‘Love In Taipei’ Ending Explained & Movie Summary: Is Ever Able To Explore Her Dream?

The new Paramount+ movie, Love In Taipei explores similar themes to the show XO, Kitty, or a much mellowed-down version of Crazy Rich Asians, for 21-year-olds in Taipei, Taiwan. The movie follows a girl named Ever Wong, who is having her last summer break before she goes off to do pre-med. Instead of letting her be, her parents decide to send her to Taipei for a summer program of more studying, while all she wants to do is let off some steam and participate in a dance audition. So, as you can imagine, Ever is the fish out of water who is completely against this trip, but soon enough, she finds reason to like it. You can read our full review of Love In Taipei, or you can read on for full spoilers.


What happens in the movie?

Ever finds herself on her way to Huawei for a Taiwan study tour. On the way, she meets Sophie Ha, the affluent, shopping-obsessed party girl who also happens to be cousins with the guy that Ever’s mother thinks is the poster child for immigrant children. Rick Woo’s clippings are all over Ever’s house because he’s a good kid who is making his family proud. This obviously makes Ever loathe him, but when she meets him in person, he’s so attractive and rather simple, so she can’t help but forget all of her preconceived notions about him. What she doesn’t understand is why the place is called Love Boat. That question is quickly answered by the fact that people are there to enjoy themselves rather than have boring language and dumpling-making classes. Another cool guy on the block is Xavier, who is the “rebel” child that parents hate but young girls love (at least in movies like Love In Taipei). Sophie wants to go out dancing from the day she arrives, as this is not her first time there. Ever wants to take it slow and finds herself rehearsing some dance moves on the rooftop and getting caught by Xavier. She doesn’t do very well in classes, but she decides to meet her aunt, who lives in Taipei, so she can help her find a place to make her dance audition tape. Ever doesn’t actually want to go to medical school; she wants to be a dancer, and she has the perfect opportunity for it.

With no Wong’s to poke her in the back, Ever decides to head out past curfew, breaking the rules in the Sophie way, to go and see her aunt. Completely opposite to her parents, Ever’s aunt is an artist who explored the world before she decided to be an artist and settle in Taipei. Ever feels inspired by her and is also welcomed with open arms in her beautiful art studio. After getting some updates on her life, Ever’s aunt throws her out of the nest to go explore the beautiful city of Taipei. Ever and Rick, the guy she’s been calling “Boy Wonder” since she was 13, get close immediately, and he asks her out on a date. At the same time, Ever seems to have a secret admirer who passes drawings of her down the front door of her room. While Ever and Rick get close, Sophie finds herself inching toward Xavier, the bad boy. It turns out Rick, too, wants to do something his parents don’t want him to, but both he and Ever are prioritizing being appreciative of the sacrifices their parents made. Rick loves food and wants to start a restaurant business. They become really close super quick, and Ever even finds herself enjoying some of her classes a little more.

At the same time, Ever practices her dancing in her aunt’s studio. Her aunt tells her why she calls her studio “Butterfly Dream.” It’s a story about a philosopher who once dreamed he was a butterfly. But then he found himself questioning if he were a butterfly dreaming of being a man or the other way around. Ever doesn’t quite get it at first, but then her aunt explains that it just means never to take life too seriously. From then on, Ever really takes her advice seriously and chooses to be more fun, breaking the rules. On the day she’s supposed to record her audition, Rick invites her over for a lavish party his aunt throws every year. She agrees to go, but after making her video, it becomes too late. Her aunt had told her to shut the windows before leaving because a typhoon was hitting nearby cities, but in a rush, she forgot to do it. She wears the beautiful dress her aunt gifted her for the occasion, which is a baby blue modern qipao. Everything goes great until Rick introduces her to his family and says her father is a doctor and she’s doing pre-med soon to impress them. In truth, her father had moved to America and became a pharmacist. Rick knew this, but he saw it as something to be ashamed of and ended up hurting Ever’s feelings. Similarly, Sophie finds Xavier’s presence too embarrassing and breaks up with him. Ever leaves the party, and Xavier follows.

Immediately, he’s able to make her feel better by talking about dance, and they get caught in the rain. They quickly hide under a tunnel, and Ever sees a tattoo on Xavier’s hand. He tells her it’s to remind him to always follow his own path, and then draws on her hand. This is when she realizes that Xavier is her secret admirer. They both have feelings for each other, but Ever runs away from the situation.


‘Love In Taipei’ Ending Explained: Who Does Ever choose?

Rick and Sophie have to leave because their parents are worried about the weather. Rick apologizes to Ever for being a horrible person and lying about her, and she genuinely feels bad that he’s leaving. The next day, Ever realizes she left the windows open and goes to the studio to find a big mess. All the artwork is ruined, but her aunt is only worried about Ever. She feels absolutely horrible for hurting her aunt. She finally talks to her parents, who were worried about her and had no idea she was in touch with her aunt. They tell her that somebody called about her dance audition and said she should try again next year. Ever is completely devastated, but she pretends to be relieved while talking to Xavier. He encourages her to sort things out for her aunt, and she has a lightbulb moment. The summer program was supposed to end with a festival, but because of the typhoon, it was canceled. Ever decides to host it in her aunt’s studio to help both the students and her aunt. Everybody works hard, and finally, the day arrives.

Ever has a little surprise waiting for her. Her parents have come to visit to see everything that she’s worked hard to do in the last few days. She performs a traditional fan dance and calls the show “Butterfly Dream.” Sophie and Rick come to the show too, and Rick tells her not to be a stranger anymore. He’s already forgiven him, though. During Love In Taipei‘s ending, Ever and Xavier dance together in the middle of the food stalls at the festival and talk about exploring their new options. Ultimately, Ever chose herself; she showed her parents what she enjoyed and told them exactly why she wanted to do it. Oh, but she also chose Xavier.

Ever has finally found what the meaning of a butterfly dream is. She’s learned that she can explore her own life while also not disappointing her parents. Through her time in Taipei, she has realized that having fun is also an important part of life. She becomes more honest, not just to others but to herself, about her feelings. At the same time, this trip allows her parents to see her in a new light, and they are proud of what she achieves at her aunt’s studio in just a few days. The trip teaches her to be independent and access the parts of her culture she truly loves while still learning the other bits.


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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika, or "Ru," is a fashion designer and stylist by day and a serial binge-watcher by night. She dabbles in writing when she has the chance and loves to entertain herself with reading, K-pop dancing, and the occasional hangout with friends.

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