Watch Better Luck Tomorrow
- 1 hr 41 min
Better Luck Tomorrow is a 2002 independent film directed by Justin Lin and written by Ernesto Foronda and Fabian Marquez. The movie follows the life of a group of high school students in Orange County, California who initially seem to be overachieving teenagers, but eventually get involved with drugs, sex, and crime. The plot is centered around the character of Ben Manibag, played by Parry Shen, who is portrayed as a straight-A student with perfect grades, involved in numerous extracurricular activities and well-liked by his peers. At the beginning of the movie, he meets Daric Loo, portrayed by Roger Fan, who is also a model student and the captain of the school's academic decathlon team. Daric convinces Ben to join the team, and they soon become close friends. However, as the movie progresses, Daric and his friends become increasingly involved with cheating, drug-dealing, and other illegal activities. The group also includes Virgil Hu, portrayed by Jason Tobin, who is portrayed as a violent student of Taiwanese descent, and Han Hu, played by Sung Kang, his more laid-back cousin. They begin to earn large sums of money by selling test answers and exam papers to other students. As they become more successful in their criminal activities, their behavior becomes more erratic and dangerous. This leads to conflicts between the group and the people they have wronged, as well as conflicts within the group itself. Ben finds himself at a moral crossroads as he struggles with his own sense of right and wrong, and with his feelings for the rebellious Stephanie Vandergosh, played by Karin Anna Cheung. Overall, Better Luck Tomorrow is a compelling and thought-provoking movie that explores themes of privilege, morality, and youthful rebellion. It is notable for its nuanced portrayal of Asian-American characters, and for its bold and unflinching depiction of the darker side of high school life. The movie received critical acclaim upon its release, and has since gained a cult following among independent film aficionados. One of the most striking aspects of the film is its use of symbolism and visual imagery. For example, throughout the movie, the characters are constantly seen wearing suits and ties, which symbolize their desire to conform to societal expectations of success and respectability. However, as they become more involved with crime, these suits become increasingly disheveled and stained, reflecting their descent into chaos and violence. Another notable aspect of the movie is its use of non-linear storytelling. The movie begins with a scene in which Ben and his friends are burying a dead body, but the identity of the victim is not revealed until later in the film. This creates a sense of tension and mystery that keeps the audience engaged and guessing as to what will happen next. Overall, Better Luck Tomorrow is a powerful and thought-provoking movie that deserves to be seen by a wider audience. Its exploration of Asian-American identity and the darker side of high school life makes it a unique and important contribution to the independent film world. Highly recommended for fans of indie movies and crime dramas.