Girlfriend Boyfriend

2012

Drama / Romance

108
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 62%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 72%
IMDb Rating 7.1 10 1,613

Synopsis


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June 15, 2020

Director

Cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
972.5 MB
1280*720
Chinese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
106 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.95 GB
1920×1080
Chinese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
106 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by webmaster-3017 8 / 10 / 10

HK Neo Reviews: GF*BF 女朋友。男朋友

"GF*BF" is one of those tragic life experiences disguised within layers of a coming of age kind of youthful romance, but really it is a deep and complicated emotional turmoil about three tragic souls growing up in Taiwan during the 80s period of immense social change. "GF*BF" is an immensely difficult film to review, as it is one of those films that is impossible to dislike. It is well directed, stylishly filmed, complicatedly and originally scripted, filled with some truly wonderful and convincing performances, but somehow, it doesn't totally go the distance. In saying so, director Yang Ya-che does a wonderful job in bringing such a complicated and layered script to life and almost pulled it off convincingly. In fact, there are times when I was almost overwhelmed by the volume of feelings and emotions on display, but somehow the film lacks a resonance emotional connection with the audience that could have propel the film to reach its lofty ambitions. Not unlike 2006′s Taiwanese youth romance "Eternal Summer" (also starring lead actor Joseph Chang), the film deals with similar issues and situated during a testing period of time in Taiwan and for youth growing up in general. In many ways the film attempts to say too much, striving to be far too complex and by the end of it, the film itself is caught within its own web. There is just so much potential that director Yang could've explored, but somehow fails to fully capitalize on it. In fact, some scenes are so powerful and notable, namely the intense confrontation scene at the karaoke room, the simple good bye gesture from Gwei Lun Mei looking on by the bedroom window and the brilliant scene at the airport near the end. At times, the quality from these scenes feels as though it came from a different movie all together. However, a few scenes do not make a movie and instead of uplifting the audience to the ultimate emotional connection, the film decides to cut and chop to another time period. Joseph Chang ("Eternal Summer") at times is able to even outshine the always brilliant Gwei Lun Mei ("Secret"). Chang is quietly wonderful in the conflicted role and carries the film with the most difficult character on hand. Rhydian Vaughan ("Love 2012") tries hard, but is given far too little material to work with, other than being a total jerk. In a way, Gwei Lun Mei is fast becoming the Taiwanese's version of Zhou Xun and that's the highest order of compliment an Asian actress can receive in this day and age. Her chemistry with Chang is undeniable and the subtle moments between the two are best left in the unspoken scenes of early tiny touches, wandering eyes and some stirring emotions. What director Yang is able to achieve is being able to create and allow the audience to focus on the two main characters (Gwei Lun Mei and Joseph Chang) that in more than one ways or another are clearly two complete mirror images of each other. At the end of the day, Yang tries extremely hard to convince the audience about the subject matter that he is trying to say. While there are notions of life, love and friendship that one can possibly learn from or even relate, the film seems more occupy with the twists and turns of complexity into the dynamics of the trio relationships than actual cinematic experience for the audience. With that being said, "GF*BF" is easily a good film, filled with some truly wonderful performances, helmed by an ambitious director and illuminated by a difficult period of change in Taiwanese history. One just cannot help compare the similarities with 2006's "Eternal Summer", but of the two films, there is no doubt that Yang takes it much further. A good film that comes up short of its lofty ambitions (Neo 2012) I rate it 8/10

Reviewed by Kicino 10 / 10 / 10

30 years of comforting suffering

A sad but beautiful triangular love story with Taiwan's student movement as backdrop. How much are you willing to suffer/sacrifice for the person you love? How long are you willing to love even if your love is not requited? What would you do for a friend who loves you but you do not love as much? How close would you like to be with someone you love but were afraid to tell? These are all questions I kept asking myself as the movie went along. Like the tag in its trailer, perhaps everyone has two lovers: one who loves me and one I love. Life would be perfect if these two persons are the same. But life is never perfect. And in this case, the best and the saddest love stories are muddled and linger on for three decades, making it beautiful and sad at the same time. Mabel (Lunmei Kwai) loves Liam (Hsiao-chuan Chang) who loves Aaron (Rhydian Vaughan) who loves Mabel. Only Aaron expresses his love for Mabel after Liam tells him that he and Mabel are not a couple. Both Mabel and Liam did not have the courage to confess their feelings until years later when Mabel found out she was betrayed by Aaron. However, their tragic confessions make both of them even sadder and pave way for their stronger friendship. Another few years pass when they all graduate from college and start working. Liam's love to Aaron and Mabel's love to Liam still linger but Aaron is married, to someone outside this triangle. Their friendship is spoiled when an affair is involved. Perhaps Mabel is involved with Aaron because that would be the closest she can get to Liam: if Liam cannot get close to Aaron, maybe she can do it for him. The sad part is that she finally realizes that Aaron would/could never love her as much as he has promised – ironically he is just like the Pinocchio he tells his son. So Mabel chooses to back off, again. For Liam, no matter it is Aaron or other man or being loved by Mabel, life is painful. Like he said, many sufferings are self-inflicted. Liam finally makes a painful decision to stop loving Aaron after a confrontation following prolonged repression: he has been suffering all his life but he stopped because he saw a mirror image. Mabel could have a choice and so could he. The scene of them in the supermarket is moving as they finally realize they are still very close friends after all these years – and they care for each other no matter what happens. Although his love for Aaron subsides and their friendship spoiled, his love for Mabel exists which sublimes into parental love for her kids whom he treats as his own. This is such a tragic story but you cannot help but like it. It could never have happened without the three outstanding actors and actress where everyone is caught between two forces. Kwai is amazing in playing Mabel, who is caught between Aaron and Liam. She evolves from a bold Tomboy, a daring college student and finally a mature but sad woman. When you see her sad eyes, you want to cry with her. Hsiao-chuan Chang plays the loving yet introvert Liam who spends his whole life suppressing his passion but taking care of his close friend. You will feel so sorry for him and his predicament that you want to hug him tightly. Rhydian Vaughan plays the outgoing, daring and rebellious Aaron. Extremely handsome, Aaron at college resembles a young Tom Cruise and is very pleasant to watch. A very important character is Sean (Bryan Shu-hao Chang) who, opposite to Liam, is honest and open about his sexual orientation. A rational observer of life, he is well aware of what's going on between the trios and is doing everything he can to help his friends. An honest and sincere person, Sean finally finds the happiness he deserves. Bryan is brilliant: he does not appear often but whenever he appears, the character shines. This movie uses very strong film language to express the rich emotions. All details are related to pave way for later development or reflect the character's emotions. Produced with immense sincerity, excellent direction, great script and superb cast, this is worth watching again and again because there are such complex emotions going on. On the one hand, our protagonists seem to be happy and fulfilled; on the other hand, there is always a sad note and painful compromise somewhere. But then if you look from another angle, it may be sad but it is comforting after all. An excellent production. Must see.

Reviewed by DICK STEEL 10 / 10 / 10

A Nutshell Review: gf*bf

Taiwanese films are becoming sexy again, and this probably is due in part of its crop of up and coming directors who are now holding their own against the art-house veterans, with their box office success being indication of their connecting with the audience at large, both local and overseas. Writer-director Yang Ya-Che's second feature film gf*bf shows the kind of appeal that's attractive to the general audience with its themes of romance starring a good looking cast, but in essence has a powerful story as gravitas to back it up. Told over three decades from the martial law of the 80s, to the free spirited 90s and of today, the story revolves around three students, rebellious in their own right during their school days, but forming firm relations and friendship during their formative years. The brilliance in the scripting is in how Yang managed to craft really complex relationships between these three primary characters alone that worked on multiple levels, and showed a very fine and keen observation of the human condition, in the way we allow ourselves to be influenced by society at large, whether to conform or rebel against it, and how such decisions affect and change our behaviours, attitudes, and perhaps personality as well. It's about how people change over time due to events and ever growing experience, whether jaded ones or otherwise, and how these changes affect the people around us, especially those whom we care about most. For Mabel (Gwei Lun-Mei), Liam (Chang Hsiao-Chuan) and Aaron (Rhydian Vaughan), life in school meant plenty of opportunities to work against the uniformed establishment, to try and break free from restrictive, and sometimes inexplicable rules. The impetuousness of youth continues into the 90s where the student movement got larger and more proactively vocal, before life in the present requires a lot more responsibility and level- headedness, with a surprise in the twist of narrative thrown in for good measure. The trio's love triangle is what made this film come alive, and that's all that should be mentioned about it. While the title may be that little giveaway, suffice to say the romance in the film, amongst the characters, prove to be the best thing about the movie. All three actors gave convincing performances, that you'll feel every heart break, every heart wrench, and share in their little moments of happiness and warmth when things go their way, albeit not most of the time. Yang Ya-Che shows off some incredible sensitivity in making all of them multi-faceted, and multi-dimensional, and each of the actors did brilliantly to flesh their characters, making all of them pretty much endearing as we chart their ups and downs in life, especially their luck in love, or lack thereof. Gwei Lun-Mei anchors the film, being the female amongst the two male leads, probably put in the best performance to date in a role that has plenty of spunk, yet filled with girly vulnerability when she gets her heart open and prone to heartbreak. There's a little sub plot involving her getai performing mom, and that provided a little bit of a distraction from the main narrative. While Rhydian Vaughan will likely set hearts aflutter with his good looks, playing the brash and sweet talking Aaron, Chang Hsiao-Chuan puts in a performance that's completely opposite as if to starkly contrast in broad terms, two different categories of men, and excelled in playing the strong, silent type who had too much bottled within him. For a reason of course. gf*bf hardly put in a wrong foot in its story telling, and makes the audience work for their reward. There are films which make it easy to understand from the onset no thanks to having everything told in verbatim fashion, but this one allows some piecing together of facts and information, with a little bit of cultural and historical significance put on the side, that makes it unique, moving, and a masterful piece of filmmaking.

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