"Hahaha" is by far the least amusing of writer-director Hong Sang-soo's recent comedies.

Despite its title, “Hahaha” is by far the least amusing of South Korean writer-director Hong Sang-soo’s recent comedies about the alcoholic thirst, insatiable horniness and general immaturity of male filmmakers and other would-be gents. Here, two guys — an impoverished movie director and a clinically depressed critic — take turns narrating interconnected stories seen in flashback, the booze-fueled conversations themselves rendered lazily with black-and-white stills. Hard-drinking characters are nothing new for Hong, but this is the first time alcohol seems to have seeped into the script. Those who haven’t already tired of Hong’s inebriated shtick will herewith go on the wagon.

Though his buddy (Yu Jun-sang) is the reviewer of the pair, Seoul-based auteur Jo Munk-yung (Kim Sang-kyung) is the one to rate a female tour guide (Moon Sori) as having an “average face, but a very nice figure.” (Ha ha ha.) On holiday in seaside Tongyeong, Munk-yung secretly surveys this woman’s house to gather details, then pretends to be psychic. As before, Hong favors long takes and the simplest setups, punctuated here by inelegant zooms. The pic’s scant credits reflect a production even tinier in scale than Hong’s best efforts.


South Korea

  • Production: A Jeonwonsa Film Co. production. (International sales: Finecut, Seoul.) Produced by Kim Kyoung-hee. Executive producer, Hong Sang-soo. Directed, written by Hong Sang-soo.
  • Crew: Camera (color/B&W), Park Hong-yeol; editor, Hahm Sung-won; music, Jeong Yong-jin. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Un Certain Regard), May 13, 2010. Running time: 114 MIN.
  • With: With: Kim Sang-kyung, Yu Jun-sang, Moon Sori.