By Kim Tae-jong
At first glance, the combination of Baek Yoon-sik
and Bong Tae-gyu
in the new comedy film "How the Lack of Love Affects Two Men
" (Aejonggyolpibi Tu Namjaege Michinun Yonghyang) appeals to those who have enjoyed the actors' wacky yet funny characters in previous films.
It was hilarious to see Baek play a hermit with super martial art skills and his own profound philosophy of life in "The Art of Fighting
" and a traditional Korean wrestling coach in "Like A Virgin
". Bong has also successfully created interesting roles such as a fainthearted playboy in "When Romance Meets Destiny
" and a bullied student in "See You After School
But what is missing from their new film is a story for them to tell and develop to show off their charms.
The film's storyline is so simple _ a father and his son fight over a sexy woman who moves into the room downstairs in their house, but the film totally relies on the two actors and seems to expect them to make the simple story fun. The consequence is that their characters get much wackier, but less funny.
Directed by Kim Seong-hun, the film revolves around Dong Chol-dong (played by Baek), who lives with his only son Dong-hyun after his wife died. The two have lived without a woman for 17 years.
Chol-dong makes a living by blackmailing companies for their immoral activities, and in his free time, he devotes himself to silly things _ he measures the length of a toilet paper and threatens to sue the paper company if it is shorter than what it is meant to be.
Like father, like son. Dong-hyun is also wacky. He bullies his friends and does anything to get what he wants.
The lives of the two wackos face a turning point when Oh Mi-mi, a divorced woman, rents a room in their house. They fall in love with her and fight to get her heart.
The fight of the two is predictably as wacky as their personalities.
The father calls up the police and puts his son in a jail, and the son ties his father up after secretly feeding him sleeping powder. The tactics and strategies in their fight are childish.
They sometimes produces hilarious jokes, but they fall short of saving the film from becoming a total disaster. The film is also full of toilet humor by supporting characters. Especially, when it comes to gay jokes, it is disastrous in scenes such as when a married, ugly middle-age man starts to flirt with neighboring men.
As the story reaches the end, you know what will happen. Or worse, you may not care about which one the woman will choose. To compound things, the director takes a sudden turn to a moral ending despite all the immoral and childish fights between the two characters.
"How the Lack of Love Affects Two Men
" lacks a story and the director should know how it affects the audience.