Too Beautiful to Lie (2004)

Too Beautiful to Lie (2004)

Released: 2004
Genre: Comedy, Genre, Romance
Director: Hyeong-jun Bae
Starring: Jae-ho Song, Dong-won Gang, Ha-neul Kim, ,
Run time: 115 min
IMDb: 7/10
Country: South Korea
Views: 88286


Young-ju’s professional skills of pretense and deceit easily get her out on parole. On a train en route to her sister’s wedding, she runs into Hee-chul, mistaking him for a bum trying to molest her. On top of that, a pickpocket steals Hee-chul’s engagement ring. Young-ju is worried that she might be accused of the theft, so she sets out to retrieve the ring, but amid the hassle, she’s left behind on the platform and can only watch the train leave with her luggage. Young-ju finds her way to Hee-chul’s home and the family – seeing the ring – thinks she is Hee-chul’s fiancĂ©e. To wiggle herself out of the situation without adding another crime to her rap sheet, she uses the skills of her profession and cons everyone into believing indeed she’s the one. Meanwhile, Hee-chul returns home without having proposed to his girl for lack of a ring, and finds that his family, and in fact the whole town, now scorn him for his desertion of an innocent woman.
Written by
CJ Entertainment
User Reviews: I’m unsure why, but it appears every second South Korean film I watch now-a-days, happens to star the always entertaining Kim Ha-Neul: either, I’m subconsciously drawn to Ms. Ha-Neul’s talent, or, Ms. Ha-Neul appears in a wealth of varying genres. Once labelled the queen of comedy, though I am unable to confirm or deny if such a title does Ms. Ha-Neul justice, I am able to articulate how she is certainly the queen of facial expressions (reflective of the Blu-Ray’s cover), employing a wealth of over-exaggerated and unrealistic facial gestures. These fantastically bolster the humorous climate and demonstrate the emotions she’s currently exhibiting, her expressions matching perfectly with the overall feel of the movie.

Ju Yeong-Ju (Ha-Neul), through her impeccable skills of deceit, successfully achieves parole, and with her new found freedom, aims to attend her sister’s wedding. Choi Hee-Cheol (Gang Dong-Won), a pharmacist, hoping to propose to his paramour, inadvertently triggers a conflict with Yeong-Ju whilst on the train. When a thief snatches his ring, Yeong-Ju fears she will be suspected. Not wanting to return to prison, she reacquires the ring, and through much personal difficulty, manages to locate Hee-Cheol’s familial residence to give back what belongs to him.

Song Jae-Ho is especially terrific as Hee-Cheol’s father, exerting authority and compassion in equal measure, while Kim Je-Yeong as Hee-Cheol’s grandmother, is as sweet as she is humorous. Other cast members, including Lim Ha-Ryong and Lee Young-Eun are just as adept in their roles, the cast in total generating a family as entertaining as they are charmingly lovable, and, in some instances, peculiar.

Unable to confess the truth, Yeong-Ju unfortunately triggers a series of alarmingly hilarious situations that result in the family suspecting that she is in fact Hee-Cheol’s fiancĂ©. Upon been forced home, Hee-Cheol is forced to conform to the inconvenient information Yeong-Ju has fabricated. Though initially likable, for much of the film, Yeong-Ju presents himself as a pretentiously arrogant young man, so it is no surprise when his family reveals greater appreciation for the stranger they’ve let into their lives.

What follows is a series of incidents, many of which are even stranger than the next, Yeong-Ju and Hee-Cheol discovering much about each other over the short time period. However, in pretending to be Hee-Cheol’s lover, has Yeong-Ju begun to exhibit actual feelings towards the man whose life she’s invaded?

Although stereotypically similar, on occasion, to other South Korean comedies, in not only tone, but characterization (the unlikable male who exhibits change, the lovable woman that changes his perspective, the emotional connection exhibited between friends, etc), the film exaggerates almost every portion of the narrative to create a story so unbelievable, it’s surprising everything works so brilliantly.

Ms. Ha-Neul shines in this feature, exhibiting, with much professionalism, more emotions than anyone could possibly hope to name, to create a character that nobody can ignore. If this is the kind of comedy Ms. Ha-Neul stars in, I’d very much like to view the other humorous features she’s credited for.

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