Monday, August 13, 2007

Seducing Mr. Perfect (Korea 2006)

Feeling more like a means in which to showcase Daniel Henney's looks and non-existent acting ability, Seducing Mr. Perfect falls victim to it's heavy reliance on it's good-looking leads instead of more important things like a well-written story, funny jokes, etc. Another fine example of style over substance with too few redeeming qualities to speak of. Strictly for die-hard fans of Daniel Henney and Uhm Jung-Hwa.

Min-joon (Uhm Jung-Hwa) is unlucky in love. She can't seem to find a guy that will give her the attention or respect she deserves. After an accidental run in with Robin Heiden (Daniel Henney), in which Min-joon deliberately attempts to create a communication barrier, she soon finds out that Robin is her new boss that just flew in from the United States. Naturally, since these two don't see eye-to-eye, Min-joon is assigned the position of Robin's new personal assistant. Robin only speaks in English, but he understands Korean and makes sure his employees are comfortable by allowing them to speak in Korean. Robin mostly just wants Min-joon to find out as much information on various business dealings by acting as if she can't understand English through and eavesdropping on different conversations. All the while, Robin gets to know more about his assistant, yet act's as if he's so much better than her by criticizing her pronunciation of English words, and basically treating her as if she's a deceptive little swindler. Min-joon tells Robin that with his attitude and personality, there is no way he could possibly understand her or what true love is. Of course, Robin has no problem letting her know that true love is something he doesn't believe in. Thus, Robin begins schooling Min-joon on the world of love and relationships, where she went wrong in the past, and what she needs to do in order to break the cycle of ruined relationships. Min-joon is insulted at the way Robin belittles her and informs him that she could have any guy she wanted to if it came down to it. Robin makes a deal with her that if she can have him begging for her, he'd apologize for all the terrible things he said. Let the great romance experiment begin! Min-joon begins to find ways in which to win Robin over; wearing sexy outfits, cleaning up after him, bringing him food, throwing a pity-party and so forth, Of course, none of these efforts bring her any closer to winning his heart. At least, that's what she thinks. Robin uses his business-minded mentality as a front for how he really feels and soon finds himself becoming jealous when Min-joon is around other men. He also starts to hate himself for letting her get to him, which results in him sending mixed signals to Min-joon. Even though she's just playing a game to prove that even Robin can fall head-over-heels in love, Min-joon can't deny her true feelings for him. On the other hand, will Robin let his guard down for her and let the true nature of love take it's course?

Ladies and gentlemen, we are dealing with an incredibly simple premise in Seducing Mr. Perfect, making it all the more disappointing that the jokes and dialogue weren't strong enough to support the film. It took four screenwriters to put this story out there, which by all accounts is completely mind-boggling. There are no signs of complexity within the story that demands more than one person tackle this project. It's really no fun at all when you know exactly how the movie is going to end almost right after it begins. There are other characters in Seducing Mr. Perfect, like Min-joon's father, played by Ki-hyeon Kim, and Jennifer Cohen (Holly Karrol Clark); who seems to have some history with Robin, but they are so down-played and over-shadowed by the presence of Daniel Henney and Uhm Jung-Hwa that they're barely worth mentioning because they don't contribute to the progression of the movie in any way. This really is the Daniel and Jung-Hwa show and the screenwriters and director know it. So it's all the more troubling to see that Daniel Henney couldn't act his way out of a wet paper bag. I could only hope that his acting is somehow improved if he chose to speak in Korean, because his delivery with English dialogue is "straight-to-late-night-tv" quality at best (see the trailer if you don't believe me). Sadly, he is quoted as saying that his Korean speaking skills are on par with that of a "12-year old", but as long as he keeps putting butts in seats, we'll be seeing a lot more of him in the future. Uhm Jung-Hwa, a pop-star with limited acting experience, is, in my opinion the real star of the film as she's the only one displaying any kind of charm and personality in her performance. It also doesn't hurt that she's incredibly easy on the eyes.

Commercial film-making in every way, Seducing Mr. Perfect probably won't stay with you long after it's over, and to be frank, you wouldn't want it to. (Lee)

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