Who doesn’t like walking down memory lane, fondly recalling the good ol’ days? I’m yet to meet someone who doesn’t remember school or college without a hint of wistful nostalgia. And not without reason – those were the times when we were high on life, love, and sincerely believed we weren’t the colorless dipshits we have since grown into. I’m sure you too often hear that sigh when your friend reminisces about those formative years, happily forgetting the trauma of bullies, sneering girls, and the tyrannical Home Rule.
“You Are The Apple of My Eye,” a Mandarin movie set in Taiwan, is meant for that friend of yours. Which is probably why the movie theater at the Shaw Lido was packed to capacity – and then some - last week. People had to sit on the aisles to get their fix of the glory years. Chronicling the lives of a gang of friends as they breeze through school, college and careers in a montage of interesting camera angles, the film’s main focus is on two of them: one, your regular brain-dead idiot with authority issues, and the other, prim and proper Miss Superbrain. And – surprise, surprise – they fall in love.
It’s hard not to like the characters, and everyone else in the film. The energy, the enthusiasm, and the sheer imbecility of their actions remind us so much of ourselves – down to the petty disagreements and the cheesy love letters and the compulsive need to jerk off in a hot teacher’s class. Ah, good times.
Still, you can’t help but wonder that the guy (it can’t be otherwise – crass masturbation gags aren’t women’s forte) who made this film tried hard to bring “cool” into the male lead, perhaps compensating for his own douchebaggery when he was that age. Every perceived weakness is (at a later point in time) a hidden strength. Every setback brings about a new opportunity. Every supposedly killer punch-line, is given to that one guy. Life is not like that. Then again, our perceptions of our own lives aren’t close to real life either. By a mile.
All said and done, it’s not a movie that’ll have you yawning throughout, despite the languid pace and the marked absence of car chases and explosions. I’ll recommend this to those who’ve grown jaded from the years the running for paychecks and the crushing adult disappointments. There’s nothing quite like a rose-tinted tribute to The Glory Days on celluloid, to help you forget the pain of missing out on that promotion, or getting denied an extension on your loan, or losing that hot chick at work to a guy with better looks, a better car, and a debt-free apartment.
PS: The credit roll had the message “The masturbation scenes portrayed in this film were performed by trained professionals. Please do not imitate or attempt this at home.” I kid you not. It’s the little gems like these, that make a movie worth watching. Thank you, Omy Sg, heh heh.