As the Shirelles-referencing title suggests, Arvin Chen’s Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? works up its meager dramatic and comedic friction from the uncertainties of romance and desire. The weight of expectations and unrealized possibilities in love hampers both Weichung (Richie Jen) and Mandy (Kimi Hsia), siblings who find themselves uneasy when faced with the impending demands of domesticity. For Mandy, the issue is her engagement to Sen-Sen (Stone), a reliable, bland hubby-in-waiting, who she dumps after an existentially panicked episode in a department store. Weichung’s issues, however, are a bit more cumbersome. Just as his wife, Feng (Mavis Fan), opens discussions about a second child, Weichung’s homosexual urges, once thought repressed, reemerge and lead to open flirtations and dates with a nerd-dreamy flight attendant (Wong Ko Lok). Rather than stressing the familial bond between brother and sister, writer-director Chen introduces a team of hip gay men, led by marriage planner Stephen (Lawrence Ko), who both council confused Weichung and give Sen-Sen a makeover.
Chen’s Taiwan is dominated by eccentricity in tone and atmosphere, but in a very careful, pronounced way, as to never really run the danger of being truly strange. The narrative’s cartoonish buoyancy is supplied by a handful of rhythmic visual and auditory devices, from the patter of Feng’s co-workers to Mandy’s imagined exchanges with a romantic movie hero to the plethora of stylized glasses that dominate the eyewear store where Weichung works. The shop, specifically, underlines the compromised openness of Chen’s narrative: a million ways to see the world, but designated in conjunction with a singular other. And yet, despite the middling bulk of the film, Chen’s last-minute twist gives the film a melancholic pinch and a marginal sense of revelation. It’s a wise move, but it certainly doesn’t make up for the limp, pseudo-modern classicism that Chen safely defers to up until that point. The filmmaker structures and shoots his film in the familiar vein of family-centric dramadies, and not even a firecracker set off at the tail end of his film can fully distinguish Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? from its oft-banal ilk.