I’m pretty much a sucker for a good coming of age movie (no matter what language) so it was only a matter of time before I discovered “Our Times,” a Taiwanese film that chronicled the blossoming of young love between an unlikely pair. Short verdict: It was super cute!
Synopsis: Lin Cheng Shin (Vivian Sung) finds herself as a target for the school’s resident tough guy Hsu Tai Yu (Darren Wang) when he discovers that she sent him the chain letter that caused him to get hit by a van. As penance, he orders Cheng Shin to be friends with him and basically takes her everywhere to tease her and order her around. When they discover that they both have crushes on the school’s most popular students, they form a bond to nip the possible romance in the bud so they would get their crushes for themselves.
I watched “Our Times” on Fox + and thought it was awesome. I loved the chemistry between Vivian Sung and Darren Wang and especially loved how Darren portrayed Tai Yu’s evolution as he began to fall for his friend. I loved how they really formed a friendship and stuck up for each other.
Case in point, Cheng Shin learning about why Tai Yu became a tough guy and helping him move on from his guilt, or the time that she stood up for his integrity even in the face of challenging the school director. For his part, Tai Yu’s not so subtle ways about showing he cared for Cheng Shin was adorable and quite obvious if they were not inexperienced kids who lack the maturity to see through each other’s ruse. I just loved how their feelings were so obvious to everyone but themselves.
The plot was quite simple but very relatable because the characters were well developed throughout the film. They remind people of themselves and their first experience of love and heartbreak. The young cast was simply amazing. Vivian Sung was the epitome of innocence and kindness while Darren Wang embodied a reliable mate who will go the extra mile for the one he loved. Insert hearts emoji here.
The cameos from Jerry Yan and Joe Chen (two of my favorite actors) as the adult versions of the Cheng Shin and Tai Yu was just cherry on top of the cake and only served to make me want to see them in a full-length drama. Of course, Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau’s cameo was equally memorable. But I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a Jerry and Joe collab soon.
All in all, “Our Times” was a heartwarming love story that viewers would want to see over and over again even despite hard to read subtitles. It was well worth the sacrifice to experience the sweetness and innocence of true love and I for one, have seen the flick multiple times before I typed this review. How’s that for a recommendation?