A 38-year-old single man, Hong Man-Taek is a petty farmer still living with his mother. Seeing a neighbor married to an Uzbekistan bride and frightened by the fact that his own grandson ...
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Once in a Summer (Hangul) is a 2006 South Korean melodrama/romance film directed by Jo Keun-shik. The film stars Lee Byung-hun and Soo Ae. It won Best Film and Best Director (for Jo) at the 15th Chunsa Film Art Awards in 2007.
In order to let things cool down from their latest heist, Popeye and his group of thieves go to Macau on a job. But the mastermind behind this job is none other than Popeye's old partner ... See full summary »
A 38-year-old single man, Hong Man-Taek is a petty farmer still living with his mother. Seeing a neighbor married to an Uzbekistan bride and frightened by the fact that his own grandson will never get married, Man-Taek's grandfather decides to send Man-tek to Uzbekistan to find a bride.
Wedding Campaign was a fairly popular Corean film from 2005; a story about two bachelor late 30's country bumpkins. The nice one of the two, very awkward with women, gets pressure from his mother and grandfather to get married and ends up getting set up to go to a matchmaking service in Uzbekistan, mirroring a real life issue in Corea, where young women tend to flee the country for the city, leaving the remaining (mostly male) farmer population without prospective spouses. Consequently, out-of-country matchmaking services have started popping up, setting up these farmers with women from struggling countries.
In this story, the more wily of the two convinces the nicer of the two to go to Uzbekistan to court women from the Koryo-people population there (ethnically Corean, having migrated out of Corea hundreds of years ago), from a sketchy matchmaking service there. However, our nice farmer becomes smitten by his translator, who has problems of her own. The movie from there on progresses fairly predictably, but not joylessly, so it's a watchable, even if it's not a particularly impressive affair. Not all of the character development is particularly believable and sometimes seems a little rushed, but the film is too good natured to hate either. Unfortunately, the structure of the film includes a long intro where precious little happens, but we get to learn about our characters in depth--this may turn off more Hollywood acclimated viewers as it doesn't move too quickly.
One of the things that I really liked about Wedding Campaign is its photography of Uzbekistan, having been shot on location for most of it. The actors are congenial and none of them try to be "the star", but rather play their parts well with the supporting comic characters doing well in their parts. Technically, the film works very well, as typical of Corean productions.
Overall, I wasn't impressed with Wedding Campaign, but I wasn't offended either. It's small charms are enjoyable enough for those who'd witness it, but it's not a compelling case for a "must watch." I doubt that you'd regret watching it, however, so if you're in the mood for a fairly light-hearted Uzbekistan set Corean romantic comedy, this is pretty much the only game in time. And it won't leave a bad taste in your mouth either. 7/10.
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