I deliberately sought out the 2011 Taiwanese film You Are the Apple of My Eye (那些年，我們一起追的女孩) because of a song from its OST. ‘Those Bygone Years’ (那些年) is a popular karaoke song, and K-pop group SEVENTEEN covered it. I was curious about the film that the song originated from, and lucked out because my library had it on DVD.
You Are the Apple of My Eye is based on a novel by Taiwanese author Giddens Ko, who also directed the film. Michelle Chen (perhaps best known for the TV drama The Romance of the Condor Heroes—plus, she married her costar Chen Xiao) stars as the smart, hardworking high school student that several boys in the class have a crush on, and Ko Chen-tung stars as one of those boys, a mischievous student who doesn’t try in school. The film follows them throughout college and adulthood.
This film isn’t a romantic comedy but a coming-of-age film, primarily from the male character’s perspective. There’s a lot of crude behavior from the male lead, especially with his friends, and it comes across as both silly and authentic. I love the impact that the female lead has on the male lead, and their sweet friendship. I won’t spoil anything but I appreciated the ending, how it was both hilarious and moving. While not a favorite film by any means, I am glad to know the context behind the song now.