Review: ‘Love Is a Crazy Thing’

Saddled with a misleadingly fluffy English title, "Love Is a Crazy Thing" was one of the most overlooked South Korean movies of 2005. Tightly scripted portrait of a single mom earning a living -- and trying to find emotional security -- as a bar girl is an involving and finally moving light drama, with a terrific lead perf by TV actress Jeon Mi-seon.

Saddled with a misleadingly fluffy English title, “Love Is a Crazy Thing” was one of the most overlooked South Korean movies of 2005. Tightly scripted portrait of a single mom earning a living — and trying to find emotional security — as a bar girl is an involving and finally moving light drama, with a terrific lead perf by TV actress Jeon Mi-seon. Marketed locally as a cute romantic comedy, film sank on December release, but certainly deserves exposure at Asia-friendly fests.

Thanks to a chance meeting, mother-of-two Eo-jin (Jeon), who is attractive but not glamorous, graduates from home embroidery and phone sex to working for a professional bar-girl agency, run by tough Mrs. Kim (Kim Ji-suk). After initially refusing to sleep with clients, and almost being fired, Eo-jin toughs it out for the sake of her kids, and starts to fall for one client, hangdog but apparently considerate businessman Min-su (Jang Hyeon-seong). Pic’s main emotional odyssey is enriched by a large number of supporting characters, all of whom, including Kim and her other girls, are drawn with unusual depth. Tech package is fine; Korean title simply means “Falling in Love.”

Love Is a Crazy Thing

South Korea

Production

A CJ Entertainment release of a Sidus, Film Naru production. (International sales: CJ, Seoul.) Produced by Cha Seung-jae, Kim Mi-heui. Executive producer, Park Dong-ho. Directed by Oh Seok-geun. Screenplay, Seo Shin-hye; adaptation, Song Min-ho.

Crew

Camera (color), Park Sang-hun; editor, Kim Seon-min; music, Song Byeong-jun, Kim Bong-su; art director, Kim Hak-je; costumes, Choi Seon-ok. Reviewed at Pusan Film Festival (Korean Panorama), Oct. 9, 2005. Running time: 101 MIN.

With

Jeon Mi-seon, Jang Hyeon-seong, Kim Ji-suk, Oh Yun-hong.
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