Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My Boyfriend is Type-B (Korea 2005)

"All I wanted was a boyfriend I could lean on while riding the bus".

The simple idea behind My Boyfriend is Type-B (B형 남자친구) is that blood-type dictates the way a person acts and how compatible they are with another person. Now this is a weak premise for anything, let alone a movie. So with no strength to hold up an hour and a half of so-called entertainment, a shoddy movie experience is indeed on the horizon.

Young-Bin (Lee Dong-Geon) is a young heart breaker (and also happens to be type-B), that starts things off by leaving his girlfriend in the car so he doesn't get a ticket while hanging out with his boys. She naturally puts up a bit of a fuss and he has no problem with dumping her right on the spot. When he's not kicking them to the curb, he's off trying to sell his ideas for different types of phone jingles and sound effects. After a meeting with hopeful clients, he receives yet another rejection. While leaving in a huff, he runs into Han-Mi (Han Ji-Hye), a young and timid college student (who just happens to be type-A), just coming off the bus and longs for a boyfriend and romance in her life. They both spill onto the ground and their cell-phones get mixed up. Han-Mi's phone gets destroyed in the process and after a little bit of cat and mouse, and who has who's cell-phone, they two end up on a lunch date. Upon returning home, Han-Mi tells her cousin Chae Young (Shin Hee) about her exciting day. Chae Young demands to meet with this Young-Bin to see what kind of a guy he really is. See, Chae Young just happens to deal in the realm of match-making with the aspect of blood-types being a major factor. With Young-Bin being type-B, a cold, hardheaded, arrogant, jerk, douche bag, etc. Han-Mi, being type-A is a timid, soft-spoken, delicate young woman. This is clearly why Chae Young believes the two to be incompatible. However, Han-Mi believes it's destiny that they met and promises to give it her all, despite what her cousin friends might say, because she thinks she may have found the man she's always wanted. Will these too be able to make it through all the ups and downs? Or is there something to be said about a person's blood-type?

The romantic comedy is one of the tried and true hallmarks of cinema. Sure it's been done a million times, and thus should be a well-oiled machine by now, but My Boyfriend is Type-B seems to miss the point each and every single time it tries to execute anything from the genre. The two leads, the very beautiful Han Ji-Hye and Lee Dong-Geon, try to fill the screen with that campy kissy-kissy goodness, but Lee Dong-Geon's character is such an overwhelming prick that you don't care anything about him and you pray for the second that Han Ji-Hye's character stops acting like a doormat and tells this guy to get lost. The story does a poor job of giving us any incite or background on him and why he acts this way. I mean blood-type can only go so far right? One second he's treating Han-Mi like she's the only girl in the world and in the next scene he's reprimanding her like a child and speaking down to her. It just creates a situation where there is no real threat of love loss for Young-Bin when things don't goes his way or when he's "misunderstood", because it just turns into Han-Mi trying to figure him out while he pushes her away. She has endured a series of terrible crap coming from this guy and is ready to call it quits forever, and rightfully so, but this is a romantic comedy right? Maybe? Kinda?

The main piece missing from My Boyfriend is Type-B is an essential one; balance. This makes experiences of funny, silly, light-hearted mishaps with like-able characters a treat. Next time, let the couples work things out, be different, and slowly find out they have things in common, and yes, even need each other, or hell, want each other. That's what people want to see. It's something that warrants a smile, a chuckle, or sometimes even a tear. In short, balance is a simple trait that every romantic comedy needs to have in some degree. No excuses. (CBKevin)


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