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A Bizarre Love Triangle

Slick and silly Korean comedy "Bizarre Love Triangle" (also known as "Taekwon Girl") never met a digression it wouldn't follow, resulting in a largely enjoyable slice of risque absurdity compromised -- for Western auds at least -- by pauses for gratuitous, earnest sentiment.

With:
With: Kong Hyo-Jin, Cho Eun-Ji, Choi Kwang-Il.

Slick and silly Korean comedy “Bizarre Love Triangle” (also known as “Taekwon Girl”) never met a digression it wouldn’t follow, resulting in a largely enjoyable slice of risque absurdity compromised — for Western auds at least — by pauses for gratuitous, earnest sentiment. Twisty tale of a butch lesbian and straight-male entertainer both waylaid by one hapless femme fatale (until baby makes four) is a high-gloss guilty pleasure that should divert offshore auds in niche home-format exposure.

On a kitschy “Queen of Outer Space”-style lunar outpost, a sage priest awaiting a wedding ceremony entertains an acolyte by narrating the story we see in convoluted flashback — one that is finally revealed as directly related to the futuristic “present.”

In contempo Seoul, popular TV comedian Doo-Chan (Choi Kwang-Il) is running himself ragged chasing success, as well as funding the extravagant lifestyle of wife Eun-Hee (Cho Eun-Ji). But as a consequence, she’s bored and restless; he suspects she’s having an affair. He’s right — but it’s with female taekwondo instructor Keum-Sook (Kong Hyo-Jin), her onetime high-school protector, and a recently released jailbird (she’d stolen cash for the sake of oblivious Eun-Hee, who was then faced with medical bills for a terminally ill baby).

Spying the two women’s naked congress from a third-story apartment ledge, Doo-Chan takes a shocked fall to the parking lot below — which occasions flashback-within-flashback to the girls’ formative friendship. Waking up reasonably intact, Doo-Chan and Keum-Sook weigh their devotion to the incredibly self-centered, materialistic Eun-Hee (whose flightiness is lent considerable comic zest by Cho). Ultimately, they decide to live as a happy threesome — united by the arrival of a healthy newborn fathered by Doo-Chan, though not carried by the mother you’d expect.

Helmer Lee Moo-Young’s (“Humanist”) sharp package emphasizes gaudy color in flashy costumes, nouveau-riche interiors and stylish lensing. Rude humor encompasses much ado about sex toys, vibrating and otherwise. Given gleefully superficial, improbable scenario, major drawbacks are pic’s unironically sappy passages (most related to the doomed first child).

Occasional retreat to the outer-space framing device reminds that this is foremost a farcical fantasy. Perfs are nicely turned, tech aspects ditto.

A Bizarre Love Triangle

South Korea

Production: A New Line Korea presentation of an Egg Films production. Produced by Yoon Myung Oh. Directed by Lee Moo-Young. Screenplay, Park Lee Da.

Crew: Camera (color), Ko Soo Bok; editor, Moo-Young; production designer, Uh Kyung Joon; lighting designer, Kim Sang Bum; music, Jang Young Kyu; sound (Dolby SR), Kang Bong Sung. Reviewed at San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Festival, June 26, 2003. Running time: 92 MIN.

With: With: Kong Hyo-Jin, Cho Eun-Ji, Choi Kwang-Il.

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