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`A Woman I Know - Someone Special' Shows Even Oddballs Fall in Love

2004/06/24 Source

By Joon Soh
Staff Reporter
Jang Jin has a thing for quirky characters. In his last film "Killer-dului Suda (Guns & Talk)", the screenwriter-turned-director presented a band of assassins who spent more time bantering with one another than doing any actual killing. His newest film "Anun Yoja", which translates to "A Woman I Know - Someone Special", is an entertaining send-up of the Romantic Comedy genre that at times strikes a near-perfect balance between the sweet and the absurd.

Jeong Jae-young, whom audiences last saw as a hyped up suicide commando in "Silmido" earlier this year, plays Chi-song, a soft spoken, romantically inept professional baseball player who keeps striking out in love. On top of getting dumped by his latest girlfriend _ a hilarious scene that takes place at the end of a romantic walk through the woods _ Chi-song's life goes from bad to worse when he finds out that he only has three months to live.

Chi-song's team thinks his despair, and his sudden inability to concentrate on fly balls, are due to his latest romantic breakup and gives the outfielder a chance at pitching, the position he always coveted.

The sweet lug's biggest regret in life, however, has nothing to do with sports and everything to do with love _ or, more precisely, his lack of it. Ironically, the romantic other Chi-song has been pining for turns out to be right under his nose, in the form of Yi-yon (Lee Na-young), a sweetly awkward young woman who has had a 10-year-long crush on the baseball player.

"A Woman I Know" takes many cues from the romantic film genre but transforms them into exercises in banal absurdities. In the hands of director Jang, painfully awkward moments between the two main characters _ of which there are many, given the pair's absence of dating skills _ are turned into setups for many hilarious punchlines.

The director also shows off a surprisingly acerbic wit, with morbid jokes about Chi-song's approaching death and a wickedly absurd satire of a romantic film, starring an electric pole, that Chi-song and Yi-yon watch on one of their dates.

As Yi-yon, Lee follows up an impressive debut as a comedic actress in last year's "Yongo Wanjon Chongbok (Please Teach Me English)" with yet another confidently oddball performance. And though a little bit long at times (some of the awkward moments end up a bit too, well, awkward), she and Jeong make "A Woman I Know" the top candidate for best romantic film of the summer.

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