Tolstoy said happy families are all alike but that every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Hmm, I wonder. The husband, wife and two kids in Pei Jung Su's documentary Under the Same Roof live halfway around the world ' Taiwan, to be exact ' and yet their problems seem sadly familiar. Basically, there isn't enough time or money to fulfill their dreams. And the situation is exacerbated by the fact that the husband, a fish vendor, is still a bit of a kid himself. He goes bowling while his wife, who has a job of her own, juggles her various responsibilities. Crudely shot, the doc plays like a home movie in which the home may not make it to the end of the movie. The husband and wife, whose teasing keeps sliding over into bickering, already went through one separation, and they may be headed for another. But their kids ' the delightfully nicknamed Bobo and Dodo ' are as cute as can be, and so we fight the notion that life ends at 30, and pray that the couple will fight it, too.
Under the Same Roof is being shown at the Elvehjem Museum on Sunday, April 29, at 3 p.m. as part of the first UW-Madison Taiwanese Film Weekend, which also includes a Saturday night (7 p.m.) screening of Kuo-fu Chen's comedy-drama The Personals.