DaisyBell’s review published on Letterboxd:
The cyclical display of mundanity in life, coming around full circle to present human life and existence as it is. Yi Yi is a film that simply does not work for me on any levels; it is by no means a bad film, as it practically has nothing of bad report, yet nothing in truth makes it a good film for me either. There is hardly anything special about the film—it exists, is just about the best way I can explain my thoughts on it. It simply exists.
There's not much I can say on Yi Yi. I've noticed I simply have not been falling in love with these more emotionally nuanced films, where all of its emotional potency comes purely from a visceral standpoint. It reminds me a lot of Wong Kar-Wai's Chungking Express, Fallen Angels, and In the Mood for Love, and Edward Yang's previous work, A Brighter Summer Day: these are all films that are adored by almost everyone I know, and it deeply resonates and connects with them emotionally in a very raw and visceral way; and yet, I do not share the share resonance with them. Perhaps it’s due to a certain a posteriori knowledge that I simply do not have, or perhaps it's because I'm emotionally devoid inside when it comes to films, but these kind of films do not, and have not, worked for me—especially Yi Yi.
There is nothing wrong with Yi Yi at all, yet there is scarcely anything of good report from it. I'm happy I didn't dislike it, as I did with A Brighter Summer Day, but I'm still somewhat disappointed that I did not like it all that much, and am again upsetting a majority of the readers by my preposterous opinion. Oh well, Yi Yi was a film, nothing more.