The shift from social portrait to domestic soap opera practically negates the democratic message of the first section, but Yang's stylish filmmaking is impressive throughout.
Though Mr. Yang paints a colorful portrait of a country grappling with new freedoms, his real triumph is a moving and complex love triangle that will configure and reconfigure into adulthood.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Most vivid in its early years, as we see the students bursting with energy and promise.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Complicated but compelling, the film also struggles a bit with Yang's erratic direction, but that flaw mirrors the indecisiveness of Liam himself, who is played engagingly by Joseph Chang.
| Original Score: 3/4
A celebration of (and cautionary tale about) personal and political freedom.
Ya-che Yang's prodigious command of his material suggests an intuitive understanding of film's ability to evoke sensations beyond sight and sound.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Taiwanese drama offers a romantic triangle with a novel twist.
| Original Score: 3/5
While attempting to chart the evolving parameters of a romantic triangle over two decades of Taiwan's tumultuous societal upheavals, Yang fails to adequately explore either the personal or the political aspects of his drama.
In wanting to make a film that is both about sweeping societal change and small-scale personal relationships, Yang has missed on both counts.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
"Girlfriend Boyfriend" starts as a comedy, but quickly turns into a soap opera with too many subplots.
| Original Score: 2/4
Taiwanese nationalism provides a weird backdrop to a moody romantic triangle that stretches out over three decades.