Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Perfect Match (live action movie), via Netflix

Korean romantic comedy movies keep not working for me, and yet I keep trying. I just want something with the fun, sweet, enjoyable moments that a good Korean drama can have, only many hours shorter. Is that too much too ask?

A Perfect Match was my latest attempt to find a good fit for myself. The thumbnail image looked cute, and the setup appealed to me. Hyo-jin, a talented matchmaker at a dating agency, hasn't had much luck in her own love life. She tells everyone, including her coworkers and even her best friends, that she's dating a wonderful guy, but, in reality, that guy left her ages ago. Now, she finds herself falling for her latest client (Hyun-soo, I think?), a guy who doesn't seem interested in going on any of his arranged dates and who can never remember his dates' names.

I could see what this movie was going for, but it fell flat. The main characters had zero chemistry and just did not work as a couple. I felt bad for Hyo-jin, who reminded me a little of the depressed heroine of I Am a Flower Too (no review, because I couldn't manage to watch more than three or four episodes). She was an excellent matchmaker, able to find the perfect person for just about anyone, but her personal life was a mess. Her female friends never noticed her reluctance to talk about her boyfriend, her best male friend was a bit of a loser, and her home was strewn with reminders of her ex. She looked unhappy throughout most of the movie.

Hyun-soo was kind of a jerk. I'm assuming he was only using the dating agency because his mother made him, because he put absolutely no effort into his dates. He seemed amused by his own inability (or refusal) to remember Hyo-jin or his dates' names, flat out saying that he never bothered to remember things that weren't important to him. Halfway through the movie, when Hyo-jin indicated that she might be interested in Hyun-soo, I wondered why. The few times they'd spoken, he'd either been annoying or they'd had, at best, vaguely pleasant chats.

There were a few cute moments, but they could have been done so much better. At one point, for example, Hyo-jin hurt her foot and Hyun-soo took her to a hospital. Throughout the whole movie up until that point, he walked quickly and left Hyo-jin and his dates in his wake, and he'd answer his phone while someone else was talking to him. At the hospital, he actually made an effort to listen to Hyo-jin, he deliberately chose not to answer his ringing cell phone in her presence, and he helped her hobble out. I could see that this was supposed to be the “jerk becoming a sweet guy” moment, and I knew I was supposed to be sighing with pleasure, but the movie had already lost me.

This was the most conflict-free romance ever. In theory, there were two things keeping Hyo-jin and Hyun-soo apart: Hyun-soo's ex (who was also Hyo-jin's newest client) and that fact that Hyun-soo and his ex were Hyo-jin's clients. However, Hyun-soo showed absolutely zero signs of still caring for his ex, and his ex let him go without a fuss. The only one trying to push them together was Hyo-jin.

Overall, this was a lukewarm romance at best. As a couple, Hyo-jin and Hyun-soo reminded me of While You Were Sleeping's Lucy and Jack, only with all the warmth and sweetness sucked out. The comedy aspects were mildly interesting, but some of it got old. I had little patience for Hyo-jin's drunken male friend, and it was depressing to see so much of Hyo-jin's accident prone nature and so little of her supposed prowess as a matchmaker (she matches very few couples up on purpose in the movie). Still, it was nice to see all the matched-up couples at the end.

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