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  Publicity Stills of "2 Faces Of My Girlfriend"
(Courtesy from Shaw)

Director: LEE Seok-hoon
Cast: JEONG Ryeo-won, BONG Tae-gyu
RunTime: 1 hr 57 mins
Released By: Shaw & Scorpio East
Rating: PG
Official Website: http://www.2face.co.kr

Opening Day: 28 February 2008


Gu-chang is a timid guy in his mid-twenties who has never kissed a girl in his entire life and spending the past 7 years in the college, failing to graduate. He is always ridiculed by his friends and deemed as an all-round loser by his family.

One day, he picks up a wallet at a dining hall and meets its owner, a charming young girl. He falls in love with her almost immediately… She may be a little eccentric with plenty of odd behaviors and doings: popping bubble wraps when feeling down; and breaking into her ex-boyfriend’s apartment…

But as soon as everything seems rosy, Gu-chang discovers another side of this perfect girl: a violent and wild side of her. When confronting a group of juvenile gangsters, she takes them down single-handedly. Later, Gu-chang figures out that the violent side of her is Hani, while the sweet and demure side is of Ani. How could such a lovely girl have multiple personality disorder?

Though Gu-chang feels uncomfortable with her other violent personality, he falls deeply in love with Ani and is determined to stay by her side. However, he discovers a shocking secret of Ani’s past and begins to doubt if he has made the right decision.

Movie Review:

It's been some time since I unabashedly enjoyed a movie that most will probably dismiss as a formulaic chick flick or a tired romantic comedy. based on first impressions of course. But to discover and experience the joy of sitting through an unpretentious movie, is nothing more than pure bliss. From the line up provided in cinemas over the Valentine's Day weekend, I thought this should have been an automatic shoo-in to the release calendar then, as I felt it would have blown the competition away, even without big, recognizable names in its cast.

Guchang (Bong Tae-gyu) is your typical good for nothing with a loud mouth used for bragging. And his cover got blown by friends when they discover he's a rookie in the love department, having never had a girlfriend before. But the adage of having his luck about to change holds true, and soon enough after a series of accidental coincidences he hooks up with a beautiful girl called Anni (Jeong Ryeo-won). But for this average-looking man with rotten attitude, this is too good to be true, right?

As it turns out, the sweetie pie happens to also be the perennial flower with a big thorn in a classical Jeckyll and Mr Hyde situation. Her alter-ego, a smoking, violent Hanni will turn up unexpectedly, and naturally destroys Guchang's initial hopes of courting Anni, with Hanni playing the guardian angel. Sounds like a distant shade from My Sassy Girl, doesn't it? But this movie becomes slightly more complex, with Anni being a girl bringing along with her some major emotional baggage on a rebound, and a voracious appetite for pork, downing 3 portions each time, no less.

From the get go, there are numerous visual effects, cheeky spoofs on genres and sight gags to keep those laughter coming. And this continues to be paced fittingly throughout the story, and it never becomes a boring moment. However it's not all fun and laughter, as in typical Korean melodrama presentations, there are enough scenes here to activate some tear ducts, and adequate clues thrown in to satisfy the curiosity in us to try and second guess what would happen next. With lines like "Love is about hormones" and "Love is like raindrops outside the window" (watch the movie to find out why), there are fleeting discussions here on love that you can take away to further dwell upon with your loved ones.

But for those looking for something slightly deeper, then one can probably ponder upon the issues of existentialism that the movie had incorporated to tickle your cerebral. And to some this may ring a painful bell should one have fallen in love with a lie, a facade, an illusion, or an act that can't be sustained. Love on a rebound is almost always cruel, and here this has prominence, but the filmmakers managed to pile layers into the movie such that an instance can unravel into something else, but yet managed to stay keenly on course all the way to the end without unnecessary meandering.

While actor Bong Tae-gyu isn't anything your typical romantic male lead with pin up good looks and toned physique, he does possess this adorable loser charm who could pass off as a friend you have come to know for a long time. The spotlight of course fell on actress Jeong Ryeo-won, who has the challenging role of playing 2 distinct characters, and pulled it off with aplomb, being the whiny girl so vulnerable on a rebound, or the tough-as-nails alpha-female, and more.

It's not a pitch perfect movie, but it comes close to being one, given that it's both zany yet touching at the same time, and best of all, had an incredibly satisfying finale. The story had won me over, but the finale was the beautiful dessert that topped the end of a wonderful meal. And do stay behind when the end credits roll for some hilarious NG sequences!

Movie Rating:

(Contains all the ingredients for a romantic comedy to make you laugh, cry and cheer the characters on their crazy quest for love!)

Review by Stefan Shih


. The Old Garden (2007)

. Seducing Mr Perfect (2007)

. My Girl And I (2006)

. When I Turn Nine (2005)

. My Boyfriend Is Type B (2005)

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