December 8, 2013

The Perfect Couple: Looking Good But Laughing Little

After you watch a wretched rom-com like The Perfect Couple (a.k.a. The Best Romance), you have two choices: You can either rag on it or let it go -- all of it except Jeon Soo-kyeong, that is. Jeon is the very funny actress who plays the bit part of a longtime tabloid journalist (who basically admits her years in the profession can be attributed to an inability to find anything else to do). Screen time is minimal. Actual lines, but few. You'd be hard-pressed to even call Jeon's cougar-hack a sidekick but as the female lead's mis-mentoring boss, Jeon shows up often enough to keep you from leaving your home theater entirely. If you manage to last until the bitter end, she'll even reward you with some very hearty laughs. Those laughs involve Jeon firebombing criminals in a junkyard while running around in heels and a fright wig. That Jeon can elicit chuckles from so little isn't a total surprise. In Little Black Dress, she also made the most of the miniscule by delivering second-rate lines as if they'd been penned by Noel Coward or maybe Kaufman & Hart.

I have no idea how Jeon manages to consistently elevate her material. As her protege, Hyeon Yeong is certainly working just as hard if not harder. Yet though she squawks and wiggles, pouts and poses< Hyeon never registers as more than a pretty face. And despite his ridiculous Bon Jovi hairdo, co-star Lee Dong-wook always looks as if he's a model police officer who just stepped off the set of a shampoo commercial, even when there's blood on his lip. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Lee didn't realize he was in a rom-com and was under the impression instead that he was in a crime drama. After all, his character is a cop. And he might be right when you come to think of it. The Perfect Couple isn't very romantic and, except for Jeon, it isn't comedic either. Where as Lee (or his stunt double) does a smashing job when he's executing flipkicks or brutal head-butts. Is The Perfect Couple referring to him and his partner (Lee Jeong-heon)? Nah, I don't think so.

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