Monday, August 18, 2014

Review: My Girlfriend Is An Agent

My Girlfriend Is An Agent (Review)
Shin Tae-ra/Kim Ha-neul/2009
Where to Watch:
Netflix Streaming
Amazon Prime

"...clumsy, slapstick humor..."

Domestic special agent Ahn Soo-ji (Kim Ha-neul) and her ex-boyfriend Lee Jae-joon (Kang Ji-hwan), who's a rookie international agent, hunt down a group who have attained a dangerous weapon.

My Girlfriend Is An Agent begins with Lee Jae-joon breaking up with Ahn Soo-ji due to her constant lying. Three years later, Jae-joon remerges for his special mission, and Soo-ji continues with her own. However, the pair don't realize both are agents, and they don't realize they're working the same case. So, of course, there'll be plenty of misunderstanding and bickering. That's really all My Girlfriend Is An Agent is: a lot of bickering and misunderstandings, and a lot of clumsiness. It was a little slow and uneventful, a little long too, but I thought the climax and ending were great.

My Girlfriend Is An Agent just doesn't really work as a spy-action/romantic comedy hybrid. The action and story never really click. The action in particular is limited and underwhelming, at least until the ending. The romance is interesting, I liked the familiar concept -- it's not a "lovey dovey" romance film, but it works. The humor was the best part of the film, though. He can be infuriatingly incompetent, but Jae-joon was laugh out loud funny -- the clumsy, slapstick humor fits the character. Soo-ji has a couple of great lines, too. Together, their a fun and likable pair. Of course, some of the jokes and lines fall flat, too. Like Jae-joon's incompetence -- it's funny for most of the film's runtime, but it's a running gag that eventually grows repetitive.

The acting is great from Kim Ha-neul and Kang Ji-hwan. Despite being the lead, Kim Ha-neul doesn't really get a chance to shine, she's more of an action character. Kang Ji-hwan, on the other hand, really gets the bulk of the humor. Otherwise, the film is shot very well, and features a standard soundtrack -- nothing special. The Netflix Instant stream has a bad translation -- you can understand the story and jokes, but it is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors. Director Shin Tae-ra does well in crafting the humor, but doesn't effectively blend the action or spy elements into the film -- they feel tacked on.

Overall, I think My Girlfriend is an Agent is a good comedy. The action and spy elements don't work well -- they just didn't land. Fortunately, the humor does land, and it lands quite often thanks to the two charismatic leads. If you like slapstick and romantic comedies, I think you'll enjoy most of My Girlfriend Is An Agent.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Some violence.

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