How to start on this movie? The actors are adorable and the first half is awesomely cute, but the latter half starts going in a downward spiral with weak conflict. They give the ending we all wanted but never faced the real problem. As a viewer, I was left empty and ultimately confused. Eh?
Dong-joo (Uhm Tae-woong) is a laid-back, semi-bum who lives off his younger brother and his sister-in-law. He’s “free-spirited” to put it nicely. His all-consuming dream is to win the lottery, and buying lottery tickets is his biggest hobby. Song-kyung (Jung Ryeo-won) is a diligent, forward-planning bank teller. She plans every minute detail of her future. She’s downright obsessive. One day, both Dong-joo and Song-kyung are diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. They only have 3 months left. They meet in the doctors office. Here begins their odd relationship. Song-kyung jumps headfirst into planning for her own funeral and drags Dong-joo along as her personal chauffeur. Their extremely opposite personalities clash but then seem to mesh and they begin to fall in love and date. What will happen to this new couple with so little time left.
The buildup is really what you want to watch this movie for. Love Song-kyung’s straight-edge and honest personality. The way she plans for her own death is so brave and so refreshing in the Kdrama world. Instead of crying her head off, as the heroine of KDramas are wont to do, she plows ahead and grabs what she wants. Through it all, the director allows glimpses into her vulnerability and hesitation.
Dong-joo’s character’s is like a big baby. I don’t think I saw much growth in him, but I enjoyed how he changed Song-kyung’s character and made her stop to enjoy live instead of barreling straight ahead. I did appreciate that Uhm Tae-woong didn’t try to maintain his charming looks but instead allowed himself to descend into the frumpy character. I loved their romantic relationship. Their dates mostly consisted of going to pick their funeral shrouds, where they wanted to be buried, or whether they should be cremated.
*SPOILERS* The conflict mainly rested upon the fact that Dong-joo seemed to have hope to survive while Song-kyung didn’t. I honestly got a little confused at the end. Song-kyung just distanced herself from Dong-joo as if to shrink into her shell to protect her. She seem to tire from trying to keep living. Totally tiresome and unnecessary plot device. Grr. And of course, the characters have to get back together and have their fairy book wedding. Whatever. Point is the drama was going great until it got a little makjang (over melodramatic). At the end, the characters never seemed to face their imminent deaths. For example, they kept going to the doctor separately and keeping the results of their appointments apart from each other. As if afraid to know who will go first and who might survive. I think the drama would have been a lot stronger had it continued with the easy breezy handling of such dark subject matter. I would have liked to characters to be honest and forthright to each other about their health conditions and truly face their troubles as a couple. *End*
Recommendation: Watch the first 50% then fast forward through the rest. Happy ending to this romantic comedy. But the ending just leaves me wishing what the movie could have been like. Overall, ending sucks, but Jung Ryeo-won is absolutely gorgeous.
Whitecarrot Movie Rate-o-meter: 6/10