Review: ‘Spring Breeze’

Writer-director Jang Hang-jun returns with the more conventional "Spring Breeze," an odd-couple romantic comedy centered on a third-rate novelist and a coffee-bar ditz. The first of Cinema Service's inhouse productions supervised by director Kim Sang-jin ("Kick the Moon," "Jail Breakers"), pic performed just OK on September release.

Writer-director Jang Hang-jun, who debuted last year with the runaway-train comedy-thriller “Break Out,” returns with the more conventional “Spring Breeze,” an odd-couple romantic comedy centered on a third-rate novelist and a coffee-bar ditz. The first of Cinema Service’s inhouse productions supervised by director Kim Sang-jin (“Kick the Moon,” “Jail Breakers”), pic performed just OK on September release, but could easily translate into a Stateside remake with thesps like Steve Martin and Reese Witherspoon.

Miserly writer Seon-guk (Kim Seung-woo, lead in “Break Out”) is in need of inspiration for an overdue book contract when he finds his tranquility interrupted by Hwa-jeong (Kim Jeong-eun, from hit “Marrying the Mafia”), a bubbly airhead who bought a tenancy agreement in Seon-guk’s house from his rascally late father. After stealing a hot story idea from her, Seon-guk finds himself thrown together with Hwa-jeong on a winter outing to the mountains, and the inevitable happens. Broadly played, with the romantic element entering in the third act, the generic material contains no surprises, but is likably played by the two leads, equally adept at dumb shtick. Production credits are smooth at all levels.

Spring Breeze

South Korea

Production

A Cinema Service release and production. (International sales: Cinema Service, Seoul.) Produced by Lee Gwan-su, Kim Sang-jin. Executive producer, Kang Woo-suk. Directed, written by Jang Hang-jun.

Crew

Camera (color), Mun Yong-shik; editor, Go Im-pyo; music, Yun Jong-shin; art director, Art Service. Reviewed on videocassette, London, Oct. 27, 2003. (In Pusan Film Festival -- Industry Screenings.) Running time: 109 MIN.

With

Kim Seung-woo, Kim Jeong-eun, Byeong Heui-bong, Kim Hae-ok, Jang In-han, Kim Yeong-ok, Jang Hyeon-seong, Kim Gyeong-beom, Seong Ji-ru.
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