Posted in Movie, Review

[Movie] My P.S. Partner

Next time you’ve got a new phone and dial a phone number you think you have it memorized even before transferring existing contacts onto the device, double/triple-check before hitting that green button. This simple precaution will ward off any possible faux pas, especially when you’re channeling risqué one-way communication toward your boy/girlfriend, erm, supposedly.

Hyun-seung (Ji Sung) is an aspiring composer who is still coping with the recent breakup with his girlfriend of seven years. They broke up over an argument that his years of attempt hasn’t paid off yet and So-yeon (Shin So-yul) couldn’t take it anymore. Hyun-seung isn’t jobless; he’s just stuck in an uninspiring day job. He is further deflated upon learning that she is already starting a new relationship with a well-off guy.

On the other side there’s Yoon-jung (Kim Ah-joong), a bubbly woman who has a steady relationship with Seung-joon (Kang Kyung-joon). She quitted her job expecting a proposal soon. But the five-year relationship isn’t progressing. The question hasn’t popped yet even after a fancy dinner and a certain jewelry box. She remains optimistic although something’s bothering her: she saw Seung-joon going out with another girl.

One night, Yoon-jung is in the opening setting when she gives her longtime boyfriend a call. She voices a certain maneuver she’s just read from a magazine to sizzle him up… only to find out that the hushed up recipient isn’t Seung-joon. She mispressed the last digit of his phone number and the call went to some other guy. Awk~ward. That man, however, isn’t annoyed by this cheeky call at all. In fact, he enjoyed it. That’s how Yoon-jung and Hyun-seung find each other.

Is it me or the names are kinda similar? It gets confusing and mixed-up easily.

That first call prompts the second, and the third… as their respective complicated loveline shares something in common. There they find in each other a listening ear and sometimes a counselor where they can frankly reveal their inner feelings and conditions, the things they can’t even tell their close friends or family members, just because they don’t know each other. This undefined friendship brings smile back to Hyun-seung’s face and enables Yoon-jung to be herself.

They’ve agreed to remain phone-pals only but decide to meet in person out of whim. Lost for words face to face, they reenact what’s been working well between them: staring at the opposite direction as they talk over the phone. Through this growing interaction, Yoon-jung revives Hyun-seung’s composing spirit and Hyun-seung spurs Yoon-jung to love herself more. They collaborate on a music piece, Hyun-seung stands up for Yoon-jung when she’s barraged and talked down by her peer, and he even promises her to compose a love song that isn’t so obvious. Feelings naturally start to bloom, but ‘reality’ tethers them back: Seung-joon finally proposes, and So-yeon breaks her current tie to be back with Hyun-seung. What to do now?

I know, what a classic way to arc the plot and give our leads the much-needed conflict. Because then the wheel is turning and the characters need to sort things out and make a critical/major life-changing decision. Will they stay inside the comfort zone and embrace stability or go out there and open up to endless possibilities? Sometimes it’s necessary to get what you’ve longed for to see it for yourself whether that really what you want(ed) to do/have. People would say, “Be happy. That’s what you wanted right?” but timing matters. So the more appropriate question is, “Yes, you wanted it, but do you still want it, now?”

My P.S. Partner isn’t drama-heavy like what’s probably hinted by the plot summary above. I’m just trying to stray away from the obvious and state it from a different perspective. If this approach makes MPSP sound like a serious story, that’s totally unwitting. Blame it on my way of story-telling, if I may. Anyway, MPSP is a fast-paced, zippy movie with barely any dull moment. Alas, I never quite connect with the story or characters on emotional level. I didn’t laugh at the comedy; neither did I get swept by the romantic moments. I went with the ride, but didn’t fully enjoy it.

Perhaps the development is too fast; perhaps I never get past the idea that Yoon-jung is blatantly cheating and Hyun-seung’s fully aware of that but doesn’t seem to mind. Well, he is single but she isn’t. On every scene they’re together, I was like, “You have a boyfriend, Yoon-jung! You’re going too far!!” One would argue that she eventually realizes that this ‘friendship’ isn’t right and suggests them to stop seeing each other; oh, don’t forget that Seung-joon cheats/ed on her too, but two wrongs doesn’t make a right, does it?

On this level MPSP reminds me of Ada Kamu, Aku Ada (Indonesian), but on a deeper level the story reminds me of the much better Hello Stranger (Thai). Hello Stranger and MPSP both revolve around two strangers openly confide in each other and express themselves in the frankest way possible thanks to that given unfamiliarity. The former keeps their names untold and the latter initially keeps their faces unmasked; essentially, the two are similar. MPSP’s ending also mirrors HS’s — both use the same medium; MPSP’s closing scene is more definitive while HS’s is more open-ended.

p.s.
My P.S. Partner is restricted to adults-only viewing due to its explicit content and coarse language. It was nonetheless shocking and thoroughly unexpected to see some graphic scenes and the amount of nudity shown. Well… I think MPSP is much better without them.

_
Rating: 2.5/5
My P.S. Partner: Whatcha Wearin’?
Director: Byun Sung-hyun
Production: CJ Entertainment, 2012
Cast: Ji Sung, Kim Ah-joong, Kang Kyung-joon, Shin So-yul
Genre: K-movie, Adult romantic comedy

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