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Some Romances Stay the Same

2007/09/18 | Permalink | Source

As men still cling to their fantasies of a "pure, innocent, and fragile woman with long straight hair", even in the 21st century, so do women harbor dreams of their ideal man, even despite the "Pet Boyfriend (Young boyfriends akin to pets)" trend that is now commonplace. They still want a man who'll protect them in the face of death, a man whose heart melts only for them. The movie "a Love", to be released on September 20, fuels these delusions by telling the story of one man's love. Why delusions, you ask? Well, there is no such man and no such love in the real world.

Chae In-ho (Joo Jin-mo) meets long-time elementary school crush Mi-ju (Park Si-yeon) in high school and promises to be true to her. But in the process, he becomes an ex-convict and they lose touch. Getting back on track, he prospers as the troubleshooter for chairman Yoo (Joo Hyun), only to later discover Mi-ju is the girlfriend of his boss.

It's the typical new-school drama - the poor street-smart guy, the girl with criminal smuggler dad, gambler mom and drug-addict brother, the ill-fated couple sitting down together to sing the old TV commercial jingle, "Mom and Dad all happy together". The woman who appears again in his life, turns out to be his benefactor's girlfriend. As Chae bids chairman Yoo and his girlfriend good-night, he cries, "Damned luck". Oh, such pathos! Although you'd scoff at the drama, you'd probably be in tears before you could berate the audience for watching.

Director Kwak Gyeong-taek says, "The movie "Friend" showed the Gyeongsang Province way of friendship, and this movie will show the Gyeongsang way of loving". The violent scenes, filled to the brim with macho bravado, and Busan accents set in the backstreets of Busan, are reminiscent of the movie Friend. Unfortunately, although the violence against women and foul language present in both movies may have been contrived for reality, it nonetheless offends the female audience.

This is a movie made for Joo Jin-mo. He leads the story and gives it his all in breaking out of his "pretty boy" typecast. Kim Min-joon gives his best performance to date, as a hateful gangster who lets out a nasty whistle of an "I love you" while giving his foes the once-over. The film is rated PG-15.

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