|Jeong-bae and Da-rim|
Petty Romance is not My Sassy Girl, and likely it will not motivate the same kind of response as it did in me, but it is a more than serviceable film that reminded me of that same feeling. If it were an American film I would probably hate it, because it would have displayed less ingenuity, quality, and verve, but I admit also because it wouldn’t have been Korean. I am completely biased at this point, and unashamedly so. I will watch any Korean film and pretty much always find something to like in them or link them to others I’ve seen. On paper, Petty Romance is a film that I would have no interest in, but I trust Korean filmmakers to do something new and I also trust the online community of filmmakers that have been quite taken with this new offering.
|Externalizing the internal with animation|
It’s a simple story that is told effectively but it does approach its subject matter in a clever fashion. As the two create the story for the comic it becomes apparent that it is just a externalization of their sexual anxieties, not least because Da-rim is a virgin. Debut director Kim Jeong-hoon-Il, who previously penned Sword in the Moon (2003), capitalizes on these moments with well-rendered animation sequences which also serve to quicken the pace of the film, which is not always up to speed with the snappiness of the film’s characters. In fact the film’s main flaw is probably its length. At 117 minutes it is not an overly long Korean film but the story struggles across it at points. A curious amount of counterpoint is achieved throughout the film, especially due to the animation scenes which are explicitly violent and sexual that are placed in this quirky good-natured romcom. I think it is a good addition as it adds some gravitas to the inner frustrations of the characters.
|A very modern film|