Versatile helmer Park Kwang-su goes the kiddie route with "Meet Mr. Daddy," a predictably soppy meller involving a dying orphan and the good-for-nothing father she insists on meeting.

Versatile helmer Park Kwang-su goes the kiddie route with “Meet Mr. Daddy,” a predictably soppy meller involving a dying orphan and the good-for-nothing father she insists on meeting. Carried along by Park Shin-yang’s amusingly expansive performance, pic brings nothing new to its genre, while background setting of the 2002 World Cup gives it a dated feel already established by the old-fashioned proceedings. A strong opening in April quickly slid down the charts; offshore chances, notwithstanding the Young Adults prize in Rome, are practically nil.

While in jail for a game of three-card Monte, wastrel Woo Jong-dae (Park, “Hi, Dharma”) is visited by teacher Sun-young (Ye Ji-won), who tells him he has a daughter about to be adopted abroad. The kid’s one wish is to know her daddy, so Sun-young offers Jong-dae money to look after Joon (Seo Sin-ae) for a few months, not mentioning that the 7-year-old has a brain tumor. What kind of teacher allows a sick kid to live in a junkyard with an irresponsible jailbird is never addressed, but inevitably, the immature Jong-dae falls for the cute moppet. Sentiment trumps charm under a glossy tech package.

Meet Mr. Daddy

South Korea

Production

An iFilm Co. production. (International sales: iHQ, Seoul.) Produced by Park Sung-ho. Executive producer, Teddy Hoon-tak Jung. Directed, written by Park Kwang-su.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen), Kim Beyong-seo; editor, Kim Yang-il; music, Cho Sung-woo; production designer, Yoon Hye-jung; costume designer, Cho Yoon-mi. Reviewed at Rome Film Festival (Alice in the City), Oct. 25, 2007. Running time: 110 MIN.

With

Park Shin-yang, Ye Ji-won, Seo Sin-ae, Ryu Seung-su.
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