Friday, May 30, 2014

Review: Baby and Me (2008)

Baby and Me (aka Baby and I) (Review)
Kim Jin-young/Jang Keun-suk/2008
Where to Watch:
Netflix Streaming
Amazon Prime

"...lighthearted and quirky..."

Rebellious 18-year-old high school student Han Joon-soo's (Jang Keun-suk) life is turned upside down when a baby lands on his lap...

Baby and Me continues to follow Joon-soo as he begins taking care of the baby. Reluctant at first, Joon-soo tries to find the baby's momma and even tries to abandon him. He sees more difficulties since his parents ran away from home -- yup, his parents ran away from home! But, as expected, he grows attached and begins to raise the baby. What follows is pure hilarity as Joon-soo tries find breast milk for his baby, goes to school with his baby, and so much more; he also develops a relationship with Kim Byul (Song Ha-yoon), who's just a little different. The final acts loses some of its humor and momentum, but the ending was sweet and satisfying.

Baby and Me is a hilarious comedy. Much of the humor is lighthearted and quirky, it really brought a smile to my face. There is some unconventional humor, as well, like the sound effects and the baby voice-over; I also really liked this distinct style, reminded me of a comic or manga. (I didn't realize this was based on a manga when I watched it.) A lot of the content can be considered "cute", but don't let that scare you guys -- it's really genuine. Joon-soo is a funny character, but Kim Byul is hilarious; she often appears out of nowhere, she deeply explains every little thing and why you shouldn't do it, she quirky and bizarre -- she's exactly the type of person I'd love to associate myself with.

The issues with Baby and Me come during the final act. The clichés begin to pile on and the story becomes very predictable and generic. Also, at this point, the story begins to develop a strong sense of false emotion. The character arc is so sharp and overwhelming, Joon-soo begins to cry during every other scene during the final act and it's difficult to believe. And, without proper buildup, it just doesn't feel very effective.

Jang Keun-suk is great -- funny and charming. Song Ha-yoon steals the show with her quirky but immensely charismatic performance. The entire cast deliver fun and witty performances. The film is shot competently, the music matches the genre and energy well. The pacing is consistent and there is a great balance in the humor that contributes to the great flow of the film. Director Kim Jin-young creates a consistent and distinct comedy; the third act, however, does dwindle as it begins to lose those features to its clichés.

Overall, Baby and Me is a hilarious comedy. Jang Keun-suk is great, and Song Ha-yoon is marvelous. Those looking for a lighthearted and even heartwarming comedy will be greatly rewarded. It does lose some of its distinct identity towards the end, but it's still immensely entertaining. I highly recommend this movie for fans of quirky comedies.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Some brief violence, some sexually suggestive themes.

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