December 29, 2014

Baby and Me: Teen Pop

Life is complicated. Isn't that just the kind of overarching statement you'd expect from the mouth of a maturing teen. And hey, I won't argue against that sentiment either. But Kim Jin-yeong's Baby and Me is one of those comedies that first endorses the notion, then embellishes it to the point that you'll be protesting, Well, surely it's not as complicated as all that. A philandering teen (Jang Keun-suk) discovers he's a father. I can go there. His parents (Kim Byung-ok and Park Hyeon-suk) have deserted him because they're tired of him constantly getting into trouble. I can go there, too. The baby (Mun Mason) arrives in a basket (with a note) on the teen's doorstep so no one knows who the mother is. Less common but still plausible. A brainy neighbor girl (Song Ha-yoon) with over a half-dozen siblings herself becomes his surrogate co-parent. That's a bit less likely but okay. The real father (Ko Kyu-pil) turns out to be his chubby friend whose mother is dying of cancer. Hmm. Rather than allow a perfectly nice white couple raise the baby in America, the teen (who's no longer a daddy) races his motorcycle to the airport, maneuvers past all the security and guilt trips the new parents so that his sneaky friend -- to whom he's giving a bagful of money -- can raise the child in Korea. Now you're stretching it but you're also making a point. It's just so out of nowhere. All of this happens in three days. Now you're annoying me.

You're going, wait, wait. This is a comedy. Sure. I agree. Baby and Me doesn't have to be believable if it's funny. So how about the scene where he's tracking down breast milk from recent mothers? Or the low, gravelly old man voice that the baby uses to articulate desires. Or the preposterous chicken outfit the teen girl wears from time to time? That's funny for funny's sake, right? Lighten up. Well, I'd lighten up if it were funny. But it's generally not. Especially the examples you've just cited. And admittedly, it's me citing them and not you. And yes, I laughed a few times. I just didn't think it had to be so complicated. That's all. You get my drift? I guess so.

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