2011, Romance, 1h 49m0 Reviews 50+ Ratings
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May 20, 2017Ah South Korea, the land of a million revenge thrillers and average rom-coms. What would we do without you? You know, it seems that whenever I write a review for a South Korean rom-com, they all come out feeling very similar to one another. And that's not really a problem on my end, though you could argue that it is. To that I say that you're expecting way too much from someone who writes these things a couple of hours prior to watching the next movie on my list. That's why these things usually end up being so poorly written with mistakes all over the place, I don't really put much thought into them. I mean, it's Flixster, it's not like this is my job. If I wrote film reviews for a living, then I would certainly try my hardest to write the best review possible with my limited vocabulary. I might even use words that I never use. But I digress, if my reviews for South Korean rom-coms sound exactly the same then blame the filmmakers for making the same film, with minor variations, over and over and over again. These films always start out the same way, stylistically speaking, the first hour or so (or sometimes maybe even more) of the film plays out in a really silly, goofy and light manner. It's all about establishing the characters and their situations. These segments don't usually have great character development as, again, they just focus more on the comedy. The second part of the film (they usually come in three parts) has more sentimentality and melodrama than anything prior to that set you up for. I don't wanna say they force in this melodrama, but they force in the melodrama. Sometimes they go to extreme lengths to achieve this goal. And I do mean extreme. I once saw a South Korean comedy where an important character dies, it was the coach of a woman's weightlifting team. Then the rest of the team spends a close to thirty or so minutes LOUDLY weeping at the death of their coach. Look, I understand that his death would affect the team greatly, but the film just exploited this and exploited this until I think that I, literally, got cancer due to the melodrama. But I digress, the third part of the movie, which is just as the movie is ending, goes back to the silliness now that everything has been resolved. And this movie is absolutely no different in any way, shape or form. It pretty much played out exactly how I expected. As much as I poke fun at the old and tired South Korean rom-com (or even comedies in general) cliches, it's not like this formula leads to terrible movies. I mean, I've certainly seen some really fucking awful rom-coms from this country, I'm not trying to suggest that they're all great. But the point of it is that this formula, more often than not, leads to some perfectly acceptable movies. Movies that would probably be good if it stayed way from the melodramatic. This movie's concept is simple, if a bit sexist. This guy, Sang-yeol, is led on by the woman of his dreams, So-yeon, that they had drunken sex, which led to her getting pregnant (the baby is someone else's), so she can marry him in order to avoid being a single mother. Apparently, being a single mother in South Korea is like being a leper in olden times. You will be shunned, humiliated and ostracized from the rest of society. While I understand I'm judging this from my own cultural worldview, this is really insulting to women who raise children on their own without anyone's help. Apparently South Korea has no single, working mothers and their struggle to raise children on their own should be shameful for them. But, oh well, I'm not holding that against my final score of the film, but I just had to point it out. Anyway the film sees Sang-yeol completely dedicating himself to his new wife and their soon-to-be born child. There's some silliness, there's even some literal toilet humor. Naturally speaking, So-yeon, who didn't wanna marry this guy, starts to feel more fond of Sang, which leads to her falling in love with him, in her own way at least. It's predictable, but it's watchable and decent enough. The problem I have with a lot of these movies is that the characters themselves lack dimension. Sang-yeol is portrayed as a dim-witted, but good-natured man and that's it. There's nothing else to the character whatsoever. So-yeon is portrayed as, really, someone who's manipulative in order to maintain appearances to the outside world. This is the more interesting of the two characters, but they don't play with that. They don't explore the ideas behind why she would do this and how she actually feels about being married to this man, who's not the father of her baby. Then there comes the sentimentality and the melodrama. Hmmm, I wonder what they could possibly use in a movie that revolves around a pregnant woman. Gee, I wonder what they could use. If you guessed that they tease that the woman gets pushed to the floor by her angry ex (the actual father of the child) and she starts to bleed from her stomach, then you should give yourself a cookie. Yes, they do, in fact, tease that both the baby and So-yeon might die. I have a few problems with this. First of all, this is at a point where So-yeon and Sang-yeol break up, as Sang found out that the baby wasn't his. So-yeon goes back with the father of her baby. She finds out this guy is engaged to some other chick and they get into an argument, which is when he pushes her down to the floor. So-yeon calls Sang for help. And, even though he doesn't know where she left to, he finds his way to this guy's apartment where she's staying at. How did he found out where So-yeon was, I have no fucking idea. I'm certain he assumed since he knew who the father was now, but there's no indication whatsoever that she was at his apartment, even though she was. So how would he know where to go? Second of all, Sang goes to the offices where used to work and he starts t beat up the guy responsible (Mr. Park). Another issue is how in the fuck did Sang know that Park pushed her to the floor? She was weakened and losing blood quickly, she never told him Park was the one responsible. So, again, how does Sang know Park did it? Another thing the film just failed to explain. I guess it's just convenient storytelling that overlooks logic and common sense. The melodrama wasn't as awful as in, say, Lifting King Kong, but it still wasn't any good. It just detracted from the movie, it just felt like a cheap play at your emotions. There's also transphobic humor near the end of the film, which just feels so out of place and regressive. This was an average comedy that, because of it's third act, was downgraded to two stars. The third act is just a disaster now that I really think about it. This still ends up being a watchable enough flick, but I can't say that I would recommend this. I'm sure there's some South Korean junkie out there that loves this type of films and I guess I could recommend this to that person. Everyone else, however, stay away, you've got much better things to do with your time.Jesse O Super Reviewer
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