Director: Kim Han-kyul
Cast: Kim Rae-won, Kong Hyo-jin, Kang Ki-young, Jung Woong-in, Jang So-yeon
Runtime: 1 hr 49 mins
Rating: NC16 (Some Sexual References)
Released By: Golden Village Pictures and Clover Films
Opening Day: 31 October 2019
Synopsis: Jae-hoon (starring KIM Rae-won), whose heart is broken by his ex-girlfriend, wakes up in the morning hungover as always, to find that he talked on the phone with someone unknown last night for more than two hours. Soon, he figures out that someone was Sun-young, his colleague from work, who just joined his team and introduced herself to him before less than 24 hours! Meanwhile, Sun-young (starring Kong Hyo-jin) is undergoing a messy breakup. At her very first day at work, she bumps into Jae-hoon while bad-mouthing her unfaithful boyfriend to break up with him! Despite the fact that they have come to learn more about each other’s love affair than work, this subtle tension and awkwardness between them did not last long. They start to pit against each other in a short time. Even while calling one another pathetic and ridiculous, they still care about each other deep in their heart…
This Korean movie may be a romantic comedy, but the scene that stands out isn’t anything lovey dovey. In fact, it is something that we are very prone to – replying in wrong group chats.
The scene goes like this. In an office setting where everyone is typing furiously away, you’d think they are working their asses off. Guess what, thanks to the popularity of instant messaging software, the office rats are busy gossiping away with each other. Alas, one person accidentally types in the wrong group chat and badmouths a co worker, and the results are hilarious to watch, but painful to experience if it happened to you.
The premise is simple. A man got dumped by his fiancé and has been broken hearted for a month. A woman broke up with a boyfriend who cheated on her. The two individuals begin talking, and in a convenient plot development, they turn out to be colleagues. Having to spend time working together, they naturally have lots to talk about. This leads to a romantic relationship between two people who are trying to recover from previous relationships.
The story really isn’t anything to shout about. The filmmakers probably know that, and have incorporated relatable incidents like flirting on text messages, office gossip and chance meetings to beef up the substance. While some of these sequences work throughout this 109 minute movie, the pacing still feels sluggish overall, and you can probably think of a few scenes to cut if there was a prize for trimming the film to 90 minutes.
Thankfully, the two main leads Kim Rae Won and Kong Hyo Jin are good looking (as they should, since they are starring in a Korean rom com), and they have a nice on screen chemistry that makes you believe these two characters are desperately finding someone to seek solace. Kim may look boyish, but his portrayal of a man who is serious about work and relationships is spot on. Kong, who looks a tad too serious at times, has a memorable scene where she gets back at her colleagues for gossiping about her past. It is a scenario you wish would never happen to you.
Elsewhere, supporting characters are caricatures you know in real life: the boss who tries too hard to bond the team, the gossip mongers whom you want to get news updates from but must be careful not to get too close to, and the fun loving bunch who always blends nicely with the team. The cast delivers comedic performances that help keep the lightweight atmosphere going.
While this film is nothing groundbreaking when it comes to the rom com genre (there are no out of this world plot twists, and everything plays out quite expectedly), it does end on a nice note of slight ambiguity instead of painting a picture perfect conclusion about people who have gone through failed relationships. And it might make you think about your own experience, and how you eventually dealt with it.
(As expected, this is a predictably agreeable Korean rom com starring good looking people)
Review by John Li