Marrying the Mafia is the equivalent of a big Hollywood blackbuster comedy movie. The plot follows a successful young lawyer who wakes up naked one morning next to a girl named Jin-kyung. This wouldn’t be a huge problem, except that she is the daughter of a big-time mob boss who has now decided that the two should marry. It’s lively and funny dialoge is boosted by the outrageously funny characters and situations and it is a film I can honestly say I enjoyed. On first viewing, it is very hard to understand what’s going on, and scenes that might explain things seem to be missing. But these tricky Koreans always have a twist of some kind at or near the end, that gives the answer to a puzzle you didn’t even know was there.
As a result, the characters are never in any real danger of getting more than cuts and bruises. But the believability of the story is saved, thankfully, by the chemistry between Jung and Kim which works most of the time. Their relationship serves as a good distraction from the otherwise scatterbrained story. Don’t expect too much in terms of redeeming diadatic value here, this film is simply for fun and a lot of fun it is.
However, typical with female roles, some of her attempts at being gruff end up looking contrived. Sprinkled with strong language and bloody violence, the end result kind of makes this otherwise sweet hearted romantic comedy more for the adult crowd. But, like I said, this is a film that will benefit throughout multiple viewings. You must absorb the material to understand the ending. Then—you have to watch them a second time to understand it all, and to see that—they aren’t really silly or stupid or weird or disjointed at all, and, in fact are more cohesive than a lot of other-nation movies.
All in all, this was an above average film that I can safely recommend to all the Korean comedy fans out there. The situations, coupled with one of the most perfect endings to this kind of comedy I’ve seen in a long time, make it a thumbs up in my book. Apparantely I am not alone in this opinion because the year it was release, it ended up being the highest-attended South Korean film, and the second highest-attended film in South Korea. The side bit of the eldest mob brother is pretty ridiculous but without it the movie would lose a lot of appeal and we’d not get to know the characters as well. So, in the end, all is forgiven! Fans of the genre should rush out and see this.