Nikki Hsin-Ying Hsieh, Man Shu Jian, Zhendong Ke, Shu-Yao, Kuo
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
China Lion Film Distribution
Nominated for two Asian Film Awards (Best Newcomer for Man Shu Jian and Best Visual Effects), Chi-Jan Hou's When a Wolf Falls in Love With a Sheep is a product of the Taiwan government-sponsored commercial production sector designed as a way primarily to present Taipei's urban culture in an entertaining way.
The film is set on Nanyang Street, a remarkably busy area where the city's cram culture comes to life with schools set alongside businesses that thrive because of the presence of the schools. Positively represented, Nanyang Street represents a place for Taipei's young people to go to chase their dreams with less focus on individuality and more focus on creating a positive future.
The focus here is on Tung (Ko Chen-Tung), a photocopy employee dumped by his girlfriend (Peggy Tseng) after she decides to go to cram school. While Tung romantically pursues her, he ends up instead working at the Big Bad Wolf Copy Shop. As part of his job, he delivers copies and it is in doing this that he regularly encounters Yang (Jian Man-Shu) and, not surprisingly, their encounters will inevitably lead to more while we learn about the baggage that both are bringing into life and relationship.
When a Wolf Falls in Love With a Sheep is a breezy, entertaining romantic comedy that is content to entertain and does so quite nicely even if there are moments when the film feels a tad under-developed. Pei-Ling Tsai's production design is appropriately bright and lively, while director Chi-jan Hou incorporates fine visual effects that add to the film's sweetness and sense of whimsy.
The entire ensemble cast is strong, though the film's true success is in casting two absolutely delightful leads with an easygoing and believable chemistry.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic