Marrying the Mafia
Director: Jeong Heung-son
AKA - Married to the Mafia
This is another Korean romantic comedy and it hits all the right notes being
funny from beginning to a wonderful ending. Relentlessly amusing with just
the right amount of inevitable romance. In 2001 My Sassy Girl came out to
great acclaim and huge popularity and it created an insatiable appetite for
films in this genre. Many of them rather flimsy or just plain silly, others
quite wonderful. Generally, they are of the mismatched variety that works
its way through the phases of love until they arrive at a happy ending. Always
rather innocent, lots of smacking faces and drunk scenes. This one would
definitely fall into that category. It felt like a sparkling gin fizz.
Dae-so (Jeong Hun-ho) and Jin-kyeong (Jeong-eun Kim) wake up naked in bed
next to each other and have no idea how this happened as they have no clue
who the other person is (at the end we find out how this came about). This
leads to great embarrassment on both their parts but much less so than later
in the day when Dae-so is hanging by his feet from a very high building.
It turns out Jin-kyeong has three older brothers - she is the princess of
the family and he is asked not so nicely to marry her. He is understandingly
reluctant - but then they squeeze him a little harder - they are part of
a top gangster clan run by their legendary father. Oh shit, he thinks.
This reminds me of a small story in my own life. Very small. Back when I
was in my 20's and still able to get girls to go out with me, I went to work
in a new department in the bank. There was a very attractive girl working
there with the name of S.B. - very wasp name that I won't reveal. A couple
times we bumped up against each other in our work life and chatted nicely.
Found out she was single and thought why not ask her out. This was way before
rules to forbid employee fraternization were put in place. I mentioned this
to my friend Al, a slick ladies man who did very well - he gives me a raised
eye and then followed by a gulp. Are you sure you want to do that? Ya, I
guess so. Why? B. isn't her real name. Her last name is G. - a very well
known Mafia family that was in the news quite a bit and not for charity work.
Needless to say, I went looking for love elsewhere.
So they are both reluctant but the three brothers who for all of their toughness
and beating down people are softies when it comes to their sister and behind
the scenes act as cupids to bring these two sweet kids together. There is
also a competing gang that intrudes and some big bang ups. All in their own
way quite funny. It turned out to be the biggest hit in Korea that year and
led to Marrying the Mafia II, though as far as I can tell not really related
to this one. Which is a shame because Jeong-eun Kim is downright wonderful.
Not really beautiful with tiny black coal eyes that look like cartoon dots,
but she manages to be adorable.