Of the film, director Yang stated that while he did not intentionally set out to make a "gay movie, but a political one, one which happened to include a gay character". He further stated that homosexuality and politics "both in fact represent the theme of freedom".
In the 1980s, high school students Aaron, Mabel and Liam are best friends and also caught in a love triangle. As the three friends go through the turbulent times, when social revolution takes hold over martial law, their relationships go through many ups and downs.
Chang Shu-hao as Sean
Hsiao-chuan Chang as Liam
Gwei Lun-mei as Mabel
Rhydian Vaughan as Aaron
Critical reception for Girlfriend, Boyfriend has been mixed to positive, with review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes giving the film a rating of 64% as of February 2013 based on 11 reviews. The New York Times cited the performance of Gwei Lun-mei as a highlight, saying that she was "by turns brazen and uncertain, fragile and steely". In comparison, the Los Angeles Times panned the film, stating that it "[failed] to connect" and that it "can't balance its story lines of romance and societal change".