K-Drama Two Faces of my Girlfriend is absurdly relatable

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Photo Credit: photo via film smash under the creative commons license

Actress Jung Ryeo won and actor Bong Tae-Gyu star in the 2007 romcom, Two Faces of my Girlfriend.

“Two Faces of my Girlfriend” is a 2007 K-drama romantic comedy film starring Bong Tae-Gyu and Jung Ryeo-won. It is available on Amazon Prime Video.

K-dramas are beginning to be all the hype all over the world. Where J-drama refers to Japanese drama and C-drama refers to Chinese-language drama, K-drama refers to television dramas produced by South Korea. It is watchable on TV and also via internet stream on websites like Viki, DramaFever, Netflix and other providers. K-drama’s popularity was raised when they began to broadcast in other countries’ TV stations as well.

Plot:

Gu-Chang (Bong Tae-Gyu) lives a pathetic life. The seventh-year college student is always failing at job interviews and lives off of an allowance from his divorced sister. To make matters more unfortunate he’s never been in a relationship in all 30 years. However, his luck seems to turn for the better when he meets sweet and wholesome A-Ni (Jung Ryeo-Won).

All seems to be excellent until Gu-Chang kisses his girlfriend for the first time. A-Ni, or who he thought was A-Ni, bites his tongue and gives him a pleasant kick, introducing herself as Ha-Ni. And so begins Gu-Chang’s painful relationship with his split-personality girlfriend. But the conflict is Ha Ni, A Ni’s other half personality, does not approve of Gu-Chang. The interesting part is that the host of the body is not aware of her split personality.

Summary:

Gu-chang gets into trouble because of his girlfriend which is entertaining to watch Gu-Chang’s boring old life suddenly light up. There are also some nice parodies on other genres, but all in all the film is held in a very lighthearted and carefree manner. Unfortunately, it took a while for these characters who felt broad and unreal to click.

A positive aspect is that A Ni’s back story was more complex than expected. The film starts to pick up momentum in the second half as the audience wonders about the female protagonist. The strength of the movie is when it reveals why she has a split personality condition. it becomes more serious in tone and delves into the past of Anni. Why does she have to split her personality? These defense mechanisms create Hanni, who is a true superwoman. However, Gu-chang realizes that he doesn’t really know the real Anni, only some parts of her. Gu-Chang thinks that Gu-Chang must leave in order for her to heal from her suffering. And of course this at a time when he just truly fell in love for the first time. 

Review:

Director Lee Seok-hoon wanted to keep his movie as wacky as possible, without taking the risk to jeopardize his movie by implementing something inventive.

Nonetheless, most of the problems of the K-drama are repaid by the actors.  Jung Ryeo Won does a superb job portraying the sweet A Ni and the harder-edged Ha Ni who is a tough nonsense gal. Ryeo Won is engaging and managed both characters thoroughly. Bong Tae-Gyu (“When Romance Meets Destiny”, “Family Ties”) already has made a name for himself as a comedy actor thanks to his unique look, and is born for the role of a loser. He doesn’t deliver a real acting achievement, but his solid performance, along with his unusual charm make him a likable guy we can relate to.

Two Faces of my Girlfriend” solely aims at being superficial entertainment. Sadly, the jokes some of them can’t force out mild laughter. Although the film is told from the perspective of Gu-chang, the true heart of this K-drama is Jeong Ryeo-won (“My Name is Kim Sam-soon”). She is a former band member of the group “Chakra.” Ryeo-won faces a difficult task to play two characters. The script didn’t really support her with well-elaborated roles, and thus her portrayals inevitably have to be a bit two-dimensional. Yet she still manages fabulously discern her two characters thanks to her facial expressions, the way she talks and her appearance. This isn’t such an easy task, but Jeong handles it easily and succeeds. 

Many Korean Dramas before 2010 were not as romantic and tender as they are now. Nowadays they are slow-paced with at 30 episodes per season with not too much development episode to episode. Korean movies are cliche but this movie is different from their style. The title of this film refers to the idea of a split personality. It has a clever title and an entertaining movie to watch with family.

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