Film / Marriage Blue
(결혼전야, Gyeolhonjeonya) is a 2013 romantic comedy film from South Korea. It tells the interlinked stories of four couples who are engaged to be married, and their anxieties and difficulties as the wedding approaches.
- Tae-kyu was once a highly touted baseball player before he got hit on the head with a pitch, ending his hopes of stardom. He still works as a player/coach in Korean baseball. Back when he was a star he dated Joo-young, who is now a successful urologist. Joo-young and Tae-kyu have reunited after many years apart.
- Joo-young and Tae-kyu's wedding is being planned by Yi-ra, who is dating Dae-bok, who works at Joo-young's clinic. After Yi-ra finds out that she is pregnant, she tells Dae-bok, who immediately asks her to marry him despite the fact that they have only known each other a short time. Their relationship is complicated by Dae-bok's overbearing mother and Yi-ra's disapproving father, who is a Protestant Christian minister.
- One of Joo-young's patients is Gun-ho, who owns a flower shop. Gun-ho is a middle-aged man who is engaged to be married to Vika, who is 1) a white woman from Uzbekistan, 2) 18 years younger than Gun-ho, and 3) absurdly gorgeous. Yi-ra is also planning their wedding.
- Unbeknownst to her fiance, Vika is taking lessons in Korean cooking. Her teacher is Won-cheol, a chef who is in a long-term relationship with his girlfriend, nail artist So-mi. So-mi and Won-cheol agree to get married because they don't really have any reason not to. Won-cheol wants So-mi to quit working and stay home to raise the family they're planning. She agrees, but grudgingly, and shortly before their wedding date she leaves for a nail-painting competition on Jeju Island, where she meets handsome Kyeong-soo, a webcomic artist who moonlights as a tour guide.
- Altar the Speed: Yi-ra and Dae-bok are getting married after knowing each other for only a month because he knocked her up.
- Citizenship Marriage: Gun-ho's paranoia leads him to suspect that this is what Vika's after. He's wrong.
- Completely Different Title: The Korean title actually translates to "The Night Before the Wedding".
- The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: Yi-ra's job is planning romantic weddings, but her own anxieties over the differences between her and Dae-bok lead her to break up with him.
- Disposable Fiancée / Romantic False Lead: There isn't anything wrong with Won-cheol, not really; his proposal to So-mi isn't that romantic, but he's nice enough. He takes it awfully well when she dumps him for Kyeong-soo, sending a congratulatory bouquet.
- Double Standard: Tae-kyu flips out when he finds out that Joo-young was once married but never told him. She takes it calmly at first but finally gets mad, challenging him about all the groupies he cheated on her with years ago. Tae-kyu then cites the Double Standard, saying it's different for men.
- Hello, Nurse!: Vika tends to attract attention from men, like when she's jogging through Seoul on her way to see Gun-ho.
- Hyperlink Story: The characters are all connected in various ways (see above).
- Insecure Love Interest: Vika is young and spectacularly sexy. Gun-ho is somewhat doughy and 18 years older than she is. This causes him anxiety and insecurity, which undermines their relationship.
- The Loins Sleep Tonight: Vika and Gun-ho's formerly vigorous sex life comes to a halt when Gun-ho starts getting nervous about the upcoming wedding. This is why he goes to see Joo-young.
- Mighty Whitey and Mellow Yellow: Seemingly a Gender Flip with Gun-ho and Vika, but since it's a Korean film with Vika the immigrant being the only Caucasian in an otherwise all-Korean cast, it's really more of a race flip. In any case it's played pretty much straight, with Vika being the foreigner (she's a performer at a Seoul aquarium) who is struggling to learn Korean language and culture.
- My Beloved Smother: Dae-bok's mom, who buys a lot of tacky furniture for his and Yi-ra's prospective home, assumes that she will live with them, assumes that Yi-ra's family will pay for the wedding, etc.
- Not So Stoic: When Yi-ra starts getting more and more nervous about their wedding and suggests to Dae-bok that maybe they should break up, Dae-bok takes it calmly and suggests that she should make a list of reasons to get married and reasons to break up. When she finally tells him that she wants to end things, he accepts the decision in good humor and drops her off. Then, after he's alone in the car, he breaks down weeping.
- Preacher's Kid: Yi-ra. It's bad enough that her minister father is pressuring Dae-bok to convert to Christianity, but in addition to that it turns out that Yi-ra is a fun-loving party girl who likes short skirts and dancing, and has hidden this part of her personality from her father for years. Part of the Altar the Speed motivation for her marriage is that she's terrified of her father finding out that she had sex before marriage.
- Protagonist-Centered Morality: In another setting it might seem kind of low for So-mi to cheat on her fiance with some strange guy, and then dump him for said strange guy, but she's the protagonist, so it's romantic.
- Quitting to Get Married: Won-cheol wants So-mi to do this, but she doesn't, causing tension.
- Title Drop: Apparently a Korean expression for pre-wedding jitters.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Gun-ho isn't ugly, quite, but he is middle-aged and somewhat pudgy, making a dramatic contrast with his young, sexy fiancee. This causes him anxiety.
- Wedding Day: Two of them. Gun-ho and Vika's wedding proceeds as planned after they get back together, whereas Joo-young and Tae-kyu wind up hurriedly rescheduling after having canceled everything.