Hahaha -- Film Review



CANNES -- Basking in the sunny, relaxed mood of its cleverly punning title -- which means "Summer, Summer, Summer" in Korean -- "Hahaha" is a midsummer night (and day) sex comedy that sees director Hong Sang Soo at his most good-humored and tolerant toward his characters. The human observations are less cynical, the jokes less calculated and the structural symmetries less rigid in the film, which took the top prize at the Festival de Cannes' Un Certain Regard awards Saturday.

As ever, booze and sex are the overt or covert agendas of almost every situation. For Hong's fans as well as art film-inclined audiences coming to his films new, this is as tangy and refreshing as sangria. Hong's usual niche release and ancillary should bring slightly better returns.

Regarding the setup, he hums the same tune: a director and a film critic drink and trade pleasant memories of a brief stay in a small seaside town, not realizing that they were in the same places with the same people at nearly the same time.

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But amid the male protagonists' intellectual pretensions, egocentric self-delusions and loutish lust for women, there is an ever so gentle move toward self-reflection and even an impulse (however fleeting) to make others (rather than just themselves) happy.

Venue: Festival de Cannes -- Un Certain Regard
Sales: Finecut
Production company: Jeonwonsa Film Co.
Director/screenwriter/executive producer: Hong Sang Soo
Cast: Kim Sangkyung, Yu Junsang, Moon Sori
Producer: Kim Kyounghee
Cinematographer: Park Hongyeol
Editor: Hahm Sungwon
Music: Jeong Yongjin