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‘One Minute More’

by Kaori Shoji

Taiwan has a thriving movie industry that often tips its hat to Japanese culture. For Japanese viewers, the references to AKB48, Tokyo and Japanese food make us feel that much closer to Taiwanese cinema. And now there’s “One Minute More,” based on “Ippunkan Dake,” a best-selling novel by Japan’s very own Maha Harada.

A word about Harada: Her field of expertise is the smart, hard-working corporate Japanese woman. Harada’s characters tend to be work-addicted, attractive and ambitious and often have a supportive boyfriend lurking about.

Directed by Kelly Chen, “One Minute More” is a classic Harada story about Wanchen (Chun-ning Chang), a female editor who puts in 14-hour work days, and her housework-doing, shoulder-massaging boyfriend (Peter Ho). It’s a love-or-career dilemma. But the real focus is on the couple’s dog, Lila — a well-groomed golden retriever that acts as a surrogate baby, but also nudges Wanchen to get her priorities straightened out and ultimately ditch the job-comes-first mindset. It’s kind of shallow and unbearably corny, but bring a hanky for some serious tear-wiping.