WARNING! This movie contains a gay character and homosexual themes.
Starring: Joo Ji Hoon, Kim Jae Wook, Yoo Ah In, Choi Ji Ho, Andy Gillet
This movie has Koreans speaking in French! And hot men dancing shirtless & sweaty! Geez, I sound like an after-hours commercial.
Can you tell what attracted me to the movie? Two things: that powerhouse casting of beautiful men, and…yes, the guy x guy stuff. It helps that I have a major sweet tooth myself, though!
Min Sun Woo (Kim Jae Wook) confesses to his schoolmate Kim Jin Hyuk (Joo Ji Hoon), but is rejected. Since then, Sun Woo has become a master pâtissier, who has been continously fired from all of his jobs. This is due to his “Demonic Charm,” which causes men – gay or straight – to become irresistably attracted to him. Jin Hyuk starts a cake shop called “Antique”, and Sun Woo is the first to apply. However, Sun Woo is terrified of women, so (after much arguing) it is decided to hire only young men. They all fall in love with Sun Woo, and get fired. When all hope seems lost, Yang Kibum (Yoo Ah In) appears. A former boxer with a huge sweet tooth, he becomes Sun Woo’s apprentice. Last to enter is Sooyoung (Choi Ji Ho), the clumsy houseservant of Jin Hyuk’s family.
In the manga, Sooyoung and Sun Woo apparently get together. However, the Korean adaptation has Sun Woo stay in love with Jin Hyuk and leaves it open-ended, leaning toward a possible future with the two of them. Ji Ho’s role was a complete reversal to what I’m used to. I saw him in A Time Between a Dog and a Wolf (a show I’ve put on hiatus…) as high-ranking agent in the crime ring associated with a drug lord. Translate badass elite bodyguard into loveable oaf. But the fact that he was able to bring out that clumsiness and naivete while remaining positively endearing is a feat, I must say. Especially since I saw him first in such rough context.
Jae Wook is absolutely gorgeous, and don’t tell me you didn’t want to eat waffles all the time after seeing him in Coffee Prince! He’s perfect for the role. He can get jittery with women in this movie just as easily as he can be an undaunted lover that gets rejected in Coffee Prince. And his French is pretty gorgeous in comparison to Ji Hoo’s, honestly. It was nice to see him romantic and upbeat instead of dark and moody.
Ah In was a new face to me, and boy did I wish I had his job! And what was that? To continuously stuff his face with sweets. When he was a boxer, Kibum used to eat sweets before it was determined he had retinal detachment, and would probably go blind if he continued. Oddly enough, this actually works out pretty well, since he already knows what a good pastry tastes like. When he becomes an apprentice pâtissier, he is able to tell the difference between something made by Sun Woo, and an imitation. I liked him because he was frank and didn’t mince words. And he became fiercely loyal to his master.
Ji Hoo! Man, he was such a bastard in Goong, which is part of the reason I hated it so much. He retains a lot of that asshattery in this movie, but gains more sympathy. Instead of having the “Boo hoo, I’m a prince and have never experienced love before woe is me” thing going for him, Jin Hyuk was kidnapped as a child. He has no recollection of his captor, except that he was fed cake every day. As a result, he can’t stomach sweets. He acts like the perfect son to his family, since they became overprotective after the incident. He also has continuous nightmares of the past, and can be somewhat mentally unstable. We learn that he has the opposite problem of Sun Woo: he cannot keep anyone by his side. I wanted them to get together because they have both seen each other at their most vulnerable and each man knows the other’s habits and temperament well.
Oh, and Andy Gillet? He plays the role of Jean-Baptiste, Sun Woo’s world-renowned chef boyfriend who wants him to return to France to work at his hotel restaurant. Behold:
I would eat pastries off of that! And this guy has really good snarky faces. Someone should have cast him as Edward Cullen. Or with those leonine features, Jasper! But, I digress.
All in all, a very heartwarming and funny movie! There’s only one scene with guys making out, but you can skip over that if it makes you queasy.