November 28, 2009

You Are My Sunshine: He's Not So Happy When Skies Are Gray

Don't get me wrong. I'd love it if every prostitute met the man of her dreams and left the biz for a better life. But the "lovable whore" -- not to mention the "gentleman john" -- is a fantasy that rattles me. Can there really be a happily ever after for a hooker and her customer? I can't help but predict disaster. From the looks of You Are My Sunshine, director-writer Park Jin-pyo basically agress. Here, the woman-in-question is sweet, young cynic Eun-ha (Jeon Do-yeon) who wears H&M dresses and delivers coffee (with blow jobs) when she isn't being courted by country bumpkin Seok-joong (Hwang Jeong-min). Eventually, the two pair up for wedded bliss only to find their love knot untangled by the return of her other husband and a frightful diagnosis of AIDS. Before you know it, Eun-ha is back to turning tricks and Seok-joong is in a tailspin that even his well-meaning mother (Na Mun-hee) can't set right. When Eun-ha ends up the Typhoid Mary of HIV, one farming family's tragedy becomes the stuff of tabloid fodder. (There's a great scene in which a photojournalist instructs the grieving Seok-joong to walk away with his shoulders slumped to look sad.) A weepie if there ever was one, You Are My Sunshine nevertheless ends optimistically. These two renew your faith in eternal vows.

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