By Lim Yian Lu
Length: 108 minutes
Director: Chieh Shueh-bin
Cast: Tsao Yu-ning, Chen Yuu, Lin Ying-wei
3.5 out of 5 stars
Adapted from a Taiwanese best-selling novel of the same title, Do You Love Me As I Love You is a romantic story about Tien Xiao-xiang (Chen Yuu) and Li Zhu-hao (Tsao Yu-ning). Xiao-xiang is into tarot cards and often relies on fortune-telling to navigate her life. Even when it comes to confessing her love to her childhood friend Zhu-hao, she has to ask the divine powers for the opportune moment.
Just when the perfect opportunity arrived, before she can utter a word, Zhu-hao confessed his feelings to Xiao-xiang’s best friend Song Yi-jing (Lin Ying-wei). But in order for Yi-jing to accept Zhu-hao, Yi-jing has requested Zhu-hao to help three unlikely couples date: aloof and misandric art professor Stone and lovesick gym owner Liu Zhi-liang; the weirdo in school Ah-yu and campus hunk Danny Lo; and mob boss lady Yu and philosophy student Ah-shan.
Taking on the challenge but not knowing how to accomplish it, Zhu-hao turns to Xiao-xiang for help. Although reluctant, Xiao-xiang ended up lending him a hand with mixed feelings. But as with all love triangles, one party is bound to get hurt.
One interesting aspect of this movie is the fact that other than the main plot of Xiao-xiang and Zhu-hao, there are three sub-plots on the three unlikely couples, each with their own difficulties in love. The movie highlights that not all relationship problems are the same. While on the one hand these three couples seem impossible, as Xiao-xiang and Zhu-hao dived deeper, they would come to realise the other side of the story.
Do You Love Me As I Love You is also based on the novel by Taiwanese writer Si-yi, otherwise known as Fourone. Even from the Chinese title of the movie/novel, it is enough to tell how Fourone conveys delicate emotions and sensitive feelings through precisely chosen words. Fourone also appears in the movie, mainly voicing out little quotes that fit Xiao-xiang’s situation perfectly.
The plot could be even better with more “shojo” elements, which will make the audience’s hearts flutter. There was only one memorable scene between Xiao-xiang and Zhu-hao, when they were escaping from thugs. More of such scenes can help to develop both characters further, thereby enhancing the dilemma and irony in their friendship. The revelation towards the ending was also slightly messy and hasty.
In contrast with the usual romance films, Do You Love Me As I Love You stands out a little more with its artistic linguistics. Featuring good-looking young actors and actresses, the movie is also a joy to watch even if the plot fails a little.
Release date: 10 September 2020 (Singapore)