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My Wife Got Married
My Wife Got Married

Son Ye-Jin and Kim Joo-Hyeok in My Wife Got Married.
Korean: 아내가 결혼했다
Year: 2009  

Jeong Yoon-Soo


Song Hye-Jin, Jeong Yoon-Soo


Kim Joo-Hyeok, Son Ye-Jin, Joo Sang-Wook, Oh Jeong-Se, Oh Woo-Jeong, Lee Ji-Soo, Son Hee-Soon, Hong Hyeon-Cheol, Lee Joo-Sil, Yoon Yeong-Geol

  The Skinny: My Wife Got Married is an enjoyable romantic comedy-drama about polygamy that would rather charm its audiences than explore its main theme. Nevertheless, its lead performances and brisk pace is more than enough to warrant a recommendation.
Kevin Ma:

I wonder if the creative team behind My Wife Got Married sat around a desk and talked about the tired clichés of infidelity movies when they decided to one-up them and make a film about polygamy. In a paternal society like Korea's where adultery is still illegal, a film about a woman who ends up having two husbands can be a commercial gamble or a gimmicky jackpot. Lucky for director Jeong Yoon-Soo, he found the sexy Son Ye-Jin to play the role of the wife. And lucky for Son Ye-Jin, she finally landed a role that convincingly plays up her increasingly mature and sexy image after her last attempt resulted in the horrid Open City. However, the luckiest of all may be the audience, who could have gotten an irritatingly overblown farce out of the premise and instead get a mature and often charming romantic comedy-drama instead.

In addition to the idea of a polygamist wife, perhaps the biggest surprise of Jeong's film is its male-centric view, which exists despite the presence of female screenwriter Song Hye-Jin. Told completely from a male point of view, My Wife Got Married follows Deok-Hoon (Kim Joo-Hyeok) as he is reunited with In-Ah (Son Ye-Jin) in the subway. The two were briefly co-workers, with In-Ah constantly the center of attention among the male employees, as well as the object of Deok-Hoon's secret adoration. The two hit it off immediately thanks to their shared love of soccer, and despite liking opposing teams they quickly become a happy couple.

At least that's until Deok-Hoon finds out about In-Ah's busy nightlife and inability to commit to just one partner. Determined to get her out of it, Deok-Hoon cooks up a scheme to get In-Ah to marry him in hopes that she will settle down with him and him alone. The plan does eventually work, as In-Ah finally breaks down and agrees to marry Deok-Hoon. However, after a period of happy marriage, In-Ah goes off to another town for work and encounters another man - and now she wants to marry him too. Not wanting to lose In-Ah since he got to her first, Deok-Hoon is not about to back off and let his wife go to the arms of another man, so he can only begrudgingly accept the arrangement.

And so begins a complicated emotional triangle, as Deok-Hoon moves between being possessive, jealous, and tolerant through the second half of the film. However, the film consistently follows only Deok-Hoon's point of view, so the audience only gets to see the outsider's view on polygamy without ever understanding it. Screenwriter Song fails to take In-Ah's point of view and explore the character's motivations, simplifying her into a seductress who only seems to be stringing both her men along for her own gratification. As a result, the polygamy only feels like a gimmick to show Deok-Hoon's extreme emotions rather than an exploration of a worthy subject.

Nevertheless, the film does take a fairly mature approach to the idea without ever becoming too serious. The film has a sexy, breezy charm that surprises with its ability to always steer away just when things begin to get ugly. Jeong never reaches for broad comedy, and usually gets by with a chuckle. As a result, the dramatic and the comedic events find an even balance, with the switch to serious moments rarely feeling abrupt. Thanks to its events-driven structure, the film also moves at a steady pace that keeps it briskly entertaining. However, it's that brisk, breezy approach that prevents the film from reaching a satisfying ending. Even though it's conclusive in that it seems to do away with all the hanging threads of the story, the ending feels too simple for its complex subject.

Despite its complex subject, the story of My Wife Got Married is actually quite thin once all the events are broken down to a basic structure. The screenplay seems to follow the structure of the original novel, devoting time to how the little events change the course of the story, though not exactly the characters. As a result, the actors have to rely on their chemistry and their respective performances to make themselves relevant. In that respect, the two stars play a huge part in the charm of the film. While Son Ye-Jin does all she can, giving off considerable screen presence with her relatively thin character, the film really hinges on Kim Joo-Hyeok as the film's protagonist. Kim's role is a rare one in commercial romantic comedies, in that it's the male role that goes through the emotional roller coaster, and Kim adapts to his demanding role well. Shedding the superficial mature playboy vibe of his previous role in Love Me Not, Kim adapts a far more suitable everyday man look in My Wife Got Married. He's an instantly likeable and relatable leading man, even though the character can indulge in some pretty unlikeable actions.

My Wife Got Married is immensely successful as an entertaining commercial romantic comedy, but the filmmakers are so focused on telling a story about its characters that it forgets to take full advantage of its thematic concept. It asks complex questions, but its answers are too straightforward and too simple, even if it does so without resorting to tired clichés. As a result, My Wife Got Married doesn't leave the emotional impact it should have or provoke the audience in a way they would remember. Nevertheless, that doesn't take away from what's there already - and what's there is certainly more than enough. (Kevin Ma, 2009)


DVD (Korea)
Region 3 NTSC
3-Disc Special Edition
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Original Korean Language Track
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Korean Subtitles
Various Extras, OST

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