Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Daniel Henney's Romantic Movie Picks

Daniel Henney [CAT the Culture Production]

When we first saw Daniel Henney, it was in a black and white cosmetic commercial. The moment this beautiful man, whom we had never seen before and was racially hard to define, walked out of a lake, every woman let out a cry in awe. From his very first appearance, he was a fantasy in reincarnation and he revived it well. In MBC’s hit drama “My Name is Kim Sam-soon”, he played the second male lead, a part that is often just a tool for jealousy or conspiracy. But Henney played the character Henry with such plain genuineness that Henry was, for a long time, the Daniel he is.

However, Mr. Fantasy did not hide his ambitions as an actor. He easily won us over by putting variations on the nice guy image that everyone adored, but he took everyone by surprise by playing the heartless Robin in “Seducing Mr. Robin” and swept the awards for Best New Actor with “My Father”. Throughout the movie, he wept, screamed, resented and then he laughed and forgave. With “My Father”, he displayed a variety of emotions on a frequency from 1 to 10, entering the path to turn from a living statue into a passionate human and actor.

Everyone watched to see what he would do after “My Father”, where his language handicap worked to his advantage. Leaving behind concerns that he would not be able to keep working with his less-than-fluent Korean, he flew to Hollywood. And in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”, he came back as the mean Agent Zero, a character with an inferiority complex to Wolverine. Henney, who said that “As an actor, I can’t just give the public what they want to see”, has a clear picture as an actor and to achieve that, he does not hesitate, not even for a second. At the same time, to his fans who might be surprised to see his tough side, he assures them by telling them “Don’t be surprised” and that he is “still gentle”. Yes, Henney is still “Daniel Henney”. Here, Daniel Henney, the perfect guy for the romantic lead, gives romantic movie recommendations that are just as sweet as the actor himself.

1. “Big” (1988, directed by Penney Marshall)
“This is my favorite movie. I have a fantasy about a child suddenly becoming an adult and I have always loved fantasy movies. I also watched the movie“Annie” over and over as a child. It aired on TV every morning at 7 a.m. and I never missed a day of it. I was living in the countryside at the time, so a big city like New York was really interesting to me. In “Big”, Josh is shocked when he goes into the city where adults live. I was able to relate to the same confusion. The movie reminds me of my childhood every time I watch it.”

Thirteen-year-old boy Josh, played by Tom Hanks, makes a wish at an amusement park and becomes a thirty-year-old man overnight. Josh, a boy in a man’s body, is amused by everything in the grown-up world. He accidentally gets a job at a toy company, succeeds in everything he does and earns the chairman’s trust. Women are attracted to the honest and genuine Josh and the movie informs, in a comedic and articulate way, what women want in a relationship.

2. “Kate & Leopold” (2001, directed by James Mangold)
“I watch this film to get the feeling that I’m on vacation. I think movies are like two-hour vacations we can enjoy in our everyday life. They don’t always have to be serious and complex. The crazy love story of Kate & Leopold, which spans over much time and space, leaves a great feeling in me… like I just took a good long rest. Stories about less-than-perfect people are more relatable than stories about successful, perfect people. And the tough guy Hugh Jackman is so different in this film. (laughs)”

Unpolished beauty Hugh Jackman meets the queen of romantic comedy Meg Ryan in this movie. The cynical single woman Kate, played by Meg Ryan, enjoys voyeuring old lovers’ houses. She runs into Leopold, played by Hugh Jackman, who is very odd. He is a helpless romantic with corny manners and too many compliments.

3. “The Princess Bride” (1987, directed by Rob Reiner)
“This is a movie about a prince and a princess but it’s a little different. It makes parodies of all the conventional fairy tales and movies. In a swordfight, they keep fighting with one cut-off arm and a hotdog in the other hand. (laugh) It’s a really cute, funny, romantic movie. It has a perfectly predictable “happily ever after” ending but the process is new and fresh. It’s really fun… I recommend everyone to watch it.”

There are no princess and prince fairy tales that you know of in this movie. The twisted old stories are fresh to watch, even now. The princess, played by Robin Wright, is set to marry a prince from a neighboring country but actually loves the servant boy, played by Cary Elwes. Caught up in a war conspiracy, the princess is kidnapped and the prince tries to kill the boy.

4. “Notting Hill” (1999, directed by Roger Michell)
“This film is very personal to me. When I first went to Hong Kong three years ago, this movie was all I had. I had no friends, no one to talk to in a tiny apartment. And I had a VCD, not even a DVD, of “Notting Hill”. I watched it every night by myself, crying and laughing. And eating a peanut butter sandwich wet with tears. Can I fall in love with an ordinary girl working in a bookstore? Of course! (laughs)”

William, played by Hugh Grant, is a bookstore owner living a quiet life who accidentally keeps running into Hollywood movie star Anna, acted by Julia Roberts. He and his close friends see the real, hidden side of Anna and the two, after going through their ups and downs, end up realizing they are in love. The movie has all the elements of a classic romantic comedy -- from the dramatic proposal at the press conference to the happy ending. The theme song “She” lingers around long after the movie has ended.

5. “My Sassy Girl” (2001, directed by Kwak Jae-yong)
"I did an advertisement with Jun Ji-hyun. She was really sexy when we shot it but you can’t see any of that in this film. She drinks, vomits and slaps a guy on the subway. (laughs) She was completely crazy but natural in her appeal. I prefer cute women to those who always look perfect. And I think that’s why people like this film. In most movies, the female lead is beautiful and smart, but here Jun looks like someone who could be in an office or school. I think that was the secret to the success of this movie.”

The first and the most successful of the romantic comedy series by the Kwak-Jun collaboration. Still reeling from her painful first love, the seemingly innocent character Jun is actually violent and stubborn. And Gyun-woo, played by Cha Tae-hyun, loves her but is physically exhausted by her. Full of incidents of slapping, vomiting and getting drunk, the love story of Gyun-woo and the sassy girl is lively and animated, just like the internet novel that it was based upon.

Editor : Lee Ji-Hye seven@10asia.co.kr
Editor : Lynn Kim lynn2878@asiae.co.kr
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