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Mood of the Day - Movie Poster
Original Title:
Geu-nal-eui boon-wi-gi

South Korea 2016

Genre:
Romance

Director:
Jo Kyoo-jang

Cast:
Moon Chae-won
Yoo Yeon-seok
Jo Jae-yoon
Park Min-woo
Lee Yeon-doo
Lee Eon-jeong
Ga Deuk-hee
Lee Hae-yeong


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Mood of the Day

Mood of the Day - Film Screenshot 1

Story: Soo-jeong (Moon Chae-won) has to go to Busan since she has to close an advertising contract with a basketball player. When she sits in the train Jae-hyeon (Yoo Yeon-seok) takes the seat next to her and he soon starts flirting with her. Soo-jeong is in a relationship for ten years already and it doesn't go well at the moment, but the man next to her grosses her out more than anything else. Jae-hyeon even tells her very directly that he thinks of spending the night with her. In his opinion, there is nothing wrong with cheating on someone. After all, they are both grown-ups who can talk openly about this. Soo-jeong doesn't want to give the impression of being prude, but she leaves no room for interpretation and tells Jae-hyeon that he doesn't have a chance with her. Unfortunately, she overhears a call from him where it turns out that Jae-hyeon is also going to Busan to meet the basketball player she needs for her advertising contract. Since she doesn't know how to track him down otherwise she wants to accompany Jae-hyeon. When the train suddenly stops moving the two get off and continue their trip with a car. However, the basketball player has disappeared at the moment and Soo-jeong and her companion have difficulties finding him. While searching for him the uneven couple gets closer to each other and it seems that an one night stand might be not that far-fetched anymore...

Mood of the Day - Film Screenshot 2 Mood of the Day - Film Screenshot 3
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Review: There is a great number of movies like "Mood of the Day" in Korea. And their success seems to be a sure bet as long as there are an audience that is into romantic flicks and actors/actresses, that fan girls (and boys) remain loyal too and continue consuming everything they are a part of. Still, as a romantic flick "Mood of the Day" in fact does a lot of things right. The chemistry between the two leads is good, despite the two not being the kind of standardized romantic material we are accustomed to. This sadly causes us to hope for a more profound handling of topics like love and relationship which is where the movie turns out to be a complete and utter failure. The romantic story is told one-sided and covers its weaknesses quite well most of the time. However, they become even the more apparent towards the end where the movie is about to fall apart.

Mood of the Day - Film Screenshot 5

First of all, it needs to be pointed out that we initially believe Jae-hyeon to be quite a sleazy fellow who acts like a womanizer and is very outspoken. But gradually it turns out that he is in fact quite the nice guy, who even helps a damsel in distress if he can't hope for a one night stand in return. Yet, you shouldn't expect any sophisticated character elaboration from the screenplay. Almost everything that drives Jae-hyeon is merely hinted at and it falls to Yoo Yeon-seok ("Whistle Blower", "A Werewolf Boy") to bestow the necessary charisma upon the male part of the love story. Luckily, he succeeds in doing so. Soo-jeong on the other hand is a woman who is trapped in an unhappy relationship for a while already. As not to be expected otherwise by the rudimentarily written screenplay we don't get to see anything of the problems of her relationship either.

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Also, it's of course quite risky to make the female protagonist consider to have an affair. Because who would want to sympathize with her after that, no matter if her boyfriend just doesn't pay any attention to her anymore or not? Given a detailed elaboration of characters we possibly would, but of course we don't get that here. Yet, it's a sign of the time that women also claim the rights that men have lived with for ages already. This makes "Mood of the Day" an interesting affair, although the implementation isn't well-achieved. Moon Chae-won ("War of the Arrows") does her best to play a vulnerable as well as self-confident woman and she manages to pull it off. You even assume that there is some complexity to her character, but as already stated there is no room for this in the script.

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Instead, the screenplay is a series of different scenes which are all supposed to depict one single, wonderful date which will make female audiences' hearts melt with a sigh. Therefore, it's even the more questionable what part the story around the basketball player is supposed to play in the romantic flick. As a plot device for the two protagonists to have a reason to meet and stay together for a while this may be fine in a way, but later this part of the story turns out to be rather forced and simply serves the purpose of once again stressing that Jay-hyeong is actually one hell of a nice guy. Still, even worse are the scenes involving Jae-hyeong's friend, even though it's not really safe to say that he is a friend, considering the numerous times he is left hanging by Jae-hyeong. You get the impression as if the scenes with him were supposed to stand as something like the comedic part of the film, but there is nothing funny to be found here.

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So the question that ultimately remains to be answered is whether the chemistry between the uneven couple is well enough to carry the movie or not. Generally, yes. There are a few heartwarming scenes for all those who yearn for a bit of romance and love and male audiences won't even need to worry about throwing up, for most part that is. Because most of the time "Mood of the Day" avoids being corny, as well as this is possible with a romantic flick. However, the ending is unforgivable. From some point during half-time onwards there is nothing exciting happening anymore and the flick simply follows the standard formula of a romantic plot. Everyone knows that scene when one of the lovers realizes the big mistake he or she made (due to some coincidences, naturally) and then desperately rushes to the airport in order to confess his or her love just in the nick of time. Simply replace the airport with a train station and you get the finale of "Mood of the Day". For this the movie would have actually deserved some more deduction in its final score. And it's really a bad thing that you can't even consider this information a spoiler...

(Author: Manfred Selzer)
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