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South Korea 2006

Comedy, Romance, Action

Kim Jeong-woo

Shin Yi
Choi Seong-guk
Jo Sang-gi
Baek Il-seob
Park Joon-gyoo
Park Won-sook
Kim Kwang-gyoo
Kim Boo-seon
Kim Soo-mi
Lee Won-jong

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Oh! My God

Story: Jung-hwan (Choi Seong-guk) is a playboy who chases after women and has a pleasent life thanks to his rich father. One day he saves Eun-ju (Shin Yi) from drowning. Since that day the girl has fallen in love with her savior and follows him wherever he goes. Jung-hwan, however, isn't interested in her and after a night that he spends with her while being absolutely drunk, the two go seperate paths.
Two years later Jung-hwan is still studying after 10 years at a college and enjoys his great time with his good buddy Chil-gu (Jo Sang-gi). Suddenly Eun-ju appears again. She has become a prosecuter and gave birth to two children, whose father is no one else but Jung-hwan, as she is telling him and his parents. The family of Jung-hwan sees no other way, but to initiate a marriage, which is opposing Jung-hwan's wishing, naturally.
While Eun-ju is working on a tough case, that is about rapes, Jung-hwan continues to enjoy his life to the fullest and totally forgets his obligation towards his two sons. Nevertheless, Eun-ju has her own way of dealing with her husband and bringing him back down to earth...

Review: I should prepare something like a rating tag, which I can just put on every new rom-com that crosses my way. In the end it's always the same old story: The movie isn't something special, you'll forget it very soon, yet it delivers some nice entertainment and a few nice jokes. With "Oh! My God" it's not any different.
Once again a director makes his debut. This time it's Kim Jeong-woo and I put my money on the fact that we surely will never see anything from him in the future again. It's nearly as if any guy in Korea can give it a shot to make a rom-com. You are sure to get the money back from devoted movie-goers, anyway, as one sticks to the same proved formulas for such movies.

The story of "Oh! My God" (the title itself is enough to make me groan in agony...) is somehow not that bad. Sure, it all goes straight for the constellation that A loves B, but B isn't interesed in A, until B realizes how loveable A is in fact.
The way Eun-ju gets to her man of dreams, namely through her two kids, well, that's strong stuff. She says herself that she only gave birth to the kids to be loved by Jung-hwan. If that's not a good reason, then I don't know...
Aside from that there is a nice side story, which is about a case of Eun-ju. Of course, it all becomes bigger than one first expected, until the case even makes its way into her private life and at the end has its climax in a showdown that is supposed to be thrilling and captivating. Unfortunately, the audience never has the feeling that the main protagonists are really endangered or that anything serious could happen to them. That is because the main mood of the film is your typical happy-life one.

It's great that Shin Yi ("Sisily 2km") is finally having the lead in a movie. Sadly, she just has to play the wacky, extroverted woman who wants to get her hands on her man at all costs. For my taste she had to take on this role quite too often. Moreover, she proves that Korean women just look best without any make-up and that they should never wear Bavarian garbs.
Basically, Shin Yi's performance would have been quite disappointing if it weren't for the more serious scenes of her being a prosecuter. Eun-ju is a power woman, who likes to deal some blows, nearly an action heroine you might say, who nonetheless can also be convincing in the more dramatic moments. Yet, when it's about Jung-hwan she suddenly becomes the stupid little girl. This just doesn't fit, her character is too inconsistent and here it shows that one should have put more effort into writing her role.
Choi Seong-guk sometimes lacks the charisma you would expect of a playboy, but most of the time he is doing his stuff solidly enough. It's just a real shame that the chemistry between the two main actors just isn't anywhere to be found. There are some nice and funny moments between them, but the essential spark just doesn't show up.

Flaws there are really enough in "Oh! My God". For instance there is this inappropriate insertion when Jung-hwan and his buddy are kidnapped, which disrupts the continuity of the movie. Furthermore, there are several genres mixed together once again. Towards the end one gets the feeling to watch a Korean gangster movie. There is a big brawl, the film starts to become more serious, although just for short, there is even some blood and though the humour never gets fully lost in this mess it all just doesn't work out.
Actually, there is a lot to criticize, but the film delivers some surprisingly good jokes, that can make you forget some of the more serious flaws. Characters like Chil-gu or Jung-hwan's father, played by Baek Il-seob are very likeable and are responsible for some good chuckles.

"Oh! My God" is nothing extraordinary, despite its interesting story. Qualitatively it's a mixed bag. Some parts of the movie just don't want to work out the way they were supposed to, others do quite well, though. Because of some really funny scenes the film might have deserved a better rating, but there is just too much to animadvert as for it to be justified.
This is no movie you shouldn't miss, but you won't regret it when watching it by chance...

(Author: Manfred Selzer)
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