Friday, September 12, 2014

Review: My Tutor Friend 2 (2007)

My Tutor Friend 2 (Review)
Kim Ho-jung, Ji Kil-woong/Lee Chung-ah, Park Ki-woong/2007
Where to Watch:
Netflix Streaming
Amazon Prime

"...a great blend of goofy, quirky, and slapstick humor..."

Junko (Lee Chung-ah) travels from Japan to South Korea as an exchange student with intentions of finding her lost love, but instead finds a cheeky and arrogant tutor...

My Tutor Friend 2 follows Junko as she moves to Korea and befriends Jong-man (Park Ki-woong), or as Junko calls him "Junk-man." Jong-man doesn't really care for Junko, but his father forces him to become her tutor. So, hilarity ensues as Jong-man takes advantage of the opportunity, and Junko faces plenty of embarrassment. It's a very funny and even refreshing story. At least until the final act, when the story starts to pile on the plot contrivances and the clichés. The film ends up going exactly where you think it's going; however, I thought the ending was sweet -- a little cheesy, but sweet.

I suppose that's one of the bigger problems romantic comedies face nowadays: they all tend to end up at the same place. I don't fault it much, partly because it's expected and also because it still works, but it is disappointing. The movie starts off so well, then it starts becoming so predictable and familiar -- almost like you're watching the same movie again. The only other issue I had with My Tutor Friend 2 was the bloated runtime. The film is really long due to some unnecessary filler and repetitive scenes.

Fortunately, My Tutor Friend 2 is hilarious! It's a great blend of goofy, quirky, and slapstick humor, and it's all packaged in a very lighthearted and warm atmosphere. I loved the classrooms scenes with Junko, as well as the quiz show scene. In fact, I loved Junko's character, as well as her interactions with Jong-man. The romance is subtle -- it's not lovey-dovey, but it still plays out like you expect it, too. Now that I think of it, if this were a regular comedy without the romance, this film would've been perfect! It would've been shorter, more focused, and less cliché.

Lee Chung-ah and Park Ki-woong are great as the leads, they share great onscreen chemistry. Lee Chung-ah doesn't really play the perfect Japanese girl, though, obviously because she's Korean; she works out in the end, but I wonder why they didn't hire a real Japanese girl for the role? Otherwise, it's practically a standard romantic comedy -- music and all. The English subtitles are great on the Netflix Instant stream, which may be expired by now. Directors Kim Ho-jung and Ji Kil-woong do very well in conjuring some hilarious moments and creating great chemistry, but the film ultimately fumbles during the cliché and predictable final act.

Overall, My Tutor Friend 2 is a very good comedy. It has plenty of laugh out loud moments, and some genuine charm and quirky. The cliché romance elements don't match up to the humor, but they get the job done. The only issues I had with the film were its unnecessarily long runtime and cliché finale. Otherwise, it's a fun time.

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

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