Monday, February 14, 2005

.:Film Review: Sex Is Zero:.

As usual, SPOILERS AHEAD!!! Despite that, I think a further warning is necessary for this film, as it just so happens to be a surprisingly explicit Korean sex comedy...


Sex Is Zero
The ultimate emotional rollercoaster film.

In the vein of the “American Pie” series, “Sex Is Zero” is one of those sex comedies whose laughs tend to come from the simply unbelievable sexual situations involving the characters in the film. What makes this film different from those types is that the lead character isn't the regular cute but goofy type, but the old, gross, but kindhearted type that can potentially appeal to the viewer.

I think this movie was a combination of two parts: the sex comedy, and the sex critique. Inasmuch as the film had its laughs, the film also showed some heart, bordering on melodrama, towards the second half of the film.

In any case, this is mainly the story of Eunsik, a 28-year old Law student who shares a room with two guys and a homosexual. He is part of a performing troupe of martial artists who like hitting themselves with various weapons, among other things.

Given his personality, Eunsik is simply the disgusting type. In one of the most off-color gags I've ever been witness to, one of his roommates decided to experiment with his protein shake by frying it in a pan, as he wanted to see if it would look like an egg if that happened. After their gay roommate got them rat poison, they put the makeshift egg and the poison in one sandwich, and Eunsik promptly swipes the sandwich and eats it. Other equally disgusting scenes happen, but they mostly feel forced and do not contribute much to the story except underscore how weird Eunsik happens to be.

Now, on the other hand, Eunhyo is a pretty girl (Same lead star in “My Crazy Love”, aka “100 Days With Mr. Arrogant”. She can actually be hot if she wants to.) who happens to be a gymanst. The two of them cross paths often enough, and become good friends, despite their situation. Eunhyo is the type who falls for the cute type of guy, though, and her rival's boyfriend, Sangok, proved to be to her liking.

Unfortunately, in a rather crazy sequence, a bed scene (!) between Eunhyo and Sangok happens, and this gets her pregnant. On her birthday, Eunsik gives her a ring that cost him an arm and a leg, but his crazy antics led her to be more ticked off with him than anything else. By the way, he and his friends had to do some strip dancing just to get the ring...

Shortly afterwards, the movie made a turn to being dramatic. Abortion was implied in another scene, and poor Eunsik, ever the martyr, was misled to think he was going on a date with Eunhyo only to accompany her to the abortion clinic. With under a week to go before the aerobics competition, Eunhyo had a lot of things on her plate. Finally, the competition arrives, and as all parties perform, it turns out a short while later that Eunhyo didn't push through with the abortion, as she suffered a miscarriage from her performance, and Eunsik rushed her to the hospital. I found this to be a very sad scene, as it makes the long scene where Eunsik was trying to entertain Eunhyo after her “abortion” come full circle, to explain why Eunhyo was crying all that time.

The moment Eunhyo's mother confronts her and mistakenly confronts Eunsik, Eunsik had enough, and beat the living Hades out of Sangok to make him own up to what happened.

Some time later, we see Eunsik trying to spread hot sauce on a pizza. Unfortunately, as his hot sauce bottle was almost empty, he had to shake it vigorously, and its contents spilled across the crotch of the girl in the poster on his wall. He was trying to lick off the hot sauce when Eunkyo walked in, and they finally ended up together after some dialog.

It was fun seeing some stars I've seen in other films before. For instance, that guy in “Everybody Has Secrets” is also in this film, and he's not the least bit suave in this role he's playing, which is quite a turnaround. Girly and conservative as Eunkyo may have been in “My Crazy Love”, she is so sexy in this film, though I suspect she was using a body double for some scenes, although she didn't seem to mind going braless in a key sequence in the film. Lots of nudity left and right, but what made this movie unique is how the emotions were played out in the latter half of the film.

While I was watching the first half of the film, I was all set to write the film off as just some tasteless sex comedy with gratuitous Korean nudity (Yay.). However, the moment the whole pregnancy angle kicked in and Eunsik's character slowly developed from being an idiotic friend to Eunhyo to being a fool for her, I felt a lot of affinity for Eunsik. He was the type who would want the person he cares about to be happy, even at his own expense. That, I believe, is what made his character just flat-out work, and save this film from being just another sex comedy (Which in and by itself wouldn't have been so bad, really.).

That being said, I loved this film. It took me on a laugh trip, then got me to thinking towards the end, and feeling very sorry for both Eunsik and Eunhyo. The movie was just really a genuine emotional rollercoaster, and I don't think I'd have it any other way. I have to admit that I'm a bit biased in handing out this rating.

Marcelle's “Fun” Evaluation: A
Marcelle's “Critical” Evaluation: A

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