FRUGALITY FOR DUMMIES
What an appropriate movie for these economic times. Chun Ji Woong (Song Joong Ki) is jobless and about to be homeless. One day, he meets his neighbor, Gu Hong Shil (Han Ye Seul) who is extremely stingy and sells used stuff for money.
In order to double the return on a lucrative moneymaking opportunity, she pays the rent for Ji Woong’s rooftop apartment and gets him evicted. She then allows him stay at her rooftop apartment to partner up with him on more moneymaking schemes.
Right off the heels of Spy Myung Wol, I was eager to see Han Ye Seul in something else. Something where the bad writing and the drama happening behind the scenes doesn’t overshadow the entertainment. Hong Shil is very determined. To her, money makes the world go round and she needs to get lots of it. However, she doesn’t seem to have a real idea on how to use it. She just knows that she will live a more comfortable life. Being a bit robotic, unemotional is something that Han Ye Seul is very good at because she makes it look so funny.
Therefore, I enjoy her more in comedies because she’s so good at developing her characters and helping them grow. From someone that suppresses all her emotions and slowly becomes more openhearted. To me, she fits into that typecast well and I haven’t tired of seeing her in them.
Joong Ki’s Ji Woong is the life of the party and knows how to spend the dough. Joong Ki is excellent at mixing up his roles. Something light and then follows up with something serious. Here, he’s a cad but it’s humorous. Although there wasn’t too much depth of character with him. He felt a little like a supporting character rather than a main. Things happened to him but it wasn’t on a emotional level as Hong Shil.
I like how Lee Sang Yub’s character, Yang Kwan Woo, was written and how it was played. You can pretty much predict that a con is on the horizon but they totally underplayed his role in the movie so your focus is more on Hong Shil and Ji Woong’s business ventures.
Also, it’s a delight to see Shin So Yul as Ji Woong’s love interest.
The scene where Ji Woong uses a friend’s apartment as his own in order to bring Kang Joo over but then his friend’s mother and girlfriend show up was great in terms of comedic timing.
The movie is a bit thin when it comes to Hong Shil and Ji Woong becoming more to each other than a mere business partner. You want these characters to get together but you don’t get many scenes where their camaraderie is more than a superficial one. Therefore, I wasn’t completely sold when Ji Woong goes out of his way for Hong Shil. Perhaps if there was more room to explore Ji Woong’s character the way we did with Hong Shil then I’d be able to go along with the emotional connection but it just wasn’t there. Don’t get me wrong. I think they had chemistry but there weren’t enough opportunities to explore that chemistry. Still, the movie was enjoyable.