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What to Watch After: "Marry My Dead Body"

One of the biggest Asian movies of 2022 pairs up Taiwanese “it” boys Greg Hsu and Austin Lin in a hilarious odd-couple comedy flick (so odd that one is alive and the other one…is not) that proves that all we want in life — and in the afterlife — is to love and be loved.


Starring: Greg Hsu, Austin Lin, Aaron Yang, Gingle Wang

Available on Netflix


GwenchaNoona | What to Watch after "Marry My Dead Body" starring Greg Hsu and Austin Lin: "The Soul", "The Teenage Psychic", and "Incantation"

The Plot


Wu Ming-Han (Greg Hsu) is a straight policeman who has a rather homophobic streak and a maverick approach to his job. While collecting evidence, he accidentally picks up a red wedding envelope. This is all the proof that a superstitious grandmother needs, and despite Wu’s homophobia, he soon finds himself “ghost-wedded” to Mao Pang-Yu (Austin Lin), a gay man who recently died under mysterious circumstances.


The ghastly Mao starts to reveal himself to Wu on their “wedding night,” and hilarity ensues. But there’s more to the duo than just supernatural laughs. Wu soon discovers that the man who killed Mao may also be connected to a drug case that he’s working on. He also realizes that having a ghost ally is a tremendous help during sting operations. But with all their differences and resentments, will Wu and Mao ever find get along and find justice? Or will one of them be bound to haunt the other forever?


marry my dead body, austin lin, greg hsu, movie review
Meet the newlyweds ;)

Our Review


There’s a lot of heart, laughs, and a great many butt shots in this frothy gay-straight non-romance plot, making Marry My Dead Body such a charming and feel-good weekend watch. Greg Hsu and Austin Lin share a cackling kind of chemistry to make the perfect bickering odd couple, while the other side stories, such as Mao’s relationship with his family and his ex, deliver the heart-wrenching goods that balance out the laughs (be sure to have some tissues ready, the tears are gonna flow).


Taiwan is the only country in Asia that has legalized gay marriage, but Marry My Dead Body cleverly pokes fun at homophobic attitudes without pummeling the audience with blatant virtue signaling. While there may be some cliches every now and then, the film makes sure to subvert them and offer pleasant surprises at each turn. Wu’s slow change from a homophobic cop to a kinder human is the main streak in the story. Still, the film also takes time to joyfully subvert other cliches such as the helpless (and terribly cute) damsel in distress, the angry and unaccepting Asian elder, and even outdated attitudes towards marriage and love. “We already have marriage equality in life,” an elderly woman casually pointed out. “Why not have it in death?”


greg hsu, austin lin, marry my dead body movie review
Supernatural help is the best kind of help there is

It’s a wonderful mix of classic physical comedy, old-school jokes about bad luck and misfortune, and some genuinely touching moments. There’s even a reference to the classic Hong Kong gangster film Infernal Affairs thrown in. Marry My Dead Body offers a wonderful glimpse into the old and new — we see how a young nation reconciles ancient superstitions with newer and more diverse sensibilities. It also touches on how attitudes towards gay marriage and rights have radically shifted in the past decades and how Taiwanese society has grown to become the tolerant beacon of democracy it is today. But it also shows how some things have yet to change: their fellow operative Lin Tzu-ching (Gingle Wang) complains openly about how hard it is to be taken seriously as a female cop, while Mao's father struggled for a long time to accept his gay son. The whole funny/dramatic/ touching genre-bending mix has something for everyone but remains faithful to its message that all we want in this life — gay, straight, or queer — is to have “a friend and a lover.” What could make a better weekend watch than that?



If you enjoyed Marry My Dead Body, we’ve got some other Taiwanese recos for you:


The Teenage Psychic

Available on HBO

GwenchaNoona | Kuo Shu-yao in "The Teenage Psychic"

This 2017 heartwarming coming-of-age comedy-drama was a huge hit when it aired. Kuo Shu-yao plays 16-year-old Xiao Zhen, a temple medium with tremendous psychic powers. As if teenage life wasn’t hard enough, Xiao Zhen also has to balance her school life, friendships, and family relationships with helping spirits resolve their unfinished business. To add to her growing list of stressors, her crush starts flirting with her. What’s a psychic teenage girl to do?



The Soul

Available on Netflix

GwenchaNoona | Ning Chang and Chang Chen in "The Soul"

Taiwan gets into serious sci-fi with Cheng Wei- hao’s The Soul. The movie uses the usual sci-fi elements but adds heavy superstition and reincarnation to this Asian crime story. Ambitious, beautiful, and pretty packed with science and spirit — it's quite a pleaser for all Black Mirror fans out there. But what does it have in common with Marry My Dead Body, which is a gay comedy? You’ll see it at the end of The Soul.



Episode 1 of Season 2 of Folklore

“The Rope”

Available on HBO

GwenchaNoona | "Folklore" Season 2 Episode 1: "The Rope"

HBO’s Folklore is a horror anthology that gathers all sorts of supernatural stories from Asia. Its second season begins with Taiwan’s “The Rope,” a chilling tale of an old superstition haunting newlywed Ming Yin. As she gets to the heart of the hauntings that torment her, she realizes that all the ghastly clues point to the lovely man she just married.







Incantation

Available on Netflix

GwenchaNoona | "Incantation"

Terrifying found-footage videos, bloody possessions, inexplicable hauntings, and a desperate mother all come together to make Incantation Taiwan’s highest-grossing film opening of 2022.


Read our spoiler-free review here.

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