Eternal Summer is so culturally different it makes this romantic drama a foreign film you will want to watch twice. In part because this film DVD from Taiwan is good and in part because some of the story elements, such as what happened with Jonathan's university acceptance, need to be watched again as the background is foreign to a Western audience.
Eternal Summer is a boy meets girl, girl loses boy, girl gets boy's best friend, and boy loves best friend but can't tell him. It is more than that, of course.
In grade school A-student Jonathan is asked to befriend class clown Shane and keep an eye out for him. Over the years this develops into a strong friendship but for Jonathan it is more than that. He is afraid to tell Shane for fear of losing him and the friendship while Shane fears telling Jonathan he is seeing Carrie, whom he believes is Jonathan's ex, for the same reasons.
You could be tempted to see this as a gay film DVD because of the story line.
This film is about the natures of love and deep friendship and what happens when one is the other. It is also about a society where conformity is the rule. This, in a society where all students wear a uniform, is made clear in the scene where one student gets her hair cut to regulation length in front of the whole school.
Director Leslie Chen as an eye for visually interesting scenes but has the talent not to let that become the focus of Eternal Summer.
The movie's one weakness is the fairly bad and much too omnipresent music.
There are a few things I still do not get about this movie from Taiwan but I do get it is good.