Follow HanCinema
NewsLetter DailyWeekly
 
My HanCinema | Sign up, Why ? Your E-mail   Password    Auto| Help
HanCinema :: The Korean Movie and Drama Database, discover the South Korean cinema and drama diversity Contact HanCinema HanCinema on TwitterFaceBook HanCinema PageHanCinema on Twitter

'The Guy was Cool' caters to teen love fantasies

2004/07/22 | 1367 views | Permalink | Source

"The Guy was Cool", directed by Lee Hwan-gyeong, is incredibly predictable. Teenagers will like this movie nonetheless, simply because its predictable storyline lives up to their expectations, letting Korean high school girls vicariously enjoy a Cinderella fantasy.
Han Ye-won (Jeong Da-bin) is a plain-looking high school girl who thinks of herself as a princess living in a beautiful castle built on a flower-covered field. One day, she writes a derogatory message about a boy on the Web. It turns out that the boy, Ji Eun-seong (Song Seung-heon), is a handsome high school student who fights well and projects a mysterious lonely aura.

Initially, the two squabble, but somehow they get to know each other, and cope with obstacles together before they finally (yes, finally) fall in love.

Since the plot is so simple, one might wonder whether there will be a sudden twist at the end of the film. In a way, there is. But that also is unbearably trite. The film, based on a popular Internet-based novel, doesn't have any surprises, especially for those familiar with typical romance cartoons set in a high school. Jeong Da-bin's effort to look and act like a cute little girl is even a repeat of what she did for a hit TV drama last year.

The only reprieve is Song Seung-heon's performance in well-crafted fight scenes. That positive impact, however, unfortunately fizzles out quickly as he wins the fight too easily, again living up to the expectation of the teenage audience.

The film is set in today's Korea where almost everybody carries a mobile phone equipped with a video recorder and built-in digital camera. But the underlying sentiment seems quite old-fashioned. In fact, in a karaoke scene Ye-won picks a song from a 1980s list of hits, and supporting characters resemble those in Japanese romance cartoons such as "Candy" from the '70s.

AIDS, one of the key themes in this otherwise fun-only film, is described as a disease that can spread through simple contact. The problem is that the movie does not tackle the issue seriously and the director fails to prop up the shaky storyline.

Despite its failings, the film is likely to appeal to teenagers. To be fair, it is meaningless to expect something really good to come out of this simple teenage love story. Given that this film is supposed to cater to a teenage fantasy, it is hardly surprising that excruciatingly corny cliches abound.

While this may be a tonic for teenage girls brandishing mobile phones and surfing the Web, those who appreciate a clever plot twist and sophisticated characterization may find it a bit hard to enjoy this film.

By Yang Sung-jin

Attention You're reading the news with potential spoilers, make them spoiler free, dismiss


 

 

 Previous news
  • Delinquent teenagers: a new cultural trend?
    2004/07/22 (Source)

    When 19-year-old Lee Yoon-sei, better known by her penname Guiyeoni, first released the Internet novel "The Guy was Cool" in 2001, teenagers went wild with enthusiasm.
    After her novels got published in paperback and one became a bestseller, critics called this "a fresh shock to the current liter,...
    More

  • Teen Romances Go From Internet to Big Screen
    2004/07/22 (Source)

    By Joon Soh
    Staff Reporter

    Summer is a time when vacationing teens make up a large portion of the movie-going public. Film companies, of course, are aware of this and are always on the lookout for that one movie idea or two that will grab young hearts and wallets.

    Well, who better to know,...
    More

  • "Don't Underestimate Third-Rate": Overturning Life with a "Spin Kick"
    2004/07/21 (Source)

    Manse High School's "ruling fist" Yong-gaek (Kim Dong-wan) and his posse. One day, after an altercation on a crowded bus, the troublemakers beat up the members of the school's taekwondo team, once the pride of Manse High but since sunken in ignominy as a third-rate club. The members end up in the ,...
    More

Subscribe to HanCinema Pure to remove ads from the website (not> for episode and movie videos) for US$0.99 monthly or US$7.99 yearly (you can cancel anytime). The first step is to be a member, please click here : Sign up, then a subscribe button will show up.

Settings

Remove ads

Sign up

Sharing

Activate

Spoilers

Visible, hide

Drama of the week

Learn to read Korean in 90 minutes or less using visual associations

X