120 minutes, in Korean with English subtitles
Directed by: Min Kyu-Dong
Starring: Lim Soo-Jung, Lee Sun-Kyun, Ryoo Seung-Ryong
A rambunctious, well-oiled screwball romantic comedy, Korea’s most recent blockbuster, ALL ABOUT MY WIFE, hits its marks with such enthusiasm that it leaves you with an almost disproportionate sense of good cheer, making the spectacle of an explosive love triangle scandalously good fun.
After seven years, Yeon Jeong-In (Im Su-Jeong) and Lee Du-Hyeon’s (Lee Seon-Gyun) marriage is just hobbling along. Long gone are the zippedee doo-da days of their romance that first sparkled during an earthquake in Nagoya. Now, Du-Hyeon, a mild-mannered structural engineer specializing in designing earthquake-resistant buildings, is having a hard time handling the daily emotional tremors that shake his own life. The union is starting to feel a whole lot like Gerry Conlon’s prison sentence: too long and completely unfair. Though the dynamic of their domestic antics has clearly shifted and is headed towards certain disaster, i.e., divorce, the subject of separation remains a taboo and terrifying prospect for the cowardly husband. Shackled to the hyper-aggressive, round-the-clock whirligig of neediness into which his sexy wife has morphed, Du-Hyeon is rapidly reaching the end of his rope: desperately needing a break from the constant stream of lethal words that his high-maintenance better half shoots out day in and day out. He begs his boss, Na (Lee Seong-Min) to be sent on a one-year professional exile to Gangneung, Gangwon Province, three hours east of Seoul. Undeterred, Jeong-In is quick to follow him there to continue the boxing match that is their marriage.
But an unorthodox solution to Du-Hyeon’s problems suddenly appears in the person of a neighbor, Jang Seong-Gi (Ryoo Seung-Ryong), a serial lover who seems to irresistibly attract women. Du-Hyeon makes a fiendish deal with Seong-Gi, asking him to seduce his wife (in exchange for financial compensation) so that she’ll divorce him of her own free will. After a fruitless encounter with Jeong-In, the Korean Casanova fully embraces the challenge of taming the modern-day shrew, maybe a bit too enthusiastically.