Ben ri gong xiu
starring Lu Hsiao-fen, Fu Meng-po, Annie Chen, Shih Ming Shuai
written and directed by Fu Tien-Yu
by Walter Chaw Fu Tien-Yu's Day Off is heartfelt pap in the Garry Marshall style: soft-focused, episodic, sprawled like a drunken floozy across a flight of stairs in a Tennessee Williams melodrama. It's a movie scored, every inch of it, with the kind of music honey and treacle would make if they had sticky little tentacles. The film is insinuating, probing for soft spots to geek for uncontrollable emotional gag reflexes: dying fathers, generational trauma, reunions, separations, triumphs... You know that minor chord you learned in your first guitar lesson? Think about a sad day and play that chord. Play each of the strings individually. Slowly. Close your eyes. You want a job, kid? Day Off is genuinely awful. It shares a personality with Precious Moments figurines. Moreover, it shares a vibe with the lonesome old lady you somehow got trapped in a conversation with who is shoving her Precious Moments figurines in your face and asking what you think. "This is A Decade of Dreams Come True, isn't it sweet? And this is My Heart Beats For You, isn't that adorable? ISN'T IT?" It isn't. It's sad, a lonesome transference of underdeveloped and frustrated social longing onto a plaster mold of literal children pretending to be adults.