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Too Beautiful to Lie
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Too Beautiful to Lie (a.k.a. Don't Believe in Her)


DVD (Korea)
Region 3 NTSC
Cinema Service
2-Disc Set
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Korean Language Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Korean subtitles
Various extras
*Also Available on Blu-ray Disc

AKA: Don't Believe in Her
Korean: 그녀를 믿지 마세요
Year: 2004
Director: Bae Hyung-Joon
Cast: Kim Ha-Neul, Kang Dong-Won
The Skinny:

Manufactured romantic comedy vehicle for star Kim Ha-Neul. While sometimes amusing, the film can't escape its canned emotions and obvious, manufactured screenplay. All things considered, this is passable, but frightfully average stuff.

by Kozo:

More made-to-order romantic comedy from the Korean Cinema mill. Starring popular star Kim Ha-Neul (Ditto, My Tutor Friend), Too Beautiful to Lie is a textbook example of manufactured romantic comedy. Kim is Joo Young-Joo, a sickeningly lovable ex-con who accidentally comes into possession of a family heirloom engagement ring soon after her parole. She lifted it from the actual thief, but was unable to return it to rightful owner Choi Hee-Chul (Kang Dong-Won). She instead journeys to his rural hometown and tries to return it to his family, but thanks to a variety of misunderstandings, miscommunications, and general silliness, his family comes to believe that she's his fiancee. Even worse, the story becomes that he knocked her up, and wants her to have an abortion. When Hee-Chul arrives with his real girlfriend following shortly thereafter, sparks of epic proportions are guaranteed to fly.

Most of the success attributed to Too Beautiful to Lie can probably be handed to star Kim Ha-Neul, who's effective as a wacky romantic comedy lead. Young-Joo is as manufactured as romantic comedy heroines come. Despite the fact that she's an ex-con, Young-Joo has a heart of gold, and honestly wants to stop her major vice: lying. However, circumstances prevent her from doing so right away, and even when Hee-Chul does show up, his abusive attitude towards her makes her continue lying just to show him what a heel he's being. Kim handles the role with lots of overdone wacky mugging, but she's a likable lead who can convincingly pull off this sort of cookie-cutter comedy. Kang Dong-Won complements her suitably, though his job is mainly to overact and get beaten up from time to time. You can clearly see that nobody was aiming for awards with this film.

If Too Beautiful to Lie were an American film, it would likely star Sandra Bullock or Julia Roberts - well, the nineties versions anyway. Exaggerated situations snowball out of control, misdirection abounds from start to finish, and the film even resorts to hackneyed devices like a multiple-town pageant (for the local "Pepper Boy") to bring all the characters together. Duh, everyone grows to love Young-Joo, such that even when her duplicity does get revealed, they can't help but love her anyway. The same goes for Hee-Chul, who realizes she's a much better girl than his current materialistic squeeze. Also, Young-Joo realizes that she actually likes Hee-Chul. It's just like every other romantic comedy ever made.

Yep, the above sounds like I've spoiled the movie, but I really haven't. If you don't know from the minute you start watching Too Beautiful to Lie that the above will happen, then I envy you. You've probably only seen one movie, or are so incredibly naive and innocent that you think professional wrestling isn't scripted. This is frightfully average stuff that's as predictable as death and taxes. Any and all amusement is gleamed in the film's journey, which is sometimes effectively entertaining. Again, however, it's exactly what you expect, so those looking for something "special" should keep looking. Those who like Kim Ha-Neul, cookie-cutter Korean comedy, or simply manufactured romance with cute people will probably find this a worthwhile time. I'm probably going too easy on this film, but that's okay. Too Beautiful to Lie is really not a big deal, and as such I'm treating it nicely. Completely dissecting and evaluating this film like a serious film critic would be akin to using a shotgun to kill a fly. (Kozo 2004)

image courtesy of Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen