Love in Taipei (2023)

Love in Taipei (2023)

A breezy and likable all-Asian romcom that unfortunately just runs out of story to tell



Taiwan, United States of America
Comedy, Drama, Romance
Ashley Liao, Chelsea Zhang, Cindy Cheung
92 min


Like that meme drawing of a horse, where the front half of the horse is pretty good and stylish, but in the back half... there is no more horse.

What it's about

A medical student who aspires to be a dancer is sent to summer school in Taiwan, where she learns to open herself up to her passions and the possibility of love.

The take

This is a textbook example of a film with all the right ingredients and the right attitude, but ultimately no game plan for what to do with its material. The first half of Love in Taipei does a good job of setting an inviting tone: a confident cast, attractive locations and production design, and dynamic direction that helps make this expensive summer school program feel more like an adventure. But once the pieces are in place and certain romantic connections are established, the film almost instantly loses its charisma and any sense of a plot. Conflict is introduced then painted over within the span of minutes, and the characters undergoing completely unearned growth without doing much of anything. Even the film's backdrop of the differences between children of the diaspora and those who remain rooted in traditional Taiwanese culture is reduced to hollow window dressing.

What stands out

He doesn't get much to do in the film, but Ross Butler's genius heartthrob character Rick emerges from this as probably the only person to come off like a fully rounded human being. The tension he feels with around his well-to-do parents who expect much from him (and still keep in touch with his ex, without him knowing) is familiar stuff, but still could've probably powered a separate movie on its own. But what's most interesting about Rick is his maturity; without giving anything away, the love triangle that's hinted at in the film's promotional materials doesn't go down the way you think—a refreshing change that the movie could've definitely pursued if it didn't flatline in the second half.


Add a comment

Your name

Your comment




More like this in

Rain (2019)

A girl finds true love in this unusual, marvelous, rain-soaked coming-of-age drama


As Tears Go By (1988)

Wong Kar Wai elevates the formulaic crime romance drama with the beginnings of his singular style


Lilies (1996)

A passionate, underseen queer gem where a confession transforms into a memory play


Stand and Deliver (1988)

An inspirational, if a bit embellished, depiction of a maverick math teacher


The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

A star-studded and riveting legal drama with a blockbuster feel.


Forgotten Love (2023)

The stunning third take of the classic Polish pre-war melodrama


System Crasher (2019)

A tale of trauma and one of the most talked about movies on Netflix in 2020.


Open Your Eyes (1997)

The startlingly surreal Spanish psychothriller that inspired modern cult classic Vanilla Sky


Leave the World Behind (2023)

Shyamalan meets Black Mirror in this hugely entertaining, visually inventive apocalyptic thriller with a killer ending


A Silent Voice (2016)

A coming-of-age movie that circles around friendship and the atonement of a boy


Curated by humans, not algorithms.

agmtw logo

© 2024 agoodmovietowatch, all rights reserved.