Film / Yi Yi

Yi Yi (一一) is a movie by Taiwanese director Edward Yang, which received the Best Direction award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2000. It depicts a few weeks in the life of an ordinary Taiwanese family, as the various members must each learn to cope with the challenges of life in their own way. As the grandmother falls in a coma following an accident, the father meets his long-lost first love, the mother goes on a spiritual retreat in a Buddhist monastery, the daughter enters a love triangle, and the son asks grown-ups difficult questions.

While nothing very eventful takes place, the characters feel like one's own relatives by the end of the movie.

Contains examples of:

  • Eloquent in My Native Tongue: N.J.'s first language is Chinese, Ota's is Japanese. Neither speaks the other's language, so they tentatively communicate in broken English.
  • First Girl Wins: Averted. N.J. broke up with his first love in university and, as it turns out, giving their relationship another chance doesn't work out.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: N.J. likes to tune out by putting on earphones and listening to music.
  • It Always Rains at Funerals: Averted. The grandmother's funeral takes place in fine, sunny weather.
  • Love Dodecahedron: What Lili ends up in, with disastrous results.
  • Multigenerational Household
  • Panty Shot: Yang-yang falls in love with a classmate after seeing her catch her skirt on a door handle and expose her panties.
  • Sadist Teacher: Yang-yang's teacher repeatedly humiliates him in front of the class.
  • Slice of Life
  • Stalker with a Crush: Yang-yang turns into a preteen version of this after falling in love with a classmate.
  • Sudden Videogame Moment: When Lili's off-and-on boyfriend murders her lover, the scene is played as a videogame fight.
  • Tsundere: Lili.
  • Wedding Smashers: The bridegroom's former girlfriend barges in and makes a scene.
  • Will They or Won't They?: N.J. and his first love.
  • Workaholic: Averted with N.J. who, despite being an obvious candidate for this trope (Asian, mid-level manager in a software company), in fact feels increasingly disconnected from his job.