“Something inside me is about to act up the cancer cells,” K’s (Jasper Liu) rather janky subtitles proclaim. (In case you missed it, a CG fog occasionally appears as a lumbering harbinger of deteriorating health.) K’s death sentence is determined at a kill-or-cure point early on in writer-director Gavin Lin’s hugely romantic Taiwanese tear-jerker. By then, we’ve spent 20 minutes bonding with K and Cream (Ivy Yi-Han Chen) his equally family-deprived — she orphaned, he abandoned — roommate, BFF, and terminally platonic high school sweetheart. K keeps his illness a secret, wanting to spare Cream as much grief as possible, even going so far as to arrange for a suitable replacement suitor. To the viewer’s likely dumbfoundment, instead of plunging headlong into maudlinity, a potent touch of all-knowing third act ingenuity spins the relationship dynamics in an unexpectedly refreshing direction. There comes a time in what passes for melodrama nowadays when audiences must decide whether to surrender snickers or sniffles. At one point, I blearily hit pause just long enough to fetch a cube of double-strength Puffs.
Length: 1 hour, 47 minutes