March 15, 2015

Meet Mr. Daddy: The Worst Dad Ever And Then...

Boo-hoo. Your life is so sad. Cry me a river.

Or compare your life to that of Jong-dae (Park Shin-yang), Meet Mr. Daddy's small time hood with a cataract, who lives in a rusty old trailer and has suddenly found out that he's the father of a little girl who's set to be adopted abroad. Think he's spending endless nights — tossing and turning in bed — because he can't be a bullfighter and has to settle for a good brown contact lens? He's way too busy trying to ensure his boss's highly prized fighting dog doesn't bite his face off!

For that matter compare your life to his daughter Joon (Seo Shin-ae) who actually isn't about to be adopted by any rich American parents and who is, in fact, dying of some disease that flashed across the screen really quickly via subtitles and which I've never heard of but I'm pretty sure it's terminal since we see her vomit multiple times. She's also got a lethal dose of cuteness and I mean that in the best way possible. She's adorable! Is she crying because her only toys are a soccer ball, two chickens and a rooster? Nope!

The only one in this movie whose life might bare comparison — unless you actually do have an evil eye and a kid who's about to meet the maker — is Sun-young (Ye Ji-won), the social worker. She's got a job, a sense of purpose, a boyfriend who wants to take it to the next level... And yet tellingly she's the one who's screaming and crying all the time. Not Jong-dae. Not Joon. Typical, right? What's got her so upset? Oh, just life in general, I guess.

And you're like her, right? Sometimes you're just sad and angry and frustrated and lonely just because. Well, I'm like her (and you) too. And I cried buckets during Park Kwang-su's Meet Mr. Daddy (a.k.a. Shiny Day) maybe because of that. Which isn't to say it's a great movie. It's more to say that sometimes you just need a good cry, not because your life is so sad, but because it isn't but you're only human. If that's where you're at, have I got a movie for you!

Best when watched alone.

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