Have you noticed that every single one of the Korean movies I’ve reviewed here has some ultra depressing theme to it? From killer zombies in Train to Busan, to human killers in Chang-dong Lee‘s Burning, some might say that South Koreans just need to lighten up.
Fear not: not all Korean cinema is depressing. That’s completely my fault – all I’ve reviewed is the sad, intense stuff. And that’s why I chose this cute little Netflix film, which is more rom-com than thriller.
Tune in for Love is actually the world’s worst title, mainly because one of the main themes of this film is sending messages of love through a radio station. TUNE IN? Get it? Yeah, exactly. Worst title ever. However, what’s great about the film itself (title aside) is that it’s much less cheesy than your typical Western rom-com. No, no, I’m not saying every Western movie about romance is unbearably cheesy, but it seems like every Korean movie I watch is so heartfelt and meaningful. There’s none of the obvious rom-com tropes that you get in most Western movies of the same ilk here, it is completely unique and individual, which I love.
One Western ‘rom-com’ that I did compare this to was Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in the way it uses time jumps. Using time jumps in this instance doesn’t take away from the story in any way, and instead cuts out any irrelevant parts of the plot that the viewer doesn’t need to see. What’s more is, the director (Jung Ji-woo) chooses to signify each time jump with the use of gorgeous hand-painted watercolours, which he animates so that it moves in front of our very eyes. It’s kind of hard to explain, but it’s as if we are seeing an animation of someone painting in real time. For example, a painting of a tree will starts bare and lifeless, and then we’ll slowly see pale pink cherry blossoms bloom on its once naked branches. It is simply gorgeous and a little detail within this film that I will remember for a very long time.
It is so frustrating in movies when a story is told by characters simply explaining everything that is going on. Thankfully here, Tune in for Love is a brilliant case of ‘show, don’t tell’. There’s often very little dialogue, and little description of what is going on. What we get instead is actors that are talented enough to show what their characters are feeling through facial expressions, instead of having to explain their emotions. What comes as a result is a story that is very poignant and beautiful to watch.
Tune in for Love isn’t anything super extraordinary, I won’t lie to you. It’s still a tale of boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy gets separated from girl, boy wins girl back, The End. However, it is so gorgeously well-done that I would definitely recommend it.
And here’s a little tip: it’s on Netflix UK!
Tune in for Love (as stated above) is on Netflix UK exclusively – you won’t find it anywhere else!
TQR Category Ratings:
Costume & Set Design: