Crazy First Love (Cheotsarang sasu gwolgidaehoe) is a Korean film following Son Tae-il's love for Joon Il-mae. He met her while being breastfed and has loved her ever since. The opening is a cartoon version of how Tae-il and Il-mae were breastfed together and sort of set the tone for this less than stellar film. Oh, and yes, cartoon nipples are disturbing.
The rest of the film isn't animated and opens with Tae-il yelling about his pubic hair and how Il-mae's father broke a promise. The promise, apparently, was that Tae-Il could marry Il-mae once he started growing pubic hair. I think his chances of winning her heart should have stopped there, as a male yelling in front of all my friends, his friends, and my father and shaking his pubes for all to see isn't my idea of being wooed.
Judging from her reaction, it isn't exactly Il-mae's idea of romanticism either. But Il-mae's father, who happens to be Tae-il's teacher, gives him a quest that would guarantee he could marry Il-mae: improve his grades to be in the top 3,000 nationally. He does this and Teacher requests that Tae-il go on to go to college, law school, pass the bar, and numerous other tasks before he'll grant Il-mae's hand in marriage to Tae-il. In the meantime, the boy tries to guard Il-mae's purity and protect her. As annoying as Tae-Il is, he sure is persistent, I'll give him that.
Blah, blah, blah, gag, blah, right? A tedious plot that doesn't know when to move on is further frustrated because Son Tae-il is either crying or screaming everything he says, and sometimes both. It's loud and annoying, making you think he's quite wimpy and probably undeserving of the young woman's heart anyway. And you start to wonder why Tae-il doesn't realize the public fits of screaming and crying aren't going to win Il-mae's heart, and why the movie doesn't come with a warning that you will need to take Advil every five minutes to fight off the headache from the loud whininess.
The main actors are all experienced, but their talents cannot make up for poorly written characters in a bad script. Oh Jong-rok's directorial debut does have a bit of originality going for it though. Unlike many romantic comedies where the young man would go around the parents' wishes to win the girl's heart anyway, Tae-il consults Il-mae's father every step of the way. This results in an interesting bond forming between Tae-il and Teacher. But it also ends with Tae-il and Teacher crying and screaming to each other more than anyone cares to witness, let alone in less than two hours. And it makes you wonder if Korean men are capable of a somewhat normal tone.
Like many somewhat decent films, Crazy First Love doesn’t seem to know when to end. If it were an hour-long film that ended with Tae-il passing the bar exam, it would be a somewhat charming movie. But as it continues, you begin to stop caring if the boy will ever get the girl. To be honest, you don't even care if he were to cry himself to death. And when Il-mae starts whining, you just want the movie to end so the crying stops.
As a romantic comedy, it forgets to add the comedic aspects and results in a film that is more embarrassing for the characters with a few – very few – laughs thrown in. While a marriage contract isn’t in the plot, there are plenty of other deals thrown in that it can follow that generic Korean film plot. Plus, it adds the random terminal illness halfway through the movie, making Crazy First Love 108 minutes of bad Korean cinema.