Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Review: Spring Bears Love (aka Do You Like Spring Bear?) (2003)

Spring Bears Love (aka Do You Like Spring Bear?) (Review)
Donald Yong-ih/Bae Doo-na/2003
Where to Watch:
Netflix Streaming
Amazon Prime

"...cliché and long-winded, but charming and humorous."

Hyun-chae (Bae Doo-na), who has an unsuccessful love life, finds love notes in the library. So, Hyun-chae begins to search for her potential secret admirer.
Spring Bears Love mainly follows Hyun-chae as she searches for the person leaving the love notes in the books, all while being oblivious to the friend who loves her. So, she finds a note, talks about it to her friends and even follows up on some leads, then finds another note, and repeat. And repeat. And, repeat. If you haven't gotten it: the story is very repetitive. After it cycles a few times, the film leads to a more engaging third act and ending. It ends exactly how you'd expect it to end, but it's fulfilling enough.

The main problem with Spring Bears Love, also known as Do You Like Spring Bear?, is its repetitive formula. It's almost like watching the same scene over and over. This makes the short runtime feel much longer; I mean, the film is less than an hour and forty minutes long, but it feels over two hours long. Aside from the glaring pacing issues and an uneventful story, Spring Bears Love offers some genuine humor and charm. The romance may be cliché, but it works out in the end. And, Hyun-chae is very quirky and charming -- she has plenty of hilarious scenes, like the laugh out loud scene in the movie theater. It's cliché and long-winded, but charming and humorous.

Bae Doo-na, of Cloud Atlas, is fantastic as the leading lady -- she's very charming, she had the perfect charismatic sass. The rest of the acting is good, too. The film is shot competently. The music is decent, but it is also very repetitive; you hear the same music during every other scene. The English subtitles on the Amazon Prime Instant Stream are great, although it does miss some translations. Director Donald Yong-ih does well in crafting a competent romantic comedy; it's not very unique, it's repetitive, and it's not as funny as other films in the genre, but it's at least good and well-made.

Overall, Spring Bears Love is a good Korean romantic comedy. There are a handful of laugh out loud moments and the romance, as generic as it may be, is effective. Also, Bae Doo-na is a sweet treat. However, the film is repetitive, long-winded, and occasionally boring. Recommend for fans of the genre or Bae Doo-na.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Generally appropriate for all audiences.

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