April 9, 2016

Cyrano Agency: The Act of Love

Since movies and TV shows often inundate us with preposterously poignant courtships culminating in impossibly eloquent professions of love, is it that far-fetched to imagine a future where matchmaking agencies are consulted to "script" your first encounter, your subsequent dates, and your wedding proposal? Bolstered by a sublimely humorous script and warmly amusing performances, writer-director Kim Hyun-seok's Cyrano Agency is at once an endearing send-up of the crappy faux reality romances we're spoon-fed across all the various mediums, and a big-hearted rom-com that knows that intentions, not well-crafted monologues or fairy dust, are the greater indicator that someone is guided by his or her fast-beating heart.

So don't let the cynical machinations of the matchmaking agency get in your way of seeing that this is a movie all about true romantics, and that these true romantics are both inside and outside the agency: There's Byeong-hoon (Eom Tae-woong), the agency director who employs stage magic into the art of seduction; Sang-yong (Choi Daniel), the lovelorn hedge fund guy, who wants to be a knight in shining armor; Min-Yeong (Park Shin-hye), the agency's second-in-command who's crushing on her boss big time; and Hee-joong (Lee Min-jung), the boss's ex- who happens to be their current client's dream-girl. Even Hee-joong's cynical sidekick appears to be a softie at the core, once you've plied her with a few glasses of red wine.

To say that I cried a few times during Cyrano Agency doesn't say much since I sometimes cry at the sappiest of movies. To say that I laughed more than a few times says more, but not a ton, is also faint praise, since my laugh of condescension gets just as much use as my laugh of joy. But to say that I feel this movie is really, really smart is higher praise. My brain is less often stimulated than my tear ducts or funny bone by movies. And when I'm stimulated in all areas, well that's kinda hot.

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