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4. You Are the Apple of My Eye|
Taiwan-made "You Are the Apple of My Eye," directed by Taiwan author Giddens Ko and adapted from one of his most popular Internet-published novels, is a highly personal movie and sincere love letter to the love who got away. As well as its irresistible youth appeal, the movie will also speak to all of us who were once young students.
The movie, whose Chinese title can be literally translated as "In those years, the girl we all went after", is a semi-autobiographical love story about his high school years when he, the mischievous Ko Ching-teng (Ko Chen-tung), and several friends all fell in love with a girl named Shen Chia-yi (Michelle Chen), also an honor student. The story is so autobiographical that Giddens Ko used people's real names (including his own) in the movie.
Although cut and censored for its release on the mainland, the original Taiwan version of the movie is a combination of pure love story and teen sex comedy like "American Pie." Giddens Ko's overblown life of excessive masturbation, adult movie watching, recreational nudity only becomes pure and beautiful when he is with his muse.
Due to misunderstandings and youthful immaturity, Ko Ching-teng and Shen Chia-yi go their separate ways following a fight. But Ko retains his feelings for her over the years. When he finally gets around to express his love, it's too late, as Shen is about to marry another man. Although he can't alter events, Ko forever cherishes the memory of the love they once shared.
"You Are the Apple of My Eye" might be writer Giddens Ko's first- and last-movie, and it chronicles his love, experiences and growth. It is a simple story which is modestly, and simply, filmed. This, though, doesn't detract from how the film resonates with legions of viewers, as it affords them the opportunity to look back on their own past and be moved to tears by their sweet memories, foolish escapades, shared tears, laughter and lost loves.
"You Are the Apple of My Eye" became a nostalgic phenomenon rather than being a film for those who were young, ambitious, careful and carefree. Audiences found themselves staring into a mirror. Due to the outpouring of emotion, Ko Ching-teng's directorial debut became the highest grossing Chinese film of all time in Hong Kong (HK$61.28 million) and the third highest grossing film (NT$420 million) of all time in Taiwan. The movie opened on the mainland in Jan. 2012 and has grossed over 60 million yuan thus far. Incredibly, actor Ko Chen-tung also won the "Best Newcomer" award at the 48th Golden Horse Awards for his role in this film.