The Personals

The Personals


Reviewed by: Trinity

Wu is an attractive, successful opthalmotologist working at a Taiwanese hospital. Having just split from a long-term boyfriend, she places a personal ad (under the name of Du) in a newspaper to try and meet the Mr Right who she'll be able to marry.

A whole variety of blind dates ensue, each with their own peculiarities. At the time, she's still leaving messages on her ex's machine. At the same time, the film cuts to exchanges with her professor who lectures her on the reasons for wanting love and reveals some unexpected revelations of his own. In the end she finds out that sometimes it is your own past that hinders your future happiness. Everyone looks for love at some time in their life. Those who have already found their ideal life partner are lucky, but for those alone it can be a trying experience.

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Director and co-writer Chen Kuo-Fu successfully captures this arduous process of finding your true love in The Personals. Du/Wu certainly finds it difficult to find someone to replace her ex and there's always something a little bit flawed about the people who answer her ad. The meetings are handled in a humorous manner, but I'm not sure if all these characters would turn up in real life (although I suspect you wouldn't have to look to hard). The film also possesses a beautifully observed character in Wu, who succeeds in being both utterly composed and falling to pieces.

What The Personals really lacks is any clear "moral". It doesn't really say anything about romance or the process, and - even though it deals with some of the darker complexities of dating - it's really only the story of a girl who can't get over her last boyfriend.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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A girl splits up with her boyfriend and goes on a series of blind dates after placing a personal ad.
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Director: Rene Liu

Writer: Kuo-Fu Chen, Shih-chieh Chen

Starring: Rene Liu, Chen Chaojung, Wu Pai, Chin Shihchih, Ku Paoming, Shih Yinan

Year: 1998

Runtime: 104 minutes

Country: Taiwan


EIFF 1999

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