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Joshua Michael Stern
Sophie Lee has been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant. Her husband's family, devout Korean Catholics, prays for the couple. His failure to have a child is deeply shameful to him, so when he attempts suicide, Sophie tries something extreme: she follows an undocumented immigrant - a Korean who resembles her husband - from a fertility clinic to his apartment in New York City where she proposes to hire him to sire her child. She offers $300 per session and $30,000 if she gets pregnant. After several sessions, neither is able to keep emotion out of the arrangement. Where can this relationship go, and what about her husband? Will her actions save him and their marriage? Written by
Never Forever is a rare gem in the film industry, an art-house film enjoyable to watch on a Friday night. Though I think English native speakers might have a bit of a problem with the male lead Ha Jung Woo's English speaking ability, otherwise it's perfect. Sophie Lee(Vera Farmiga in a superb performance)is a white girl from a plain American family who marries Andrew(David McInnis),a successful Korean American lawyer from a high class family. The couple have a perfect life except for one thing. Andrew's sperms aren't strong enough for Sophie to have a baby. This one factor leads Andrew to attempt suicide.
Next we see Ji Ha. Ji Ha is an illegal immigrant who is saving money so that he can bring his girlfriend to America, but because he's living illegally, there are many things he can't do like selling his sperms to a clinic for a small amount of money. After being rejected by the clinic, he comes home depressed to find a strange white woman sitting in front of his doorstep with a dangerous proposal. Every time he has sex with her she'll give him 300dollars and if she gets pregnant he gets thirty thousand dollars in cash.
That white woman is Sophie. Seeing as getting pregnant was the only choice to make her husband happy, she buys Ji-Ha's sperms after seeing him by chance at the clinic. What started as a strict business relationship starts turning into passionate love.
I will stop here about the plot because if I write more,it'll probably become a spoiler but the main reason I liked this movie wasn't the plot. It was the superb performances of Vera Farmiga and Ha Jung Woo(a relatively unknown in the international movie industry, having bit parts in acclaimed director Kim Ki Duk's film 'Time'and 'Breath'.)I've only seen Vera Farmiga in 'The Departed' and 'Running Scared',yet the depth she put into Sophie was something I rarely see an actor or actress perform. Not to mention full frontal nudity. Not many actresses like to take their clothes off even if it's necessary and if they do, they ask for tons of money but Vera willingly did it in a three million dollar low-budget film. Ha Jung Woo is, how can I say it, a phenomenon. I knew he was good looking after seeing him in 'The Fox Family'(not many actors look good when they're dressed like a total nitwit.)but didn't know the extent of his acting abilities. His English tongue is not perfect,sure,but how many actors can act so well speaking a language that they're not completely fluent in? I cried my eyes out during one scene where he whispers into Vera's ear "Saranghaeyo"(in English it means "I love you"), the only Korean line he speaks .
Overall, Never Forever is a fantastic film. Go check it out when it opens(if it opens)in a theater near you.(It's also worth knowing that the theme for the movie was composed by Michael Nyman, the man behind the music for The Piano,directed by Jane Campion.)
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