Saturday, May 25, 2013

You Are My Pet (Korea 2011)

You are a piece of...okay, you get the idea. You also probably get my feelings about this movie. You Are My Pet (너는 펫), is a gimmicky, romantic-comedy that somehow manages to forget to add any romance or comedy. Oh, but they beat that gimmick into the ground and back again.

Fashion magazine editor, Eun Yi (Kim Ha-neul), is incredibly hard-working, to the point of having little, to no, free time. She doesn't have a boyfriend, she's not married, and in fact, her younger brother, Eun-soo (Choi Jong-hoon), is the only man she has in her life; and he lives with her. Basically, she's just been unlucky in love. Her brother, working as a bartender, decides to let a friend of his, In-ho (Jang Keun-suk), crash at his sister's place, unbeknownst to her. In-ho doesn't have a place to stay and Eun-soo looks at it as an opportunity to earn some cash off a friend. Eun-yi comes home to find a complete stranger making himself comfortable in her place and after some begging and pleading from Eun-soo, she decides to let In-ho stay...albeit with some stipulations. For whatever reason, In-ho reminds Eun-yi of her dog Momo, which has passed away. With this in mind, she agrees to let In-ho stay at her place as long as he's willing to be her new Momo; her pet. In-ho decides to go along with it, keeping things light and jovial, and the longer he stays at her place, the more they actually get to know each other. Turns out In-ho used to be a talented and renowned dancer, but has since given up the art due to an incident years back where he dropped a fellow dancer, injuring her. Guilt, being what it is, keeps him from performing. Eun-yi really starts warming up to In-ho, as he does to her, all the while keeping up the creepy, "master/pet", relationship, and things start looking like they could grow into more than just friendship...until Eun-yi's first love, Cha Woo-sung (Ryu Tae-joon), comes back into her life.

Hmm, what must you be thinking after reading that synopsis? If the word, "ridiculous", popped into your mind, I certainly wouldn't blame you, because let's face it; that's exactly what this movie is. Not in the, "oh, that's silly, but it's also so cute and charming so I can overlook it all", kind of way. More of a, "really? come on...really?", kind of way. You Are My Pet forces the "pet" angle down your throat at every available opportunity. It get's to the point of just being awkward and beyond fathomable. In-ho acts like a dog, so much so, that he's hopping in her bed like a pet, resting his head in her lap, calling Eun-yi master, and just about everything else aside from pissing on the floor. For me, it was just silly, in a stupid way. Not funny in the comedic sense that was probably intended by the filmmakers. I felt practically zero chemistry between Kim Ha-neul and Jang Keun-suk, which really kills the romantic side of the film, and I know it's been said before, but Jang Keun-suk couldn't look more like a woman unless he had breasts. Seeing these two on screen together, it often looked like two women in a relationship...not that there's anything wrong with that. I'm sure all of his female fans will love his performance here though. Seriously though, I don't get the appeal but I don't think I'm supposed to. However, Kim Ha-neul looked as amazing as ever, even if her performance in this movie felt dialed in and quite uninspired. That pains me to say, as I'm a huge fan of hers. So if I'm looking for anything nice to say about You Are My Pet, I guess it would be that it looked good. The film itself looks sharp, as does all the players involved.That's it...that's all I've got.

The gimmick goes too far and for way too long in You Are My Pet, making the 1 hour and 50 minute run-time extra painful. By the time it all winds down, you'll never want to hear the word, "Momo", again. Definitely not worth your time unless you're a big fan of the two stars. (Lee)

Grade: D

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