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  Publicity Stills of "200 Pounds Beauty"
Courtesy of Shaw

Director: KIM Yong-hwa
Starring: JOO Jin-mo, KIM A-joong
RunTime: 1 hr 56 mins
Released By: Shaw & InnoForm Media
Rating: TBA

Opening Day: 19 April 2007


Hanna is a lip sync vocalist for Ammy, the famous Korean pop singer. Even though Hanna is always ignored due to her appearance, she has always been a bright and happy girl until Ammy humiliated her in front of Sang-jun, the one she secretly admired.

Finally, she made a life-changing decision: to have a major cosmetic surgery… Will this move, will her unrequited love get any return?

Movie Review:

The last time Hong Kong actress Sammi Cheng put on a fat suit in Johnnie To and Wai Ka-Fai’s Love on a Diet (2001), we loved the good-natured girl to bits, and what’s more, Cheng garnered a Hong Kong Film Awards Best Actress nomination for her adorable role.

Recently, we saw Eddie Murphy put on a fat suit in Brian Robbins’ Norbit, and arghh, we were repulsed to bits by the obnoxious character.

So you see, in the world where body discrimination continues to plaque our horizontally-challenged friends, character still plays a part.

If the female (and seriously obese) protagonist of this latest Korean import knew about this, she wouldn’t have gone for plastic surgery (how apt, considering that The Land of Kimchi is well-known for the large number of girls who visit the plastic surgeon to look better).

Like every girl who wishes to be a pretty princess, Hanna (who leads a miserable life by providing the singing voice of a lean and mean diva) undergoes nip-tuck to become a slim and attractive figure of desire. So after the ugly duckling transforms the beautiful swan, things change for the better, or do they?

Without watching this movie, you’d know that the girl would be blinded by the materialistic world and begin losing her friends, family, and most importantly, her inner beauty. But fear not, because the feel-good flick will conclude with a happy ending, and the gorgeous girl may just bring home with her a handsome prince.

Despite being formulaic and predictable, this 116-minute comedy romance will entertain fans of the genre with its delectable charm and delicious eye candy.

The good-looking Joo Jin-mo (Real Fiction, Happy End) plays an artiste manager with the appeal to sweep any girl off her feet. Girls: don’t look too deep into his eyes – there are still Singaporean men around you yet.

Then there’s Kim A-Joong, who has the appeal to sweep any guy off his feet. Guys: look too deep into her eyes and you’d find every other Singaporean girl unworthy of your eyes. Besides, when she belts out tune after tune on the movie’s rollicking soundtrack, it only goes to show what a complete package she is.

There are some very impressive concert scenes which showcase high production values. You’d find yourself tapping your feet to the catchy songs – it’s like watching a “live” concert without paying too much.

Other than the lovely pleasures to the eyes, the Kim Yong Hwa-directed movie has nothing else too refreshing to offer. The overlong runtime makes the predictable plot somewhat tiresome, with uninspired (but still quite funny) slapstick jokes filling up time.

You know those gags, where the fat woman has to squeeze through a tight lane while stuffing her butt into people’s faces. When told to go the other way, she turns direction and continues to stuff her butt into people’s faces.

If there is one thing I’m guilty of, it is the malevolent act of body discrimination – I actually laughed at the above scene. But then, isn’t that what the filmmakers wanted us to do?

Movie Rating:

(Another typical Korean romance comedy that charms with its palatable eye candy)

Review by John Li


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