Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Review of My DNA Says I Love You - Taiwan


Director: Robin Lee
Taiwan
2007

Coming from the female director of The Shoe Fairy this sophomore effort has to be seen as a step back and a bit of a disappointment. As a debut, The Shoe Fairy was remarkably original and creative with its fairy tale set in modern day Taiwan amidst a magical fanciful world of surreal colors and animated objects. My DNA is a much more conventional romantic comedy that never quite clicks on the romantic part of that formula. There are certainly some amusing moments primarily derived from an adorable performance from Terri Kwan as a lovely single woman with more neurotic ticks than a group therapy meeting. Every scene she is in takes on an eccentric charm that is nearly irresistible (at least to guys as both me and my male friend were pretty much in love by the end of the film), but even this doesn’t save the film from an overall sitcom feel. At the end it goes badly off the tracks when it introduces some CGI mold creatures that take the film out of reality into a totally silly and at odds with the rest of the film detour.

Two friends Marlene (Yu Nan) and Gigi (Terri Kwan) work for a biotech firm that is trying to find drugs that can change your DNA to improve your looks and your behavior. Their biggest seller is an anti-fat pill that will attack your fat gene and keep you slim. Marlene is secretly taking the drug because she was once fat and has horrible nightmares of becoming that way again and so losing her boyfriend. Since he is away on business almost all the time one might wonder why she cares, but even an absent boyfriend is better than none. Gigi on the other hand goes through boyfriends like we do Kleenex with a cold. The reason being is that she has an obsession with cleanliness and finding even a few hairs in the shower or grunge in the kitchen will send her into hysterics and out the door. When she literally runs into an old boyfriend, she realizes that she cares for him but his casual attention to dust and food under the couch is driving her nuts. Luckily, the company has come up with a drug that will suppress her clean gene – but it turns out to have side effects that make her even nuttier. The basic point the director seems to be making in the film is that women too often feel the need to change who they are to find love – in this case to absurd lengths. In the end just be yourself and find a man who loves you like that. Fat chance.

My rating for this film: 6.0