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Better Than Sex directed by Su Chao-pin, Lee Feng (2002)
Producer:Chen Kou Fu, Ni Chung Hwa
Panorama Entertainment [A Hong Kong-Based Distributor]
Cast: Michael Wong, Bobby Chen, Leon Dai, Ginny Liu

Fifteen-year old Lin Tsu-chuang is worried about sex because of his extraordinarily large penis. He doesn’t dare to date girls and the only relief from his anxiety is to indulge in the world of porn. He befriends the owner of a porno bookshop who subsequently dies, leaving Lin a key to a secret place where he can peep at a porn star and her policeman husband making love. Better Than Sex features many entertaining elements and has had considerable box-office returns. It concerns the interwoven stories of certain characters each having a special relationship with the other. It is also about loving relationships: a pure teenage love (a girl is in love with a boy, but the boy is in love with the girls of the porno magazines), a helpless love and an eternal one. Better than sex is full of love, giving an insight into the characters’ sexual life. It is packed with highly amusing scenes. While watching the film, you spend most of your time laughing, but sometimes a tear or two is shed. Among these stories, we see four would-be tough youths in pursuit of a magical dagger, and a couple of ultra-hip Japanese TV stars, roaming about Taiwan with their crew in order to rescue young girls in distress for Japanese TV. Behind the story, the film shows how Japanese series and comics influence Taiwanese culture. Director and scriptwriter Su chao-pin tells about this Japan-influenced culture in his film, which was shot and edited in the same style as Japanese comics. Su Chao-pin wrote the script of Better Than Sex. As many directors refused to make it because of the numerous sex scenes, he had to direct the film by himself. In a way, as a lifelong reader of comics, he already had an idea of how to shoot the film; furthermore, he believed that once a script is finished, the film is almost ready. In Better Than Sex all of the actors are famous singers or TV stars. The director made a choice: as so many young people are willing to pay good money for Cds, why not get them to buy a ticket for the cinema where they can not only listen to their favorite singers but also see them. To attract them, Su put a lot of modern Taiwanese music into the film and wrote a story, which is easy to understand, and very close to the life lived by the audience.

Chang Chu-ti

Thanks to Far East Film Festival


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