Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 5th, 2012
Theatrical Release Date: South Korea, 2010
Director: Jeong-Hoon-Il Kim
Writer: Jeong-Hoon-Il Kim
Cast: Seon-gyun Lee, Kang-hee Choi, Do-bin Baek, Won-jong Lee, Jeong Mi-Seong, Jeong-se Oh, Seong-il Park, Hyeon-Kyeong Ryoo
DVD released: October 15th, 2012
Approximate running time: 118 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: 15 (UK)
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Korean
DVD Release: Terracotta Distribution
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £11.49
Synopsis: A comic book artist enlists the help of an out of work sex columnist to help him win a comic book contract.
Though the Romantic Comedy genre is primarily geared towards the female gendered. There have been many examples where these type of films have also found a considerable male audience. To my surprise when I had the chance to watch Petty Romance it is a film that not only falls into that latter category. Finally a Romantic Comedy for the men.
Like all Romantic themed comedies the central theme involves two characters and the ups and downs of their love affair. And in the case of Petty Romance this is yet again the case, but don’t let that dissuade you just yet if you are not a fan of Romantic Comedies.
Petty Romance, much like Japanese Manga’s serves up heavy doses of ‘fanfare’ for perspective male viewers. With many of this films most enjoyable moments being the scenes involving the two main characters as they creative their sexually themed comic about a female assassin. And being that this comic book is being made for an adult audience, it is only right that whenever an anime sequences portraying the exploits of the lead character of the aforementioned comic appear in the film. That they are ripe with sexuality and brutally gory when it comes to depiction of violence.
As it to be expected comedy plays an integral role to the story at hand. With some of the choices moments being how a competing artist plants bugs in the apartment where the two main characters are creating their comic. He is doing this so he can create his own comic. Which is based on their love affair. Unfortunately for him when things end badly for them, he has to come up with a new idea at the last minute. Another standout moment of humor includes a scene involving the reporter. who also happens to be the best friend of the woman creating a comic book with this film’s protagonist. She knowing tries to seduce this film’s protagonist even though she knows her friend has fallen head over heels for him. These are just of many great moments of humor in this film.
From a production stand point the majority of the characters are likable and the choices which they make along the way are almost always plausible. Making the story at hand resonate all the more. Visually as to be expected that is knee deep in the world of comic books. There is a tremendous amount of style throughout. And pacing is never an issue as each new revelation helps build and sustain a momentum that is relentless and never once lets up.
Though the two leads Seon-gyun Lee (R-Point) in the role of Jeong-bae, a down on his luck comic book artist and Kang-hee Choi (My Scary Girl) in the role of Da-rim are both pitch perfect in their respective roles. One should not overlook the performances from the secondary characters, which at times often overshadow that of the aforementioned two leads.
Terracotta Distribution presents Petty Romance in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original ‘scope’ aspect ratio. Colors look nicely saturated, black levels look very good, details look crisp and there are no problems with compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Korean and removable English subtitles have been included with this release. Though the audio sounds clear and balanced throughout. It is a rather limited mix range wise.
Extras include a trailer for the film (1 minute 33 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Korean with English subtitles), a stills gallery, a ‘Making of’ featurette (7 minutes 17 seconds – 4:3 full frame, in Korean with English subtitles) and interviews with Seon-gyun Lee and Kang-hee Choi (6 minutes 31 seconds – 4:3 full frame, in Korean with English subtitles). The brevity of the ‘Making of’ and interviews only give a very small glimpse about the various aspects of this production. Also included with this release is a brief segment about the Terror-Cotta film festival. Rounding out the extras are trailers for Breathless, Fox Family, Red Light Revolution and Desire to Kill. Overall Petty Romance gets a strong release from Terracotta Distribution.