Entertainment

Our Times: A Period of My Youth 我的少女时代 Review

“Why haven’t I discovered that meeting you was the best part of my life?”

A lot of us probably have someone dear in our hearts, someone whom we can’t seem to forget (or choose not to), someone we decided to keep. That even if 5 years have already passed, or maybe even 10 years, we would still remember them from time to time with a smile or tear on our face. That someone may be your best friend whom you shared your heart with but lost contact with, that desk mate whom you’ve once hated but eventually fell in love with, that teacher whom you thought disliked you but was actually only trying to mold you, that potential love interest whom you chose to let go of, or maybe it could be that one particular student who unknowingly took part in making your school life more interesting and memorable.

All the memories we hold on to, all the people we choose to keep, all these… a part of us.

Do you also have some people from your school days whom you still treasure deeply in your heart?

Because… I do.

我的少女时代, literally translating to My Girl’s Generation or The Time of My Maiden Years, is a Taiwanese movie released last 2015 starring Darren Wang and Vivian Sung. The story focused on the life of female lead Lin Zhen Xin (Joe Chen) who was a hardworking office lady who had imagined living the best life, winning in both career and love. But the painful reality stroke her after she accidentally heard her young subordinates talk behind her back at a convenience store. Hearing such painful words, she started to see her life at a different perspective and realized that she wasn’t really happy.

She took out a tin box from the drawer and sat on her bed, looking through the memorabilia she’s kept as she listened to the radio. “Would you sometimes miss the time when you were rather naive and dared to dream? Is that part of your still there? Do you still remember those people who played an important role in your life?”  After the DJ’s introduction, an old but familiar song was played as the scene transitioned back to her high school days.

“Do you like who you are now?”

The young Lin Zhen Xin (Vivian Sung) was your ordinary high school student who studied hard to get good grades. Just like other girls, she spent some of her days fangirling over an idol, singer-actor Andy Lau, and had a crush on the school’s smart and sporty guy Ou-Yang Fei Fan (Dino Lee). She was living a normal life, enjoying her youthful days with joy and playfulness until she received a cursed chain message which turned her world upside down.

Fearing the misfortunes that might occur if she did not pass forward the message, she was forced to send out copies to people she disliked. One of them was the school’s bad boy, Xu Tai Yu (Darren Wang). He was the leader of the school gang and his friends called him “boss.” He belonged to the batch’s bottom section and was involved in fighting with other groups from outside the campus. Zhen Xin decided to send him a copy of the chain message because of his image, but also because he was not in good terms with her school crush.

And by doing so she had no idea, that this would result to their lives being entangled. ♥

Tai Yu and his friends later discovered that the letter was Zhen Xin’s doing. His friends then approached her and brought her to a rent-a-movie place where Tai Yu waited for her with Ou-Yang’s photos and the letter she gave him all scattered on the table. Being the hot-tempered and aggressive guy he was, Zhen Xin naturally felt scared to be in the same room with him. He asked what her favorite film was and had the staff change films. Just then she heard him say, “Let’s be friends,” which both surprised and confused her.

But Tai Yu’s definition of friendship meant Zhen Xin becoming his errand girl – doing his homework and buying him breakfast with specific yet confusing instructions. He also took her to skip class and told her that she would regret not doing so in their school uniform. She ended up going to the roller skating rink with them where a fight broke out because Tai Yu skated with his foe’s girlfriend. This incident reached the school supervisor and because Tai Yu threatened to harm Ou-Yang, Zhen Xin kept her mouth shut and claimed that she couldn’t remember what had happened.

Zhen Xin had no choice but to get along with Tai Yu, but despite the mischief her friendship with him had brought her, being friends with him also meant loyalty. Tai Yu was at the faculty office being scolded by a teacher when Zhen Xin came in to admit her wrongdoing. He overheard the conversation and proceeded to interrupt her confession, taking the blame of giving the faculty member a copy of the chain message. She was told to step out of the office when she heard about Tai Yu’s educational background as she walked at the hallway. Feeling grateful and moved, Zhen Xin thanked him as they walked through the aisles of the shop. He shrugged it off, telling her that it didn’t really mean him any harm. :’)

But the thought of Tai Yu being an honor student from his previous school got Zhen Xin wondering. What could have caused a top student like him to change so much? She looked through that school’s yearbook and discovered that Ou-Yang used to be in the same class as Tai Yu. Thinking that he might know, she approached him at the basketball field and asked without hesitation. By that time, she learned that the two were actually good friends, and that he wasn’t really a bad person, he was just hurt and carrying a burden in his heart. Zhen Xin felt that burden and was sad after hearing the story. As his friend, she wanted to help him get back up, she wanted him to become him again. It took her some effort and physical pain to make him realize though, that his friend’s passing was not his fault, that it was that person’s choice and that he had no control over it.

“Even if A-yuan could do it over again, he’d still go into the sea. But it’s our own decision, not your responsibility.”

“Can you be Xu Tai Yu again?”

Tai Yu eventually made peace with his past and accepted that the accident was not his responsibility. To fulfill Zhen Xin’s request, he did his best to correct his ways and aimed to become better – to be Xu Tai Yu again. He started to properly wear his school uniform and treat the teacher with respect that when he saw his chaotic classmates fooling around, he hit the desk with his hand and yelled at them to pay attention. It was also surprising for the teacher to see him act that way that he even asked Tai Yu if he had any question. With only one student in the class having the correct book for the lesson, he approached him and asked the rest of his classmates to gather around and listen to the teacher’s discussion.

Tai Yu started to study hard and it was a drastic change that surprised the whole student body. Zhen Xin initially thought that it was because she brought him back to his senses but part of her also considered the fact that it might be because he wanted to get into the top 10 mock exam passers to impress her classmate Tao Min Min (Dewi Chien) whom he had a crush on. Coincidentally, he was actually able to catch Min Min’s attention. She even took the initiative to talk to him and offered him help if he ever needed it.

At this point, Zhen Xin was starting to like Tai Yu as seen through her actions and expressions. One night as they walked through the alleyway to her place, she asked him what type of girl did guys like which he translated to as what type of girl did Ou-Yang like. Wanting to find out his ideal type, she continued to ask and was told that he liked Japanese girls. Now that she knew his ideal type, Zhen Xin happily bought a magazine about Japanese fashion and hairstyles to try and learn more. On her way home, she saw her brother’s girlfriend who was waiting outside their house. She smiled in awe, seeing her hair and clothing were similar to the girl on the magazine cover that she even held it up to see the similarity.

With her help, Zhen Xin changed hairstyles and was able to catch both Ou-Yang and Tai Yu’s attention as she stepped into the canteen. But even if Zhen Xin did it for Tai Yu, he knew that the person she liked was Ou-Yang. Thus, he pushed her to meet him, smiling as he convinced her. :’)

Tai Yu did his equal share of helping Zhen Xin win Ou-yang’s heart to which Zhen Xin thought was doing himself a favor so that he could chase after Min Min. Eventually, they both succeeded and ended up with each other’s love interests. It was a happy conclusion for our main leads… was it? 🙂

Disclaimer: Sooo I’m going to stop here and leave you hanging on purpose. I don’t want to give the best part of the movie as I wrote this to convince you into watching it yourself. I honestly think that people have been sleeping on this, and it kind of saddens my heart because for me it’s a gem, a good find. If you’re into this type of movie, I suggest you to watch it because…

There’s more to the movie. 🙂

Why I LOVE Our Times?

This movie has always been a favorite that no matter how many times I re-watch it, let’s say from time to time I do, it never fails to make me shed a couple of tears and feel moved. Honestly speaking, I feel something in my heart every time I watch it. A feeling of love, perhaps?

From the plot, the setting, the actors, the production, and most of all how the story was written – I just love everything about this movie. I actually discovered it a little late, but it’s always better late than never. 🙂

My heart reaches out to the innocent and developing relationship established between the two leads. I admit, it’s common, you can see this setup in most books or movies, but every piece has its own specialty, making it unique and lovable in its own way. And maybe after watching, you’ll fall in love with this movie like I did. The warm feeling will always be in my heart, along with the impression of true friendship and love. ♥

Knowing most of the actors in this movie is a plus! I grew up watching them, to be honest. And it’s no surprise to me why they were in this movie. Seeing the director’s name during the movie’s introduction made me smile because I knew that name. I grew up watching and loving the Taiwanese series she’s produced and taken part of and there’s just a lot of them to mention but the most notable ones for me are 100% Señorita, Prince Who Turned Into a Frog, Autumn’s Concerto, and my most favorite, Fated to Love You.

Ms. Frankie Chen, thank you for making my life exciting and meaningful! Your works are gems and I will always keep them in my mind and heart. ♥

If you liked Thailand’s Crazy Little Thing Called Love, then I guarantee that you’ll definitely like this one too.

The female lead – Joe Chen Qiao En.

Among the 4 Taiwanese series I have mentioned above, 3 of which starred Joe Chen as the female lead. I suppose she’s in good terms with our lovely producer but her acting is commendable and I have always been a fan of her. I first knew her when I watched Taiwanese Drama 100% Señorita on our local TV channel. At first I didn’t really like her, maybe because of the role she played, but as my dad pointed out her strengths, I slowly understood and came to like her. My dad even told me, “Joe Chen is the key character of this series, the story used her face.” And once again, I was convinced. Yes, my dad watched with me. :’)

She’s well-known both in Taiwan and China for her acting and she’s played numerous roles receiving recognition from the audience. Not only does she act, she can also sing and dance! She was a member of the Taiwanese girl group 7 Flowers alongside Joyce Zhao, Ivy Lai, and Jade Qu. Ah, good old memories of fangirling! :’)

My queen’s not only talented, but also kind, giving, and humble. She also donates to shelter stray dogs and cats which made me love her more. ♥

The title song.

The story alone is heartwarming, let alone the title song 小幸运or Little Happiness sung by Hebe Tien. I feel like the song was specifically composed for this movie and it’s just amazing how they matched each other. I just couldn’t help but fall in love with both. For your reference, I have here my translation of the song from Mandarin Chinese to English. Of course I want to share the good stuff, oh and, you can sing along using these lyrics. uwu

Watch at your own risk. :’)

Little Happiness

I hear the raindrops falling on the green grass

I hear the school bells ringing from afar

But somehow I don’t hear the sound of your voice

Calling for my name with love

Loving you, I have yet to know what it was

Just when we parted,

I can’t seem to forget

Why haven’t I discovered that knowing you

Was the best part of my life

Maybe that time I was laughing in my tears

Maybe I was chasing the stars in the sky

We people, tend to forget

Who had always silently looked after us through all the storms

So you were the happiness I want to keep

We didn’t know how much we were once this close to love

The heart you had, you fought the world for me

Soaked in the rain with me

In every scene was you

Oh I felt how sincere you were

Meeting with you was my luck

But I have lost every right to cry for you in my tears

But even in a sky I cannot see

You open both your wings

And meet your destiny

How lucky she would be

We stumble and fall in this journey of youth

Having the beauty of living and learning

It’s too late to thank you for giving me strength

Making me become who I was

My Favorite Part?

The plot twist. It made me cry real hard (I’m a crybaby). That’s it. It’s better to see it for yourself because as I’ve said, there’s more to the movie. 🙂

PS: Yes, that’s our one and only Dao Ming Si / Jerry Yan. Cameo! ♥

Conclusion.

For people like me who hold on to such precious memories, who have someone significantly somehow occupying a space in their hearts, cheers to us for valuing these to present, for taking them in positively and using them as a driving force to live life beautifully and with meaning.

If you’re up for a light romantic comedy movie, you should give this movie a try. I’ve never been too persuasive when writing reviews but this movie is an exemption. I want more people to know it because it’s worth watching. ♥

“Thank you for showing up in my youth.”

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