Formula 17 is a gay romantic comedy, coming of age story that was released back in 2004 or 2005. I’m not entirely sure which year it was because everywhere I check says one or the other. Either way, it was released in the early 2000s.
I see this movie recommended in the BL movie lists online so I decided to give it a try. The film follows a 17 year old boy named Tien who left his small town for the big city of Taipei to meet his online “boyfriend”. Tien is a hopeless romantic and believes that he is going to meet the love of his life and stands firm that love and friendship should come before sex.
Well he gets to the big city to meet this “boyfriend” and it turns out, the guy only wants him for a bootycall. Once he drops the ever popular “I have some dvds at home, wanna come over?”, Tien makes a break for it and ends up staying with one of his friends, Yu, who also moved to the big city.
One night at a club, Tien sees an older guy that he takes an interest in. Yu and Yu’s two other friends try to warn Tien to stay away because this guy is no good. He is the infamous Bai. A playboy who is known to bed many men and leave them the next morning. But Tien dives head first after Bai anyway and this is where our adventure begins.
I’ll be honest. This movie was absolutely ridiculous. It was so over the top and unbelievable that I didn’t know whether to roll my eyes, laugh, or turn off the movie. I chose to watch it in full and it turns out, the movie was so ridiculous it was funny lol.
Being that this movie was released in the early 2000s, I was expecting a low budget film with not too many filming locations and only a small cast. But that didn’t bother me because this movie gave me a sense of early 2000s nostalgia. The fashion. The hairstyles. And the way the movie looked. I felt like I was transported back in time.
The main characters in this movie are not fleshed out that well. There is no real depth to the story and at times, the movie focuses more on Tien’s friends than on him and Bai. I found this annoying as I wanted to see the development between the two. Instead, it felt like Tien and Bai had only just established their friendship before things go awry. And when they do, we are back with Tien’s crazy friends again as they take it upon themselves to try and fix Tien and Bai’s relationship.
I think the movie was fun to pass the time but there was really nothing deep here. It was just an over-the-top comedy and nothing more.
I did have a problem with the way some scenes were shot though. Sometimes, even though characters were talking to each other, they would be looking at the camera as if they are talking to the audience. I found this soooo weird. There were also scenes that straight up had some funky angles and I couldn’t understand why the director chose to shoot the scene that way. As if we are almost looking up their noses.
Anyway! There is only one kiss scene and one implied sex scene, so there is nothing explicit. We see them remove their shirts, smooch a little on the bed, and boom! it’s the next morning.
Overall, I really got a kick out of this movie. I’ve only ever seen one gay movie from the early 2000s. Well, it wasn’t even a movie, it was a tv series. A series called Noah’s Arc and it was just as over-the-top, flamboyant, and extra lol. I would recommend this movie if you need something to pass the time or just something light hearted with a happy ending.