You Are the Apple of My Eye (2011)
GIddens Ko, Taiwan
When news broke that this became the top grossing Chinese-language film in Hong Kong - not just of 2011, but of all time - I was somewhat baffled. Having just seen the trailers and knowing little about Giddens Ko and his previous work, this just didn't seem like a movie that would de-throne Stephen Chow twice over. **NB: Cold War 2* has since taken that title* After finally catching this on DVD (I didn't start exclusively buying Blu-Rays till ~2012), I could see the appeal. There's a lot of social commentary at play here - much of which is beyond my limited understanding of Taiwanese culture - but the meat of the story is grounded in themes that are pretty universal. I'm also embarrassed to admit how much I liked that flashback montage scene played to the movie's theme song, only because it felt so cliched and lazy to construct a scene this way. But once the music started, I couldn't help but feel a rush of genuine emotion. Like this was a series finale for a TV show I've been watching for years. I don't usually go back to re-watch specific scenes on a regular basis, but this has become an exception. As far as coming of age/romance stories go, this one really hit the spot for me.