November 11, 2012

Repechage: No One Else Is Into Either of You So Get Together Already

A sweet-natured nerd (Jang Dong-gun) in a blue oxford shirt and dress pants is mindlessly walking down the sidewalk when a fiery knockout (Kim Hee-seon) in dark sunglasses, fishnet stockings and a leather jacket pulls over in her convertible and offers him a ride. How lucky is he? Before you answer that, take into account she's wearing a red pleather jacket and driving a canary yellow convertible. If that doesn't bother you too much, then check out the photographs she's just handed him of his fiancee (Kim Shi-won) making out with her boyfriend (Lee Jin-wu). Suddenly, the cliched male fantasy that opens Lee Kwang-hoon's Repechage is officially null and void. And what kind of fantasy was it really? I mean, he had a sexy fiancee already! Why did he get into this strange woman's car?

We'll never know because for the next 80 minutes, we're instead subjected to one of the slowest realization processes committed to celluloid. As we watch the two rejecting exes in the photos make out then dine out then take a mini-vacation together, we also see the two people they've dumped trying to figure out what could it all possibly mean? Neither the nerd (a veterinarian who likes to inject animals with anesthetic) nor the babe (a photographer who shoots everything from bathing suits to weddings) can comprehend that their former soul mates have moved on and that reconciliation will not be an option. Because they're slow learners, we sit impatiently waiting for them to figure out that the love of their lives is the fellow rejectee. Given how stupid these two are, you just hope they stay married forever (to save the rest of us from getting stuck with one of them) and never have babies (to save the world from their less-than-brilliant genetic pool).

The best thing to say about Repechage is it taught me a new word, which means "a last chance round for eliminated contestants to make the finals." I doubt I'll remember that. I doubt I'll remember this either.

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