Hello 2016! Hello readers! I’m here today to give you a comparative analysis on Taiwan’s all-time smash-hit films from 2011 and last year. Having rewatched both films recently, I decided to write a post about these successful films in detail and also my theories on why they turned out to be everyone’s favorites.
As much as I love having a lot of readers, I do recommend that you read this only when you have seen both films. If not, then I hope this post will make you want to watch them (or at least one) and enjoy as much as I did.
NOTE: “You are the Apple of My Eye” as a title can be tiring to type repeatedly so I’ll be referring to it simply as Apple while “Our Times” will still be referred as it is. My quality of “Our Times” (360p) screencaps isn’t as good as Apple (720p) because I’m still waiting for my DVD for a better quality 😉
Both protagonists had their own legendary idols but they had their own reasons as well.
In Apple, Ko Teng (protagonist played by Kai ko) idolizes Bruce Lee as he fondly calls him his “Master”. He loves Martial Arts or fighting as a sport which would be seen in the latter part of the film.
In Our Times, Lin Zhenxin (protagonist played by Vivian Sung) is Andy Lau’s ultimate fangirl. She remained to be one even when she reached her 30’s already as seen in the latter part of the film as well.
Dumb and Smart
The main leads weren’t necessarily dumb but they sure needed help from someone smarter aka their true loves 😉
Ko Teng didn’t care about his studies at all and so it’s Shen Chia-Yi (played by Michelle Chen) to the rescue! They studied day and night just to attain their goals.
Our female lead Lin Zhenxin cares about her studies, it’s just that she has to exert more effort and take lessons from our charming male lead, Xu Taiyu (played by Darren Wang). They also spent a lot of time studying together for their own reasons too.
Friends for Keeps
You can’t go through high school and growing up without people to have special moments to be shared with. Both films showed the importance of friendship in life.
In Apple, the lives of the main lead’s friends were included in the story as if their lives are all intertwined. They went through high school, college, and even all the way until the end. From doing what young boys usually do to attending weddings, they are really friends for keeps!
Unlike Apple, Our Times didn’t really focus on the friends of the main lead. It’s reasonable actually since there wasn’t really anything to focus on our lead’s friends unlike the story in Apple. However, it was still evident that these friends have always been there to support her may it be for fangirling or for her love matters.
Taking the blame
What’s a youth/nostalgia-themed movie without a captivating male lead? *swoons*.
Star student Shen Chia-Yi forgot her textbook and our male lead took the blame which was really heroic given that their teacher was in a horrible mood. He didn’t really care because he’s used to being punished all the time anyway.
Our too-goodie female lead wrote her teacher a chain letter in which our male lead took the blame as well. Just like Ko Teng, Xu Taiyu’s already used to it. Just a regular day in his life haha!
For some reason, both films included a supernatural element for comedy’s sake. I felt that both scenes weren’t really needed but they made the films truly Taiwanese – silly but endearing.
In Apple, there is a group of zombies jumping in one of the mountains in the country. Ko Teng told Chia-yi that these zombies might be near their town anytime soon just to scare and make fun of her.
In Our Times, one of the people in their group photo during their camping trip became “translucent” as it was being examined by some form of Ghostbusters on TV. They used that as a reason why Xu Taiyu randomly disappeared (lol).
Topple the Dictator
Evil directors/principals? Check. What we have to do now is to defy their orders! Yup, this was seen in both films which showed the teamwork of the whole class or even the whole student body.
In Apple, the school director wanted the class to write their three suspects regarding some stolen cash. What?! Of course, the whole class was in full disagreement and defied the director’s orders. I felt that the director was not the only one being disrespectful here, but what the students did was also inappropriate.
New school director is accusing our male lead of cheating. The whole student body became the director’s enemy all thanks to Lin Zhenxin’s leadership.
Aside from enjoying their youth, they must also have plans for the future. It doesn’t matter if it’s possible or not because in the end, it’s still the person who makes his or her choices in life.
“And you’re the one who can make it better”. This scene was A+ not only in the cheesiness, but also in the execution. Shen Chia-Yi didn’t get into the university that she wanted but she lived her life enjoying it. As for Ko Teng, his aspirations to be a fighter didn’t fit Chia-Yi’s beliefs which caused a huge conflict in the film. He then became a blogger/writer and proved to be successful. This is the director and writer Giddens Ko’s true story after all.
We were introduced to the female lead all grown-up living a life that she didn’t really expect to have which led to her feeling miserable about it. Lin Zhenxin and Xu Taiyu both wanted to go to Tai Da (Taiwan’s premier university) but it didn’t happen. However, we ended this film knowing that both ended up being successful in their lives.
Flashbacks with Revelations
This is one element of movies with this kind of theme that never goes without. It’s also my favorite part because I love finding out what really happened before in the film that didn’t make any sense at first. Let’s also include the fact that I love crying and being heart-broken just because of this haha! Both movies had the protagonist’s true love declare their love for the protagonist.
Shen Chia-Yi never said those words above directly to our main lead but she did through this sky lantern that they lit up together in their younger days.
Xu Taiyu never said that he liked our female lead in front of her but he eventually did through a tape recording. Oh the drama!
I loved both endings of the film. I love bittersweet endings and Apple did it best! It left my heart tingling with both pain and happiness and I’m sure that it was what the protagonist felt too.
While Our Times made it almost like a fairytale and a lot didn’t like the use of different actors as grown-up versions of the leads. I know, I felt that way at first but for some reason, I still ended up tearing up and having an outburst of feels even when they were portrayed by different actors already. It can also be the fact that it was my #1 love who portrayed it so okay fine, I may be a little bit biased… HAHA!
It’s not all hype if prestigious film festivals and award-giving bodies have taken notice of these films. Vivian Sung was nominated in the Best Actress category of the 52nd Golden Horse Awards which was also the case with Michelle Chen a few years ago.
“Our Times” was nominated in the Best Picture category while its director, Frankie Chen was nominated in the Best New Director in the recent Golden Horse Awards. Giddens Ko was also nominated in the same category in 2011.
They may not have won those awards but Kai Ko of Apple won a Golden Horse for being the Best Newcomer. His life has never been the same again as he starred in one successful film to another (he’s nowhere to be seen now but that’s a different story).
What’s a great movie without its great music?!
“Those Years” in Apple was written by Giddens especially for the movie so expect this to have a more heartfelt feel. To be honest, this OST never stayed with me and I even forgot about it. It was only recently that my friend told me that she loved it so much and that was when I only took notice of it. This was nominated in the 48th Golden Horse Awards for Best Original film song but it didn’t win.
On the other hand, “Little Fortune” (or “Little Happiness”) sang by Hebe Tian is my absolute favorite of any film OST! I’ve been watching various covers of this song and it’s only Hebe who could sing it so well as it fit very well in the film. This was also nominated in the 52nd Golden Horse Awards but also had the same fate with “Those Years”.
Since people have been comparing these two films, then might as well create a mash-up of these songs. Enjoy the feels!
There’s a very awesome acapella mash-up here too!
It’s the 2015 smash-hit film that has captured my heart! It’s what everyone calls as the female version of “You are the Apple of My Eye” and that’s exactly the reason why I ended up loving it more than the former.
I can see myself in the female lead of “Our Times” and I think that’s why movies like it and “You are the Apple of My Eye” are successful films. It is because they are able to make their audience feel that the lives of the leads are just similar to theirs.
The director of Our Times, Frankie Chen, has already answered regarding the comparisons. She dismissed those comments by saying that it’s impossible for her childhood to be the same as anyone else. With that, I only created this post out of leisure and not to disrespect her.
I have already written my brief reviews of these films and more about my preference as well earlier here. Now, it’s time for me to know yours! Which movie do you like more, “Our Times” or “You are the Apple of My Eye”? Neither or both? I was planning to set up a poll here but things didn’t go my way so just tell me your insights in the comments section below 😉