The Queen of Asian Drama is Back with more Irreverent Reviews and Snarky Commentary.

Monday, June 28, 2010

결혼 못하는 남자 / He Who Can't Marry

Gyeolhon Motaneun Namja

2009 Summer Korean drama that is supposed to be a version of As Good As It Gets, starring Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt.

Ji Jin hee is nothing at all like Jack in the looks department, but his character did portray a guy with a stick up his ass who must have everything his way, and who hates the idea of having to deal with society as a whole.

Instead of his being a hypochondriac with Monk-ish tendencies, Cho Jae hee kept running to the hospital in order to see and be with the girl he had an instant attraction to - Jang Moon jung (Uhm Jung hwa).

Moon jung is going on forty, and Jae hee sshi is already there, and while she is content to work as a doctor in a hospital, she still wants to have a baby, but he until the very end insists that love, marriage, and especially children, are out of the question.

The neighbor with the adorable, little dog isn't a gay artist but Jung Yoo jin (Kim So eun), a young girl house-sitting for her uncle while he's away.

I fell in love with Ji Jin hee the moment I saw him on the billboard above, and then as I watched this hilariously interesting drama, I became even more infatuated with him.

It took sixteen episodes to tell this simple story, but it could never be regarded as boring, tedious, or even troublesome.

I liked that he was an architect, that he met a lot of interesting people along the way, and that he remained true to form even til the very end.

I captured a lot of on-screen images, and I don't know why - but I'll share a few just because.

The dog stole the show:

I kept getting the sense that Yoo Ah in was the kid from Antique, and when I finally looked into it, I was right - though he didn't give off exactly the same vibe as he had in the movie.

He worked as an apprentice in the architecture firm and put up with a lot of bullsh*t from his boss, Cho Jae hee, but he remained loyal to the perfectionist with a terrific eye and serious passion for his work.

I kept noticing, and maybe it was just that the actress didn't want to wear the hard hat because it'd destroy her hair or something ... but in America, you can't enter a construction site without one, yet she and a few other characters always walked around without a hard hat on, and it made no sense to me.

Another curiosity about this drama was that the young girl was working really hard to pass some internship program, and then she ended up working in a bakery.


An internship program??

I don't get it.

And, here are some funny subtitles for your enjoyment:

I just don't get the time-space continuum aspect of the Korean language

or the repetitiveness

I'll bet it doesn't be less than a bakeries!

a 'what' mart?

and Finally, my handsome Ajusshi ~

I just had sex, everybody!!

Highly recommend this drama, and I'm really glad I picked this out as a relaxing, summer watch.

How to Keep My Love

2004 Korean movie that stars Kim Jung-eun as Hyun ju, a girl still madly in love with her boyfriend of seven years, So hoon (Kim Sang kyung).

Hyun ju works in the transportation department and eeks out an existence while her no-nonsense boyfriend in pest-control still manages to dazzle the ladies with his unassuming charm while picking cockroaches off a famous actress in a broken-down elevator.


Say whaat?

Ha Ha Ha

I don't know about the rest of the women of the world, but if a guy as ugly as a troll, or as fine as So Ji sub were to show me the disgusting bug he just removed from my back - I'd be on the floor in a dead heap so fast, it wouldn't be funny.

She just stood there, staring at him like she wanted to rip off his clothes and do him right there, cockroaches crawling around and all.


That hilarious scene aside - I thought this was a charming movie that went by rather quickly but said a lot about personality, character, and true love.

BTW - I may be the only person in the world who got this vibe - but, Kim Sang kyun reminded me a ton of Song Il gook - he even had the same sexy, deep voice.


The movie is about the guy bumping into the hot actress, she falls instantly in love and wants to steal him away from his 7-year girlfriend, so she moves in for the kill.

Meanwhile, the girlfriend thinks up a few, silly ways to confront the actress, she gets mad at her unfaithful boyfriend, and she tries to humiliate the actress when the boyfriend brings her to the apartment for a celebration.

He ends up telling her she needs to grow up and stop waiting for a marriage proposal, so she ends up in bed for ten days, loses her job, and then emerges as a new, determined woman.

She goes bunjee jumping first, and then she works super hard to get another job in an office with typical office bitches treating her like shit.

The guy, meanwhile, continues to work with bugs while wondering about the proposition of the actress to go with her to Hawaii.

His girlfriend and the actress finally meet to talk, and the girlfriend tells the actress to do whatever she intends to do.

She then meets with her boyfriend, tells him he is free to do as he pleases, and that she isn't looking to him for anything anymore - telling him she realized too late that since he was there for her when her papa died, that that was probably the reason why she clung to him as she had.

This was a cute, comedic endeavor I recommend if you need a pick-me-up or a reason to say 'Aw!'



Ketsuekigata Betsu Onna ga Kekkon Suru Houhou

Going in, I had the impression the writer would try to make us believe that ones blood type dictates social behavior and personality.

Coming away from this 4-part story about a girl's attempts at love based on the four, different blood types, I'm left to wonder if the goal wasn't somehow debunked on purpose.

Four, different actresses portrayed a girl with the same name Sachie, and based on the four, different blood types: A, B, AB, and O - we watch as each story unfolds with circumstances dictated entirely on her blood type personality.

Where the confusion lies is in the fact that the writer purposely forced each character to have to CHANGE that dictated personality in order to succeed at winning the heart of the man she pursued in order to gain the golden prize (marriage).

Secondly, I have absolutely no idea what my blood type is, yet I saw a little of my own personality in all four characters - so, does that mean I have all, four blood types running through my veins?

Yes, I think its superstitious nonsense and firmly believe that environment, social status, and family (even religious beliefs) have everything to do with how a person turns out personality-wise.

Still, horoscopes and astrological signs fascinate the hell out of me, so this blood-type phenomenon intrigued me as well and made me want to watch.

The first story was A-type, and apparently, these are girls who are mousy, fastidious, thrifty, and dedicated, yet they are also doormats, introverts, and too meek to get what they really want.

I'm nothing like the first part of the description, but can relate entirely to the latter.

A-type Sachie had to turn into a B-type personality in order to get the attention of her heart's desire, which ended up in predictable disaster and forced her to go back to being a mousy A-type again, but HECK! Dude wanted an A-type all along, so she won!

The second story was B-type Sachie, headstrong, independent, successful, and oblivious while also being sensitive and able to bounce back quicker than most in the face of adversity or failure.

This was the only blood type I couldn't relate to as much, yet it said that B-types tend not to hear what they don't want to or choose not to hear - and that's me! They also latch onto things and have a hard time letting go even if its not the right thing - and that's me, too!

I liked the love story for this type, though.

Now, the O-type Sachie had me fooled at the beginning - she was a daydreamer, a slob, flighty, and inconsistent - which is me all the way.

However - all it took for her to change was the advice of a friend and she transformed into everything the guy she was ... well, she wasn't 'after' him ... just intrigued and somewhat upset by his constantly putting her down ... so, she learned how to speak Mandarin, changed her bohemian attire, and learned everything there was to know about the furniture she sold.


It was like she went from an O to a B, which made no sense - and she stayed that way, too.

She ended up having more confidence and drive than the B-type is supposed to be born with, so isn't this just more proof of the fact that saying blood type dictates is entirely false??

Weren't Sachie's 'friends' more of an influence on her behavior than anything else?

Which brings us to the 'environment' theory, which has more validity imho.

The last Sachie had blood type AB, and I couldn't see much of a difference between her and B, so I got really confused and just watched the story unfold.

She was a young student studying science (maybe AB's are smart?), and was oblivious to the attention of her male counterparts (self-absorbed?), and had a nasty habit of speaking her mind regardless of her surroundings or people's feelings (mean?)

I know my mother is an AB, and she is NOTHING like the girl portrayed in this story; well, except for the speaking her mind part, I guess - but, I think a lot of mother's do that.

Whatever ~

I'm more confused now than I was before I watched this 4-part movie, and am still inclined to believe that blood-type has absolutely nothing to do with ones personality.

It was a fun watch, though, and I recommend it if you have some time to kill.

6 Years in Love / 6년째 연애중

2008 Korean movie that stars Kim Ha neul as Da Jin, and Yoon Kye sang as Jae Young, a couple in their sixth year of a relationship when their familiarity leads to complacency that hypothetically leads to contempt for one another.

They're not engaged, but they do move into next-door apartments.

They have good jobs with moderate incomes, so money isn't an issue.

She, naturally, grows fed up with the routine he seems comfortable with, and he undoubtedly grows annoyed with her nagging him about the things that are starting to bug her.

He has no problems at work, is healthy, and has a good appetite for sex.

She discovers a lump on her breast which makes it a little difficult for her to enjoy the type of sex he's been doling out all them years.

Its unlikely to even assume that not, too many people in this world haven't been there and done that - but the writer did a magnificent job of explaining the hows, the whys, and the what-nots in such a way that it made it difficult for the viewer to take sides.

A man would no-doubt side with him - and maybe even a few ladies - while a majority of the women in the world would understand exactly what she was going through and why she behaved as she did.

Anyway - along come the two tempters to make things even more difficult for our confused duo.

Sin Seung rok was what made me choose to watch this movie, and he's an artist she keeps begging to illustrate a book she wants to write.

Cha Hyun jun (a former Miss Korea in real life, though I failed to see a reason why), who works part-time at the Home Shopping Network trying to save up money so she can walk all over Spain (odd goal, but whatever).

As expected, he is unfaithful first while she avoids the advances of our hot illustrator.

Being a female, it stands to reason she'd be more philosophical and mature, yes?

whatever ~

She tells the hotty she needs to find herself and not get involved with anyone until that occurs.

He has sex immediately, but then he starts to wonder if the decision was a good one or not.

I didn't NOT like this movie - and I already mentioned the quality of the writing, but maybe because it hit too close to home in a way that made me realize just how stupid I was, and how 'not mature' as opposed to her character, which caused a moment of shame, I don't know.

If you're totally secure with yourself, the decisions you've made, and even your relationships, then you'll probably get more out of this movie in your typically positive way.

If you're like me and have a lot of reservations, self-doubt, and regrets ... well, then maybe this is something you'll want to save for a day when you're UP and not down.