, after all. Many scenes in the story
focused upon conversations and not so much on other levels of audio
audio works for this film nicely.
This release contains a interview with Arvin Chen
the writer/director of the film Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? as
as the monthly Film Movement short film.
This month's selection is Mei (another
by Chen), in which love strikes a young man while working at a noodle
the girl who helps to operate it. It is a delicate, sweet, and charming
that seems to have been at least partially the inspiration for this
was a student film done in the director's M.F.A. program and is worth a
for fans of the main feature.
Film Movement releases also include notes on why
was selected for release and a brief statement provided by the
promoting other Film Movement releases are also included.
Will You Still Love Me
Tomorrow? is a surprising film
about relationships. At first I thought I wouldn't like the film based
initial impressions of the storyline but the more that it would unfold
became clear that this is an intelligent character study and something
different from the norm of romantic comedies.
A huge element of
the film is about repressed homosexuality in Taiwanese men (and the
manages this without any nudity), but the film explores a wide range of
relationship elements and is one that manages to surprise with its
thoughtfulness. In the director's included notes, the idea for film
when he learned from a homosexual friend that many Taiwanese gay men
friend once knew) were getting married and starting families. As a
Chen decided to tell a story that would address this concept and
continues to impress with a worthwhile addition to the ever-growing
excellent foreign language and independent films and this one is worth
for fans of Asian cinema. (Note:
Interestingly, Warner Bros. is shown as a
distributor in the credits to certain territories but apparently the
States wasn't amongst those areas. Thank goodness for labels that exist
Film Movement, otherwise one can't help but wonder if films like this
instead remain lost is a sea of less successful distribution).
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.