September 29, 2009

Il Mare: Postal Disservice for Two Pitiable Pen Pals

My heart doesn't go out to women who sleep with teddy bears or run around with a sparkler on an abandoned beach. Nor does it go out to men who think throwing pasta strands is a cure for depression and keep their pet fish in the bathtub. (That's a guy who doesn't bathe often enough in my book.) So I guess I'm not the intended audience for Lee Hyun-seung's Il Mare, a romantic fantasy about a magic mailbox that sends love letters, used headbands and a pair of new red mittens across the time-space continuum, albeit one limited to a two-year stretch. I find it strange that Hollywood greenlit an American adaptation of this piece of melancholic schlock. (Title: The Lake House) In the U.S. version, Sandra Bullock steps in for Jun Ji-hyun (and smartly changes the part from a secondrate voice actor to a heartsick doctor). As the love interest lagging two years behind Keanu Reeves subs in for Lee Jung-jae. Having not seen the latter, I can nevertheless assure you it's probably better because I can't fathom how it could be worse. No one sends a photo back or forward in time; it takes them years to figure out how to meet; both are emotionally stunted and the woman seems untalented as well. Maybe something was lost in translation. Maybe the movie's real name is Il Merde.

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