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Now showing in Hong Kong

Film review: Because I Love You – Cha Tae-hyun plays Cupid in body-swapping fantasy

Mildly heartwarming but not quite funny enough, Ju Jihong’s farfetched body-swap comedy achieves the bare minimum of what it set out to do

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 February, 2017, 5:40pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 February, 2017, 5:45pm

2/5 stars

My Sassy Girl star Cha Tae-hyun plays an inadvertent Cupid in this fantasy melodrama, which merely treats its farfetched body-swapping premise as a convenient device to link up its thinly sketched episodes. After he crashes his car in a traffic accident, music producer Jin Lee-hyung (Cha) finds that his spirit has been drifting into the body of one seemingly random stranger after another, leaving each only when he has guided that person to reaffirm his or her love for a relevant significant other.

Each of these encounters plays like a mediocre short film based around a case of romantic resolution. They include a high-school student (Kim Yoon-hye) dealing with unexpected pregnancy; a police inspector (Sung Dong-il) who ends up being trapped underground alongside his soon-to-be-divorced wife; an innocent school teacher (Bae Seong-woo) who is clueless in front of his beautiful lifelong crush; and a dementia-stricken old lady (Sunwoo Yong-nyeo) who fails to remember her husband.

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As usual, Cha is cast as the kindhearted yet blundering moral centre of the story, which eventually sees Jin – with the assistance of another always-accessible schoolgirl (Kim Yoo-jung) – help his aspiring singer girlfriend (Seo Hyun-jin) overcome her stage fright. As characters alternately show up as their respective actors and Cha in ill-fitting costumes, the film accomplishes the bare minimum of what it sets out to do: Because I Love You is mildly heartwarming, and not quite funny enough.

Because I Love You opens on February 16

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