[Review] Cyrano; Dating Agency – 시라노; 연애조작단

OH CYRANO, CYRANO.  WHERE FORE ART THOU CYRANO?

Cyrano de Bergerac helped his friend Christian woo Roxane and the Cyrano Dating Agency aims to do the same.  For those people who have trouble talking to their crush, the Cyrano Agency will use proven methods to win over the one they love and they’ve got a 99% success rate to prove it.

I know this movie is a bit old but what can I say?  After last week’s 1 Night 2 Days, I was in an Uhm Tae Woong state of mind.

Uhm-Force plays Byung Hoon, the agency’s boss and mastermind leading a ragtag theater troupe who stages the perfect love confessions for their clients.  Min Young (Park Shin Hye) provides the group with a female perspective as well as providing the clients with the perfect leading man look.

Chul Bin (Park Chul Min) writes the scripts and plays small acting parts and Jae Pil (Jun Ah Min) plays various acting roles to further sell the clients to their target.

When Sang Yong (Choi Daniel), a fund manager, hires them to woo the girl of his dreams, Byung Hoon realizes the girl is Hee Joong (Lee Min Jung), his ex-girlfriend.

Byung Hoon has never really gotten over Hee Joong and struggles over whether he should sabotage the agency’s attempts to unite Sang Yong with Hee Joong or detach his emotions and help them.

Right off the bat, this movie didn’t feel like a typical romantic comedy for me.  Sure, it’s got all the makings of typical romcom but I liked how you didn’t immediately know who was going to get the girl.  It was part your usual romantic comedy, part Ocean’s Eleven.

Byung Hoon and Hee Joong’s past is the key into knowing why he started the agency and why he can’t easily let her go.  As a result of Byung Hoon’s rule to stay detached, everything he does has to be done under the radar.  I love that Uhm Tae Woong is so good at balancing the two sides of Byung Hoon.  It’s hard to read Byung Hoon until Uhm Tae Woong decides to let us discover him.  Lee Min Jung is the lead heroine but she doesn’t feel like the lead.  And I think that goes back to how you’re not sure whom she is going to end up with at the end of the movie.

There are a lot of things happening around Sang Yong but he doesn’t see the whole picture.  In some ways, I think that makes Sang Yong look like a sap.  I didn’t take an immediate liking to Choi Daniel’s performance of Sang Yong.  I think it was at times a bit over-the-top and quite frankly, that made him a bit irritating.

I do like Choi Daniel in The Musical but similarly when it comes to Choi Daniel I’m a bit indifferent.  I don’t find his performances, appearance or anything else about him all that much of a standout.  While that affects if I’m going to root for the character or not, it certainly doesn’t mean that I dislike him in this role.  As an actor, I wish he would extend outside of his safe zone.

On the flip side, I think Park Shin Hye’s character is a change from how I’m used to seeing her.  She’s very subdued and controlled as Min Young providing a distinguishing balance to the other members of this agency.

Of course, Park Chul Min is a great character actor and Jun Ah Min rounds out the team.

And Song Sae Byuk is hands down, hilarious as one of the agency’s clients in the beginning of the film.  His stilted talking to carrying around the cello all to woo his girl combined with the reversal that happens later, it makes the movie hilarious.  I almost wonder if the movie would have been better if he played Sang Yong but then we wouldn’t have gotten to see him as Hyun Gon.  Aaah, conflicted.

Rating

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