Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
The Wedding Palace: Love is a Curse
me if you’ve heard this one before. You’ve
got a big ethnic family and perhaps a wedding.
Wait, there’s also a curse.
Frankly, Jason Kim might be better off with a gruesome death than the women
his mother tries to fix him up with. However,
hope might be arriving from Korea in Christine Yoo’s The Wedding Palace (trailer here), which opens this Friday in New York.
to the scandalous behavior of bridegroom hundreds of years again, a painful
fate befalls all the men in Kim’s family who are not married before they turn
thirty. At least, so he has always been
told. He is twenty-nine and his fiancée,
Jinnie Park, just jilted him at the altar. It is embarrassing for Kim,
especially since his parents are convinced he is now doomed.
when traveling to Seoul on business, Kim cannot escape his mother’s Hail Mary blind
dates. Yet, one particularly miserable
attempt in a karaoke club brings Kim face-to-face with Song Na-young, a very
attractive colleague who can sing like an angel. Despite their halting start, the two commence
a passionate long distance love affair. Soon
he Skypes the question and she accepts.
Yet as soon as she lands in L.A. he discovers something about her that
will provide him and his family the opportunity to act like first-rate jackasses. Will true love rebound? Should the stunning Song even allow him a
second chance? Have you seen a romantic
Palace might be
formulaic, but most red-blooded viewers will fall head over
handlebars for Song during their karaoke sequence. Old Boy
star Kang Hye-jung sounds about as comfortable with English as most of us
would performing Shakespeare translated into Esperanto, but she has presence—that
Kim, co-producer Brian Tee (the corrupt prosecutor in The Wolverine) makes a likable enough straight man and a convincing
heel. Mad-TV’s Bobby Lee contributes a few laughs and a good measure of
energy as Kim’s best friend Kevin.
Unfortunately, Margaret Cho is not any funnier in her cameo as a shaman
than she ever has been before. Perhaps
more frustrating, Joy Osmanski, who was so charming in Dave Boyle’s White on Rice, is largely wasted in the
thankless role of Park.
For an indie rom-com, Palace is quite a nicely put together package, featuring some
handsome cinematography (most notable during the Korean scenes) and an upbeat
score composed by David Benoit. Even
though we have more or less seen it all before, Kang makes it hard not to like.
Pleasant but predictable, The Wedding
Palace is recommended as a date movie for committed couples when it opens
this Friday (9/27) in New York at the AMC Empire.
Labels: Kang Hye-jung, Movie Romance