April 10, 2012

Postman to Heaven: Mail-Order Bride, Heaven-Sent Groom

Lee Hyeong-min's Postman to Heaven apparently has two demographics in mind: 14-year-old girls and 47-year-old gay men. (You can guess which niche I fit into.) It's an irresistible saccharine romance that knows its audience will forgive anything, no matter how improbable, as long as quirky young ingenue Ha Na (Han Hyo-ju) and pop-star-turned-angel Jae-jun (Kim Jae-joong) end up together in matrimonial harmony.

How It Starts: Ha Na is in a funk. Her boyfriend just died and she's pissed because her grieving process has been interrupted by the revelation that her sweetheart was married and had a kid. It's funny the things you learn at a funeral. Bitter and bewildered, she dashes off an angry letter to the deceased which she then drops at the Mailbox to Heaven. (You know, that mailbox that's located in the middle of the field just outside the city.) There, she meets Jae-jun, God's postal carrier who confirms his celestial status with two white feathers attached to a necklace and another two fluttering on his keychain.

Where It Goes: He hires her to help on his postal route, which also entails concocting cockamamie schemes to trick people into thinking their lost loves forgive them. A rock singer gets a scrapbook from his dead dad thereby proving his father accepted his son's career choices. An old man (Shin Goo) gets DNA results that confirm that his late wife never cheated so his one son really is his offspring. An amateur photographer gets an audiotaped that proves his son doesn't mind that he's partly to blame for his mother's death. And so on and so on. Along the way, the two adorable ones fall in love but then discover that he's basically invisible. This is what's known as a deal breaker in my book but here it's more of a temporary setback. (This is fantasy, not neo-realism, in case you haven't figured that out.)

How It Ends: Everything works out! While not giving away all the details, I will say that I was surprised when he ended up wearing nerdy glasses and she ended up with a much simpler haircut. But you can see why they deserve each other. She overacts; he underacts. She needs to get a life; he needs to get back his life. She wants to design postcards. He wants to deliver them. If you don't believe that last part, just stick around for the credits.

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