I spent this morning (yes, still jet-lagged) watching the 2003 Korean romantic comedy Love Impossible (Namnam buknyeo), starring Jo In-Sung and Kim Sa-Rang as the couple in said titular impossible love: he the goof-ball, skirt-chasing son of the head of South Korean version of the FBI and she the stern, dedicated daughter of the head of North Korea's ministry of war.
My sole reason for getting this movie was simple: I wanted to see Jo In-Sung in something where he didn't get to suffer horrendously and where he got to keep the girl in a happily-ever-after (I dare anyone to do a double-bill with Something Happened in Bali and A Dirty Carnival and not feel like slitting your wrists with a rusty spoon).
And while I can't possibly claim this movie was a masterpiece of any sort (it needed proper character development a la a drama. I don't mind JIS turning from dork to angsty male lead, but why and how is a bit fuzzy for me :P), it certainly delivered on my 'I want to see JIS end up happily ever after' front. Set modest goals, don't be disappointed.
Serously though, it wasn't a great movie, but it was enjoyable. Interestingly, I can totally see why JIS switched to heavy dramatic stuff. He is amusing enough as a dopey skirt-chaser but once the movie kicks into serious gear it just works much better and his performance is much more suited for it. I love JIS because in everything I've ever seen him in, he has this certain very high-strung energy thing going. Better at falling apart than enjoying himself. He can be very funny, but it's this off-kilter funniness, if it makes any sense.
I am also amused to to note that this being a Korean movie, especially a Korean movie starring JIS, it manages to cram into its under two-hour running time things like:
* 'having to tell guy you don't love him to save him'
* person with gun threatening hero to go away but hero still fixating on heroine (sorry, hero. Not very smart, IMO)
* kissing in underground tombs
* parental disapproval
* OTP running away and against the world. Literally.
* crying boys
* time jumps
* ending that not only strains credulity but breaks it and then jumps on the remains.
So basically, there is a perfect Bollywood term for this kind of movie: "Timepass."
But hey, we all know I didn't watch it for nuanced take on Two Koreas situation or even brilliant writing.
I watched it for this:
if this is still not convincing, I have the pictorial summary of the movie behind the cut, to either tempt you further or give you all the angst and hotness without having to watch the movie.
( More pictorial reasons to watch )
So, in summary: Jo In-Sung is much too good for this movie, but this fangirl is happy he made it.
I leave you with the kissing scene: