Man in Love (2021) review – a confusing but absorbing love story

By Daniel Hart
Published: August 20, 2021 (Last updated: January 24, 2023)
Netflix Taiwanese film Man in Love (2021)


Man in Love is worth an investment. Whether it will remain in your head is another question.

This review of the Netflix Taiwanese film Man in Love (2021) does not contain spoilers.

As far as romances go, Man in Love has plenty of problems from an ethical standpoint, but maybe that’s why it is so intriguing. It follows a gangster (Zhang, Meng-Cheng – played by Roy Chiu), an erratic debt collector who finds himself caring for a debt-ridden woman (Wu, Meng-ting – played by Wei-Ning Hsu) who is caring for her ailing father. Despite the conflict of interest, he finds himself journeying to win her love.

But of course, the story is set out in such an abusive manner that it’s hard to judge whether we can sustain the obligation of romance. While the Taiwanese film sells this growing hot pot of love, expect to be consumed and confused by its nature. The gangster is oddly quirky and emotional; his adventure for violence does not feel entirely obvious; he comes across as someone formed by an undesirable environment rather than a thirsty ambition.

This is not a romantic drama with many words, and it’s difficult to pinpoint the romance genre. Man in Love feels like an explosion of different feelings; depression mixed with an abundance of finding love. The two lead characters do well to interact with each other and slowly produce that fire that sells the romance.

But you will be left questioning the purpose of love and how it comes in many forms and scenarios. Man in Love proves that love can be a strength but also a weakness. A weapon but also a tool. It’s easy to micro-analyze the romance presented, but essentially, the Netflix film articulates how love is not straightforward by design; it can be as complicated as it sounds.

While the direction and length of the runtime can be questioned, Man in Love is worth an investment. Whether it will remain in your head is another question.

What did you think of Netflix Taiwanese film Man in Love (2021)? Comment below.

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