October 8, 2017

Speedy Scandal: Grandpa Needs to Grow Up

I realized a few days after watching Speedy Scandal that radio host and DJ Nam Hyeon-soo (Cha Tae-hyun) isn't the hero. Not really. In fact, you could argue that he's the villain of the movie. That's what I'm about to do right now. Why? Well, because he's the one who treats his newfound daughter like dirt; the one who never asks about how her mother — his supposed "one true love" — is doing; the one who repeatedly gets in the way of his daughter's singing career and her love life and her hopes to form a new family that doesn't need to sleep on a restaurant floor. He's the one who sees his grandson (Hwang Seok-hyeon) primarily as a lure to bed the grammar school teacher and whose first concern when he discovers his grandson's been kidnapped from a concert that he's hosting is basically "Let's get on with the show." If you knew a child had been kidnapped would you really forge on even if it weren't your kid? Your answer better by "NO!" So yes, Hyeon-soo is pretty despicable.

Which brings up the following question: Why isn't his daughter Jeong-nam (Park Bo-yeong) the main character of this film? Why don't we see her try on lots of different outfits when her stingy father finally takes her to the mall to buy some nice clothes? Why are we forced to watch his "comic" attempts to keep her a secret instead of her "comic" attempts to fit into his world? I personally would've enjoyed seeing more scenes between her and her love interest the awkward photographer (Lim Ji-gyu) than daddy and his lust interest the school marm (Hwang Woo-seul-hye). Maybe some audiences have a soft spot for the still-cute actor Cha based on his memorable roles in My Sassy Girl and Sad Movie. But me? Not so much. Credit must be given to writer-director Kang Hyeong-cheol, however. With his next film, the infinitely more entertaining Sunny, he put the women front and center. People who learn from their mistakes should be praised. Sound cue: Applause.

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