Film: My Girlfriend Is An Agent (7Keup Kongmuwon / 7급 공무원)
Director (& co-writer): Shin Tae-Ra
Venue: Korean Cultural Centre, London
Elizabeth Sujin Ford
Running Time: 112 minutes
Shown as a short season of films – in the lead up to the recent  Royal Wedding – to promote the Korean island of Jeju.
It was busy on this night…
But… Straight in to the movie.
Koreans not only do great dramas they do brilliant comedies too. This was no exception and as daft as it was, storywise & slapstickwise it provided the loudest laughter I’ve heard in the KCC. Not only the loudest but indeed the most.
Of course, this was one of the final films to be shown promoting the Korean island of Jeju. It isn’t based in Jeju but much mention of the place.
I have to say that I found the main male’s name very similar to Jeju (it’s Jae-Joon… but of course, not pronounced exactly the same). Intentional? Errr. Doubtful? Yes.
I’m a non-spoiler guy, or zero-spoilers-a-day kinda man, so I’ll stick to that. Suffice to say, from the title we can’t hide the fact that we have some inkling of what it’s about. An agent, detective or spy? A female one, at that… This ‘could’ be true and perhaps in many, many ways it is. But the story has more to it than that. I wouldn’t say that it’s a Complex Comedy, and I’m sure the story is out there somewhere in Hollywoodland – it sure seems familiar. In particular, the way the 2 characters are connected seems to ring bells with me – Maybe not even a film I’ve seen but surely heard of? Surely.
We meet a woman and a man – they ‘don’t last 5 minutes’, like that old expression and that timescale is probably apt for how long they are together for at start of movie. But why? Complications – is the cryptic one-word answer I will give here, but feel it is a fitting response.
In this familiar story there are many unexpected moments and this is where the rom-com aspects work [although I wouldn’t necessarily class it as a romantic comedy] and in these spontaneously sporadic moments is where the slapstick works best. There indeed were belly-laughs all around me there in the KCC.
The main leads, both male and female are incompetent at what they do, but with one worse than the other. Incompetency is where slapstick can work at it’s best. Slapstick aside though, there are many a genuine comedy moment, some ingeniously thought out.
Check out a scene, or two involving a bullet-proof vest and a follow-that-cab moment which is very, very funny if only brief. There are more such [chase] scenes abound later on.
As I write these I remember so many comical moments, sounds, visuals etc. A dinner scene, a joke around passwords, a fairground scene. Laughs all around.
Even in such a knockabout comedy as this, I still found time to put my sentimental glands to the test, even if I didn’t want to. You see, it’s natural for me and hopefully many others. There is one scene involving an individual (I’m not naming which character, of course) who is left out in the rain wearing a small, poirot/clown hat. I’m sure if the idea behind the rain, and the fact that Poirot indeed has streaked tears from his eyes was intentional. Either way, I pictured hearing Placebo’s “Poirot The Clown” here.
Silly it may be and “sure” it’s all been done before – you only have to think of Mr Bean as one reference point – but it’s the crazily-thought-out ideas which win us over.
So, to re-iterate my opening paragraph… I have to agree with the audience’s reaction which I had the pleasure of witnessing. What more can I say, except that this was the funniest laugh-out-loud Korean Komedy I’d seen.
That’s almost it – suffice to say that I’m sorry I couldn’t give away more from this very funny picture. Just think of me as a secret agent and therefore my writing lips are (semi) sealed.
Feel free to find the following Mini Mini Movie, & other Mini-er Movies (i.e. Trailers; Snippets) at:
“My Girlfriend is in a Trailer”
First and Foremost [although almost Last in this article!], many thanks to the Korean Cultural Centre, London for arranging to have so many wonderful, diverse and interesting films showing at their venue – ALL movies screened there are FREE to anyone who books and attends.
Mini Mini Movie’s entry Tweet Tweview [Yes, you too can Tweet a review to win a brand new DVD – something the KCC offer after every screening!]…:
“@KCCUK “Review of Korean film “My Girlfriend Is An Agent” up on my site soon. P.S. Don’t laugh at the title… Laugh at the movie…!”
Before I go…:
2 items which you simply must be aware of are these.
Yes, the yearly KCC-arranged “London Korean Film Festival”. Details of the very latest one can be found here at the brilliant Hangul Celluloid website:
You see, as well as arranging the brilliant and aforementioned film festival, the KCC also put on other film-related events.
Not only this, they recently celebrated their 100th film night. The night was also part of this marvellous ’12 Directors’ year long event – Details Elsewhere. Where? The ‘Otherwhere’ website:
That’s all Folks! I’ll leave you with the fabulous trailer for the LKFF!