23rd Udine Far East Film Festival: “My Missing Valentine” Review

Taiwanese romantic comedies can touch one’s heart regardless of their Rotten Tomatoes rating or the narrative itself. And despite the genre, the country’s cinema has always highlighted its culture and people against the wonderful landscapes and pictorial compositions of local architecture. Although rom-coms are filled with cliches, some storylines make the audience analyse their own existence as well as their relationships with others. But above all, if you are a hopeless romantic, it might make you believe that true love does exist. 

Image © Courtesy of Udine Far East Film Festival 

Hsiao-chi (Patty Lee) is always one second ahead of everyone, however, since she wants to have things done quickly, she is unable to find love even in her late twenties. Her daily routine consists of work at the local post office where she tends to serve the same customer, Tai (Liu Kuan-ting), who – on the other hand – is always one second too slow. With Hsiao-chi’s “speedy Gonzales” attitude and Tai’s sloth-like way of living, the pair seems like a match made in heaven. 

While having a strong desire for a romance, Hsiao-chi slowly loses her hope for any love affair until she meets Wenson (Duncan Chou), a handsome dance instructor, in a local park. Both fall for each other, at least that’s what it seems at first. As Valentine’s Day begins to approach, Wenson invites Hsiao-chi on a date. However, when the girl wakes up the next day, she is left with no memory of February the 14th and her long-awaited date with Wenson. As a result, she is desperate to know what happened on that day. At this point, Tai comes to light again and offers help in finding the truth about the missing Valentine’s Day. 

Image © Courtesy of Udine Far East Film Festival 

My Missing Valentine, written and directed by Chen Yun-hsun (Tropical Fish), is a truly charming story about “searching for one’s self”. Links to the magical world are beautifully assorted into the narrative, giving more meaning to the word “love” and what it stands for. Chen Yun-hsun’s protagonists are stuck in a rut; while Hsiao-chi is stuck in her daily routine of working in the post office, Tai is quiet and self-conscious and afraid to admit his feelings to the woman he set his eyes on long before he became a man. 

Chen Yun-hsun’s directing is impeccable in every way. His coordination of all the technical and artistic areas in My Missing Valentine is very harmonious for which he can only be praised. And the choice of colours, set designs and props cannot go unnoticed either. With a nostalgic narrative from Chen Yun-hsun and efficient editing by Lai Hsiu-hsiung the film brings the audience a warm feeling of affection and hope that we can all be in love at some point in our lives. 

Image © Courtesy of Udine Far East Film Festival 

Aside from the engaging plot, the actors deserve praise as well. Patti Lee and Liu Kuan-ting gave a special display of their skills; both supported the characters well and helped them come to life. All of this, combined with the technical qualities of the film, makes the whole thing very pleasant to watch. 

My Missing Valentine is a beautifully told story that will touch one’s heart and make them think about their own personal feelings. The film makes us want to believe in true love, even if it is to be connected with numerous obstacles. But love is patient … And ultimately, it always comes to the fore, filling our whole life.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Written by Maggie Gogler

View of the Arts is a British online publication that chiefly deals with films, music, arts and fashion, with an emphasis on the Asian entertainment industry. We are hoping our audience will grow with us as we begin to explore new platforms such as K-pop, and continue to dive into the talented and ever-growing scene of film, arts and fashion, worldwide.

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