Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Review: Love Fiction (2012)

Love Fiction (Review)
Jeon Kye-soo/Ha Jung-woo/2012
Where to Watch:
Netflix Streaming
Amazon Prime

"...an original and charming romantic comedy, despite its long-winded presentation."

Novelist Goo Joo-wol (Ha Jung-woo), a hopeless romantic suffering from writer's block, finds a muse in Hee-jin (Gong Hyo-jin), a film distributor with an interesting past.

Love Fiction is unique in that it's mostly told in Joo-wol's perspective -- we rarely see any scenes with Hee-jin alone. So, the story follows Joo-wol as he develops a relationship with Hee-jin and overcomes his writer's block. Their relationship is a little different because of Joo-wol's wild imagination and Hee-jin's wild past, as well as her wild armpit hair. It's mostly an original romantic comedy until it reaches the all too familiar climax. Why do romantic comedies always end this way?

Love Fiction is a good romantic comedy, though. I liked it. It had at least a handful of very funny scenes, as well some charm and wit. It's not the funniest romantic comedy, but it has its moments. I like the originality in the storytelling, too, we usually don't see romantic comedy films that focus on a singular character, especially the male. It is obviously one-sided, though, so it doesn't give the relationship a full opportunity to grow. Also, the film tends to drag quite a bit. That coupled with the long runtime makes the film feel much longer than it's actual runtime.

Ha Jung-woo is good as the lead. Gong Hyo-jin compliments Jung-woo well. The pair share great chemistry on screen, despite a few issues in story. Otherwise, the film is about standard -- it's shot well and the music matches the mood. The English subtitles on the Amazon Prime Instant Video stream are great -- a few spelling errors, but nothing detrimental. I like director Jeon Kye-soo's ambition in storytelling, but feel like the story is held back by bad pacing and a bloated runtime.

Overall, Love Fiction is a good film. It's an original and charming romantic comedy, despite its long-winded presentation. Although there are a few laugh out loud moments, there aren't enough to cover the long runtime and some of the humor falls flat. I'd recommend renting for fans of the genre or cast; I streamed it and had a decent enough time not to regret it.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Some sexual references, but generally appropriate for most audiences.

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