Tung (Kai Ko) is sweet, unambitious and madly in love with Yi-Ying (Nikki Hsieh), their relationship zippily recapped in a pre-credits montage of Polaroids. But Tang awakens to find Yi-Ying gone, a Post-It note stuck to his forehead informing him that she has headed off to cram school. Desolate, Tang holes up in an increasingly bedraggled room (the stages of his depression compressed via stop-motion photography), then wanders along Nanyang Street in the hopes of sighting his lost love.
Although Tung and Yang become fast friends, sharing minor epiphanies and idiosyncratic impulses (like finding a home for an abandoned, smiley-faced umbrella), neither of them envisions a romantic future together, as both are still hung up on their previous paramours. For helmer Hou, the couple's burgeoning affection flourishes most visibly in their separate, complementary interactions with the film's well-stocked cast of colorful characters.
There's Auntie Sticky Rice (Wu Pi-lien), whose lost dog Tung searches for nightly until fate intervenes to arrange a pet exchange. A reformed drunk-turned-priest (Lin Ching-tai) provides Tung with wisdom and pasta in his sometime incarnation as a noodle-stall proprietor. The solitary, slightly sad Yang finds an unlikely friend in money-mad Pao-Pao (Kuo Shu-yau), bustling away at a slew of odd jobs. And then there's the masked, mysterious fried-rice vendor whose brokenhearted backstory Tung accidently stumbles upon.
Tech credits keep pushing big visual effects to maintain a consistent level of airy magic realism.