ADAPTING HIS LOVE LIFE
Joo Wol (Ha Jung Woo) is a writer who is suffering from writer’s block for his latest book. After his friends advise him to find a girlfriend in order to cure his writer’s block, he meets Hee Jin (Gong Hyo Jin) at a book expo in Berlin and falls for her right away. They meet several times and begin dating. While Joo Wol is able to write again, he grows less attracted to Hee Jin.
There’s something interesting about the premise of this film. In some ways it reminds me of Adaptation and you can split into three distinct parts. There’s Joo Wol’s side of the story in regards to his real life, there’s the subconscious conversations he has with M (Lee Byung Joon) and then there’s the story he’s writing for his book. He has a grandiose notion about how his love life should be. Of course, life just isn’t like that.
It’s a fantastic cast. It brings Gong Hyo Jin back together with Yoo In Na, as the present and past girlfriend.
Ha Jung Woo is a pro and he is entertaining to watch.
Additionally, you have Jo Hee Bong, Lee Byung Joon and Ji Jin Hee who all bring their brand of unique charm to the film.
Actually the moments with Joo Wol and M are some of my favorite moments of the film. If there’s anybody that you’d want to have as your subconscious, you’d want to have Lee Byung Joon and that voice of his.
However, the movie fails to maintain my interest as it begins to give way to a colloquial tone in order to express Joo Wol’s point of view. Really, nothing much happens in the 2nd half of the film when Joo Wol begins to distance himself from Hee Jin. This movie has been compared to (500) Days of Summer because you know the leads are heading towards a break up but the problem is that Joo Wol is the main character and the screenwriter doesn’t seem to understand him or his motives at all.
The ball gets rolling in the scene when they first sleep together because Joo Wol is alarmed to find that Hee Jin doesn’t shave her armpits. The scene is pretty funny because even I didn’t expect to see that. Did she really grow it out or is it a fake patch you can stick on? Because I just think it’d be ticklish either way if you’re not used to have hair there. Lol.
I get that the point of it is that there really is no tangible reason for him to lose interest. He just does but that just leaves me wanting. It’s one thing when Tom in (500) Days of Summer was trying to figure why Summer becomes distant from him. He, as the protagonist, actively tried to seek out the reason and we went along with his journey. There’s no journey here. Joo Wol is the main character and when he becomes this inactive character I’m just not sure why I should be rooting for him. To the very end, he just never figures out why he had become disinterested.
On the other hand, I liked the little excerpts of Joo Wol’s book. They were homages to many noir films from Sunset Boulevard to Sin City. I had hoped that it would provide more insight to Joo Wol the character and it does coincide with how his relationship progresses with Hee Jin but yet it was more entertaining than deeply insightful.
The music video that Joo Wol finally sends to Hee Jin is adorable and even I have to admit that I would have caved but Hee Jin’s response was even funnier.
Having said that, I found the ending pretty abrupt. I don’t know why Hee Jin takes Joo Wol back because it appeared that she moved on. Even after she watched the music video.
However, this film is strictly from Joo Wol’s point of view. So what you’re left with is Joo Wol who doesn’t gain a greater understanding of himself except that he wants to be with Hee Jin again and Hee Jin going along with that. It’s a little unclear if she totally accepted him back but I could have totally been happy with them not getting back together. Instead I walk away feeling like I’ve watched an unfinished movie because we’ve gone from point A to point C without knowing what point B was.