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Through a misunderstanding, Chul-su (Lee) arrives on the doorstep of Chun-hie (Shim). Having nowhere else to go, he forces her to allow him to stay until they can contact their mutual friend to solve the problem. Their initial contempt for each other gradually softens, but they cannot bring themselves to have a full understanding of the other. Written by
Thomas Giammarco <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A modern romantic yarn much more fun than "Must Love Dogs"
Simply smitten by the music soundtrack that was included (12 tracks) as bonus material to the film on DVD release (Region 3, playable on an 'all region' DVD/CD player). I chanced upon this film while checking out a Korean film title on the Web (lovehkfilm.com/panasia). What a find. This is a delightful, easy-going story about a young woman and her unexpected (or is it fate?) encounter with the young man whom the former tenant was involved with.
Just the film title is attractive enough: Art Museum By the Zoo. It's in Korean with English subtitles, director Lee Jeong-Hyang's debut film can surely grow on you, following the ups and downs (or the adventures) of an evolving relationship between Chun-Hee (sprightly and resolutely portrayed by Shim Eun-Ha) the wedding video lady photographer who dreams of a man that doesn't notice her, and Chul-Soo (portrayed by Lee Sung-Jae) the soldier on leave to find the girl he loves disappeared and discover Chun-Hee occupying the apartment instead. As things happen, the two come to accept each other's quirks and flaws, and seem to be quite at ease with one another in spite of their 'other distraction'. They even work together on a video script that Chun-Hee was trying to enter in a contest - a possible fairy tale of a romance.
Yes, the music track and song selections are simply infectious. The piano tunes are melodic, the strings set the mood, the jazzy ones are downright playful and complement the fun ingredients to the developing relationships of the two main characters. There's vibraphone, oboe or bassoon-like sounds and vocals, too. There is the '60's hit tune: "Let There Be Love" ("let there be you, let there be me, let there be oysters, under the sea let there be birds, sing in the trees, someone to bless me, whenever I sneeze") to color up the leisurely pace of the unlikely tale of the twosome.
I really appreciate director Lee's music sensibility. Two other catchy songs (yes, lyrics in English), she wisely included. In fact the lyrics seem to describe the mood of the plot at times: the Swedish group Cardigans' "Sick & Tired" ("sick, tired and sleepless, with no one else to shine for you can always say my attic has its charm, you can always say you did no major harm"), and the British group Beautiful South's "Good As Gold (Stupid As Mud)" ("Don't know what I'm doing here, I'll carry on regardless I want my love, my joy, my laugh, my smile, my needs I want my sun-drenched, wind-swept Ingrid Bergman kiss"). What an endearing - charming to say the least - film to enjoy.
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