To your outer space. Boarding. Departing- Joo Eun Oh My Venus quickly established that Shin Min Ah is really is a babe; fat or skinny. Oh. My. Venus. I have just recently finished the drama and the first thing that must be mentioned as the highlight of the drama, would be the chemistry between
To your outer space. Boarding. Departing- Joo Eun
Oh My Venus quickly established that Shin Min Ah is really is a babe; fat or skinny.
Oh. My. Venus. I have just recently finished the drama and the first thing that must be mentioned as the highlight of the drama, would be the chemistry between So Ji Sub and Shin Min Ah. It has to be one of the most natural on-screen relationships since watching It’s Ok, That’s Love. While a certain arc in their relationship was set unrealistically ( I will be getting to that shortly), it is forgivable due to the eye candy of a couple they are. Between the positive message to get fit for your healths sake and turning into a ball of goo over the main leads romance; Oh My Venus really achieved what it set out to do; be an entertaining story about love and fitness. While it tried to add into the mix a twisted tale of chaebol heirs; which I felt it failed miserably at, I have to say it had achieved a few home runs for its humour and for being a simple romcom.
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Story and Cast
17 Years ago, in the town of Daegu, South Korea. A school bus is speeding through, inside high school boys get into a frenzy as soon at the name “Kang Joo Eun”. 90’s Korean music blares as the boys clamour tightly together at the windows to see, the one and only Daegu’s Venus Kang Joo Eun– Envied by Women and adored by boys everywhere. Joo Eun, an outspoken and committed character, isn’t just your typical pretty face but has her heart set on becoming a lawyer, and She really has a heart for justice and this is set in stone when we learn her ambition is to become lawyer. From what her present is telling us she has a very promising future, right? Fast forward to 2014, our Daegu Venus has become a lot less Venus and a bit more Edesia. While she has achieved her goal of becoming lawyer, she has managed to gain a lot of weight in those years and has been stuck in a 15 year relationship with her boyfriend, Woo-Shik.
When Woo-Shik officially breaks up with Joo-Eun on the night of their anniversary in order to date Joo-Eun’s former best friend Soo-Jin. Joo-Eun sets her mind on finding the legendary fitness guru John Kim, so she can return to her former glory as Daegu’s Venus.
John Kim is an heir to a lucrative business but ran away to the states to work as a fitness trainer for some of Hollywood’s elite. After a huge scandal breaks out about him and an American celebrity, he returns back to Korea under his real name Kim Young-Ho and as luck would have it he encounters Joo-Eun on several occasions helping her get out of awkward or sticky situations. Being unable to turn a blind eye to those in need; he agrees to help Joo-Eun and thus begins our leads warm and comfortable romance.
Going into the first five minutes of Oh My Venus, I couldn’t help but think of She was Pretty; it wasn’t until we got the big reveal of her weight gain that it managed to subvert my thoughts away from the similar set ups. Starting the series I was worried that I wouldn’t get into all that much; however I don’t know what it was about a chubby Shin Min Ah that changed my thoughts and shifted my pre-judgements about the show. I really liked Joo Eun as a character, she was pretty down to earth and quite tough around the edges. Most of all, she didn’t fit into the ‘one size fits all’ of a reason to lose weight. She admits that it was to get revenge and have her ex regret leaving her, it was because she started to crush on Mr.dripping-with-sexiness and wanted to be sexy too, it was also because it was a very conscious decision to improve her health after discovering she has thyroids. And because of these reasons, it really sold me into her character.
Soo Ji Sub’s portrayal of Young Ho was nothing less of a delight. From his dead pan moments to facing the monster in the closet, his performance was quite strong and though he was playing the role of a chaebol (something the story really could have done without); Young Ho most of all felt normal and lived the typical life you’d expect of a fitness trainer.
And it was this notmality that made the relationship between our two leads believable and entertaining.
It would be wrong of me to not mention Henry who plays the Korean American comic relief, Ji-Woong and Sung-Hoon who played as Jung-Sung and gave us a really compelling side story of him trying to reunite with his estranged mother.
Joo-Eun, Young-Ho, Jung-Sung and Ji-Woong were even stronger for some reason all together. They bounce off one another and it is so cute seeing all their shenanigans.
As entertaining as Oh My Venus was it didn’t go without any faults. It picked up and dropped plot points, addressed certain issues only to hastily solve them. The year gap between Joo-Eun and Young-Ho with one sided communication felt baffling. Then the relationship between Woo-Shik and Soo-Jin (second leads) could have been better handled; they were another drama that could have been explored but came across flat or ingenuine at times, especially when Soo-Jon learns that she may not be able to have children.
So much to do but so little time, and it is becoming an annoying reoccurrence when a drama like this gets over ambitious, in a bid to be different but I say if it was always going to be the typical Tom com it should own it instead of throwing chaebol twists.
There are a variety of upbeat music and ballads in the original soundtrack as necessary for a K-drama; what is a K-drama without the spanish guitar instrumental, the love song ballads and the upbeat pop song. I don’t necessarily have a favourite song but there are a select few I like more than others such as “It’s Me” and the main theme “Beautiful Lady”. It’s a bit of a shame the OST doesn’t boast for a large selection of songs by only having 8 tracks. It’s Ok, That’s Love as a 16 episode series too had a track listing of 17 songs, with all the instrumentals and third party songs included it has 50 tracks.
Oh my Venus is a nice filler after a day at work and you just want to laugh and awww without much thought. The performance between So Ji Sub and Shin Min Ah is something to really come along for, they very much deserved their KBS awards for their performances.
I give the series 3 out of 5 Dumbbells. While it scares an average rating, So Ji Sub and Shin Min Ah’s romance is something to to be witnessed.
Last week, I took a short trip to Bella Italia! It was a much needed break away from gloomy London and to sunny Rome. It was the first trip I had planned all on my own and my mother followed along! Rome was beautiful, with its warm buildings and exotic trees
Last week, I took a short trip to Bella Italia! It was a much needed break away from gloomy London and to sunny Rome. It was the first trip I had planned all on my own and my mother followed along! Rome was beautiful, with its warm buildings and exotic trees and also not so beautiful, the amount of graffiti and dog poop everywhere truly was something else! While I did enjoy a cuppa here and there, it would have been a mistake to not try out a cappuccino or two. Unfortunately, it was very sad that I didn’t get to try out a gelato, which I learned very last minute was Ice Cream. You can imagine I felt like an absolute dunce.Another challenge of being in a country you last when to at the age of 2, is the language barrier. At first it was completely nerve-wracking, I only spent a couple of days at a time familiarising myself with Italian but one thing that reassured me was how when you are in a situation where you don’t know a countries language, you instinctively begin to pick up words and phrases from native speakers that produce your intended result (survival Italian); or you do your best to find someone who speaks english which wasn’t hard to come by.
Can I also mention that St.Peter’s Basilica is remarkable. I was overwhelmed by the attention to detail and how big of a place it is.
Rome reminded me of when I was a kid; I’m old enough to admit now I was truly a nerd growing up. For hours I could read books on Ancient Rome and would jump between that and Egypt and Greece. So being at the colloseum was like a childhood wish being fulfilled.
There were quite a few things that I couldn’t tick off in my list, but I always take it as a sign that I will be returning one day. Maybe for a round trip across Europe?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=GwUAwQRp850 Now that I have finished the #ChildhoodFavourites series; I am glad to announce that starting from next week I will be reviewing a selection of works from the great Makoto Shinkai! Just some brief history into this Animator and Director, Shinkai is very popular amongst anime enthusiasts and some of his
Now that I have finished the #ChildhoodFavourites series; I am glad to announce that starting from next week I will be reviewing a selection of works from the great Makoto Shinkai!
Just some brief history into this Animator and Director, Shinkai is very popular amongst anime enthusiasts and some of his more popular works are Voices of a distant star and 5cm Per second. He is very well known for his melodramatic themes, highly rendered imagery and stunning sets in his works, and I am so excited to be jumping straight into the bucket of stars that are his awe-inspiring films.
Almost half way done with January and I am reminded of how time flies. For today's tea in london, I met up with an old acquaintance and caught up with her on her exciting projects set for the new year. I bought myself an Earl Grey at Starbucks and we managed to
Almost half way done with January and I am reminded of how time flies. For today’s tea in london, I met up with an old acquaintance and caught up with her on her exciting projects set for the new year.
I bought myself an Earl Grey at Starbucks and we managed to find a nice space to have our meeting.
ambitions goals and how we are progressing. We discussed how someone we know probably knows Boyega and I probably verbally bombarded her about K-Dramas. It is in times like this that while my circle has grown smaller, there’s a fresh air of accountability.
The first step is always the hardest, and I often ask myself “Am I ready for the attention and the responsibility that the hard work could possibly garner?”
My final #childhoodfavourites, a Richard Rich film called The Swan Princess. Based on the famous world renowned Swan Lake by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (who knew !!). I remember being mystified by the title sequence as a child and that reeled me in. But several years later lets see if I still have the
My final #childhoodfavourites, a Richard Rich film called The Swan Princess. Based on the famous world renowned Swan Lake by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (who knew !!). I remember being mystified by the title sequence as a child and that reeled me in. But several years later lets see if I still have the same eyes for it.
Our story opens with narration and a king pacing up and down in worry. We are told that he is waiting for the birth of his child. For a few more minutes we are clued in by the narrator that there is a banished sorcerer called Rothbart who wanted to be King. Plus we are told how Odette’s father and Prince Derek’s Mother, decide on a way to unite their two kingdoms: have their children fall in love and marry.
But obviously in typical romance fashion Prince Derek and Princess Odette grow up with a strong dislike for one another and their incompatibility is shown to us via montage and song. Finally, there is a change once they meet again as adults and it is love at first site. Derek, lost for words, hastily proclaims his love for Odette- calls for their marriage and all within a few seconds throws years of “bonding” away when he implies that he wants to marry her because she is beautiful and nothing else.
Odette and Father leave the Queen and Derek on bad terms, and on their journey back to their kingdom, are attacked by Rothbart, who fights the King and guards all in the appearance of a dragon. Odette is kidnapped and Derek turns up to the scene just in time to speak to a dying king. Derek swears to find Odette and defeat the beast that had killed the king and his men.
Odette has been held hostage by Rothbart and through very detailed exposition- we are clued in that there is a curse on Odette that turns her from Swan to human and back when the moon reflects on the lake. Rothbart lets Odette know this will continue to happen unless Odette marries Rothbart making him king or very specifically, she must have the man she loves confess his undying love for her to the whole world.
And in very typical fairy tale fashion! Odette makes friends with some critters and they dedicate themselves to helping her find her one true love and breaking the curse. Through misunderstandings, near death experiences, actual death and sudden changes on how ownership of the kingdom works; Odette and Derek are reunited again, Rothbart is defeated (far too quickly) our couple marry and live happily ever after.
There are many and I mean many issues with the plot, more than can be numbered. You can bet that this review is going to be pretty hard to write without making a single reference to Disney. Urgh my winx club senses are tingling because a romance that doesn’t need to exist is existing.
I realised how nonsensical it was to decide to have your kids marry, when both the King and Queen could have got together and this film would have wrapped up in an instant. They were both widows, if my memory serves me well. The whole scheming to have their children fall in love was unnecessary and a waste of time especially during a time when it was normal to marry for political or monetary gain; but this is a fairy tale and what not.
Child and teenage Odette seemed more rounded and interesting than adult Odette but Prince Derek stayed stiff throughout, never really having any changes. Eventually, both characters remain incredibly uninteresting and under-developed throughout the whole film. They merely exist as tropes to the fairytale genre. While they weren’t the very dirt from the bottom of the barrel, the laziness of their characters had them competing with the worse.
“She started out as such an ugly duckling and somehow suddenly became a swan.”
I found both of their instantaneous attraction to one another shallow and unconvincing, at some point I thought some justice could have been given to the story of the couple started off married, then probably more time could have been spent on making them more interesting and a bit more dimensional.
Instant attraction after years of loathing all because they are both now hot? Maybe this film could have gone somewhere with their shallow attitudes towards love but I have to hand it to Derek for potentially liking her way before they meet as adults. This film could have been Shrek before Shrek, something that subverts the fairy tale tradition. It is a shame it took itself seriously. If only the antagonist didn’t attack Odette, she would probably go on to rule her kingdom unwed and be the best queen there ever was. Derek was an idiot by saying “what else?” but I really think he is simply an idiot and Odette should have been better off without his “love” and darn it what was so wrong that no one could be King or Queen without being married? Wouldn’t being an only child and no one left to rule be fine? If Derek was actually friends with Odette or made a promise to her dying father to save her, I would have understood his obsession to find her. But how did he not move on? Was the power of attraction telling him she was still alive? He really should have given up and then one day received a lead on her whereabouts that reignited the engines of love.
Rothbart’s motives felt all over the place. He wants a kingdom without stress and the only way to get it, would be to marry into the family? But then he goes back on this plan several times, most of all by letting Odette die. He really could have taken advantage of her kidnapping by appearing to defeat the dragon, “rescue” Odette, maybe turned her ugly and pretended to love her, have her fall in love with him and that would have been enough of a thorn in Derek’s side.
I guess Rothbart’s final plan was pretty substantial, I mean if his assistant was ok being fake Odette for the rest of her life then the plan would have worked, up until he revealed she was the imposter.
Why did Odette die? Derek did make his vow to her! Even if an imposter took her place the imposter wasn’t called Odette and was it necessary for Odette to be there for the vow? It only required he declared his love in front of others. I don’t understand! Nothing makes sense! What they had didn’t count as everlasting love. Why was 3D water randomly used at the end?
It’s animation alright but it isn’t anything distinct. While the animation isn’t stiff, it still feels very calculated and staged. Nothing, about the character’s performances feels natural.
The animation for puffin and Swan Odette flying is a lot more nicer. The Swan Princess reminds me why storytelling with inspiration from real people in mind is important to creating a believable world and cast even if the story is a bit daft. When your reference of work are other animated works you get something stale and uninspired, ripping off bits here and there. There is very little about The Swan Princess that would ever make me think it was inspired by the swan lake- except the names of characters.
But what would be a good point, if I squint really hard? I have to say the transformation sequence is truly gorgeous even today it sends shivers down my back, and the score suits it frighteningly well but that’s as far as it goes and whoever thought that this film was better than The Lion King… For shame.
Character design, and background art aren’t anything exciting. Character designs feel quite formulaic what you’d normally come across in animated tv shows. No real sense of identity or personality. They aren’t inspired by real people, and are as generic as generic can get. Backgrounds are also dull and lifeless.
I feel bad being so harsh but it was really quite disappointing that there really wasn’t a high regard to attention to detail. Nothing really stood out or was memorable.
I noticed that the lyrics to almost every song were quite tacky haha. The first number was simple but my is the montage a drawn out piece of work. My favourite song was ” Far longer than forever”. The melody is beautiful but the lyrics are average at best or don’t make much sense. My goodness Odette! What do you want?! This girl left Derek’s palace sad and couldn’t accept him because she didn’t feel like he really loved her but then she sings that she knows he is on her way to her and they were meant to be? What happened since she got kidnapped? This song is happening because it needed a number that is the 90’s duet ballad of every animated film of the age. The voice acting is full of character but it is just a shame that the animation and character design didn’t match.
While there is much and I mean MUCH wrong with The Swan Princess, it was very entertaining to watch. It is something you can switch your brain off for and passively consume. Most of the enjoyment came from the nostalgia of it than it actually being a film of substance.
It is ashame to review this again and see the flaws so painstakingly well, it is almost like adouble edged sword I got them joy of the nostalgia but felt the pain of a critic.