Suffering from a lifelong illness that requires constant medication, shy college student Song Shiqiao (Hong Kong model, Angelababy) spends each day with her overprotective mother (Shan Jiang) and earnestly chronicles her quiet life on cassette tapes in order to replay and supplement her patchy memory. Serendipitously, Shiqiao runs into a past crush from school named Gong Ning (Taiwanese heartthrob Mark Chao, Monga, Black and White). Much to the interest of Gong Ning’s bandmates and to the dismay of Shiqiao’s mother, an unlikely romance quickly blooms between the sickly Shiqiao and the seemingly nonchalant rock singer. But like every cassette tape, there is an “A” and “B” side to this love story.
A remake of the 2003 Korean film (with the unusual title, “…ing”), this heartfelt tale of first love has been revamped by director Han Yan. This latest adaptation surpasses the Korean original by utilizing whimsical visuals (by Hong Kong artists Wing Shya and Sui Hak) and rich cinematography to depict the sweetness of romance, equally full of laughter and tears. First Time’s fascinating twists and turns elevate the story beyond more than just a saccharine romance, to one with a deeper message about living, and loving, life.