The Personals | Chicago Reader

The Personals

What's driven a Taipei ophthalmologist to advertise for a husband is revealed in increments that punctuate a series of dates she has, each at a different table at the same teahouse. Her prospective mates, queasy combinations of naivete and calculation, include a pimp and a possibly autistic teenager who's accompanied by his mother. We share the doctor's feelings of sympathy, disillusion, indignation, and even boredom, and wonder, as she does in voice-over, why she continues to arrange the meetings. The interviews convey more concrete information about the men across the table than about her, yet her often silent reactions to their behavior subtly allow us to know her, and actress Rene Liu's close-ups have the impact of documentary. Director Chen Kuo-fu wrote the screenplay with Chen Shih-che. 104 min.

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