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Happiness

Korean meller specialist Hur Jin-ho ("April Snow," "Christmas in August") plows familiar turf in his forgettable "Happiness," about two souls who find each other in a rural sanitarium and then, inevitably, have a falling-out.

Korean meller specialist Hur Jin-ho (“April Snow,” “Christmas in August”) plows familiar turf in his forgettable “Happiness,” about two souls who find each other in a rural sanitarium and then, inevitably, have a falling-out. A kindly, multidimensional attitude toward the couple isn’t enough to offset pic’s emphatic and elementary messages (drinking will drive you to ruin, do unto others … ), which are well-meant but emotionally impoverished. Early October opening in Korean cities should pull in date crowds, though vid will really bring out the handkerchiefs.

High-living, hard-boozing Seoul club owner Young-su (Hwang Jung-min, “A Good Lawyer’s Wife”) discreetly turns over his biz to his partners and enters a remote health clinic to treat his cirrhosis of the liver. He regains his health, enhanced by falling in love with Eun-hee (Lim Soo-jung, in a notable shift from her previous turn in “A Tale of Two Sisters”), who suffers from severe lung disease. Once they’re living on their own, city boy Young-su chafes at the slow pace of life in the sticks and unfairly dumps Eun-hee, returns to Seoul and makes up for lost drinking time — much to his eventual regret.

Happiness

South Korea

  • Production: An M&FC presentation. in association with Showbox/Mediaplex, of a Rai Film, Zip Cinema production. (International sales: Showbox, Seoul.) Produced by Kang Bong-rae, Eugene Lee. Executive producer, Cho Sung-woo. Directed by Hur Jin-ho. Screenplay, Hur Jin-ho, Lee Sook-yeon, Shin Joon-ho, Seo Yoo-min.
  • Crew: Camera (color), Kim Hyung-koo; editor, Choi Jae-keon; music, Cho Sung-woo; production designer, Yang Hong-sam. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Contemporary World Cinema), Sept. 7, 2007. Original title: Haeng-bok. Running time: 121 MIN.
  • With: <b>With:</b> Hwang Jung-min, Lim Soo-jung.
  • Music By: