Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Review: The Perfect Couple (2007)

The Perfect Couple (Review)
Kim Jung-woo/Hyun Young, Lee Dong-wook/2007
Where to Watch:
Netflix Streaming
Amazon Prime

"...a genuinely funny and charming film."

A mismatched pair, detective Kang Jae-hyun (Lee Dong-wook) and reporter Choi Soo-jin (Hyun Young) team up to bust a drug dealer.

The Perfect Couple follows both Jae-hyun and Soo-jin, who meet by chance. Jae-hyun is a tough, short-tempered cop who suffers from peak-phobia, while Soo-jin is a clumsy reporter who somehow manages to ruin practically everything. The pair are forced to work together when Soo-jin is assigned to the crime unit for an assignment with Jae-hyun. And, so they develop their little romance, albeit reluctantly. For the most part, The Perfect Couple avoids most rom com clich├ęs and delivers a great ending.

One thing about The Perfect Couple is that it really doesn't feel like an all-out romantic comedy. It feels more like a crime/comedy with some light romance elements. Jae-hyun and Soo-jin have a hilarious relationship, but it's never really intimate and you never really see any sparks fly. It's more of a bickering relationship. Aside from the romance not really popping like I thought it should, I thought it was a genuinely funny and charming film. I even stuck around through the credits to see it through.

The running gag for Soo-jin's squeaky voice grew stale after a while though. I'd also like to note: the film is contrived. A lot of things happen just to move the story along -- I know that. I don't fault it, though, because it ends up working on its themes of chance and it's a big part of Soo-jin's character. In other words, although it feels contrived and I'd usually fault it for that, the contrived aspects mostly work well with the humor and character.

Lee Dong-wook and Hyun Young are great, they have great on-screen chemistry without having to share a kiss. I don't think I've ever seen Hyun Young as a lead, so I'm not sure if the squeaky voice is part of character or the actual Hyun Young -- regardless, the overwhelming squeak of her voice is my only complaint for her performance. Otherwise, it's a standard rom com. The English subtitles in the Amazon Prime Instant Video stream have quite a few grammatical errors -- you'll understand the story and jokes, at least. The romance doesn't really sweep through like one would think, but director Kim Jung-woo does well in developing the relationship and humor.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Perfect Couple. It's a little different from the typical romantic comedy, and I like that. I liked the characters and I liked the charming and quirky humor, too. Some of the running jokes run out of steam early, though, and the romance doesn't feel fleshed out. Otherwise, it's definitely worth watching for fans of Korean comedies.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and blood.

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