‘My Boyfriend is Type B’ is a 2005 film written and directed by Choi Suk Won. It stars Lee Dong Gun and Han Ji Hye.
As you may have gathered from the film’s title, this is a movie based around the premise of the ‘blood type theory of personality’. Fans of Asian media will undoubtedly be familiar with the concept as blood type is an important feature in many East Asian (and other) cultures, particularly in Japan and South Korea.
This theory suggests that an individual’s personality traits and character are inextricably linked to their blood type. This tends to be a very unusual theory, especially to British people who often do not even know what their blood type actually is. Nowadays, it seems that many of the cultures that believe in the theory only employ it for fun or to justify their individual behaviours, but there are still many that take it very seriously, even letting it steer their decision-making in finding a partner! You can read more about the blood type theory in this very informative article.
Onto the film itself now, and we are introduced to the two main characters. Young Bin (played by Lee Dong Gun), who is an impulsive, bubbly, attention-seeking type B. This means that he often focuses on how he can have fun in every situation and is very passionate about what he likes. However, this also often leads to him being a little selfish and inconsiderate in his actions. Frequently picking up and dumping women after he grows bored with them.
We also meet Han Mi (Han Ji Hye), who is a conservative and shy type A. This means that she is often sensible, someone who works hard and likes things a certain way, but is also very unassertive in her wants and needs.
Han Mi is certain that fate will bring her the one true love she is destined to meet, and becomes quite disheartened after he fails to come along for so long. However, one day she bumps into Yong Bin after accidentally texting his mobile number. She takes this as a sign that they are fated to be together, and proceeds to steal his phone and refuse to give it back until they have dinner together. Of course, this is very unlike her meek type A personality, but she is desperate to pursue this chance. Yong Bin is initially very angry, but soon brightens up at the chance of free food with this rather interesting girl. A close relationship begins to form and grow between the two, but can two people of such opposing blood types really sustain a relationship?
You can tell that Dong Gun and Ji Hye are comfortable being so close to one another, and this really helps the film flow in a relaxed manner and makes the character’s relationship more believable. There are a few East Asian romantic comedies in which you can tell the main actor and actress are not fully comfortable with being so close, so it is really good to see the two protagonists get along so well here. (Perhaps that was also helped by the fact that the actor and actress were dating in real life at the time too?)
- The fact that Young Bin is so unaware of his selfishness and, often inconvenient, impulsiveness makes for some really funny moments. You might be wondering why Han Mi puts up with his behaviour at times, but Young Bin’s character quickly balances it out be being wonderfully romantic the next minute.
- Han Mi’s roommate and cousin Chae Young (played be Shin Yi) is a great character. Her side stories also offer some really comedic moments as she advises Han Mi one thing and does the opposite herself! It is also wonderful to see the deep relationship between her and Han Mi. You really feel that they care for each other and will do anything to protect each other even though they often get frustrated at the other’s behaviour. It is great to see a side character with their own story and full involvement in the narrative.
- It would have been great if the characters were a little more developed, as it stands, they are a little two-dimensional. Near the end of the film, you do see the characters progress a lot more and there is the introduction of a phobia of Young Bin’s that opened up the perfect opportunity for deeper exploration, but that opportunity was sadly missed. If the characters were given the chance to be even a little bit more complex, I feel that the film would have finished feeling a lot more well-rounded than it did.
Check out below for the overall verdict of this film, and remember to leave your opinions in the comment section below!
[Source used: globalvoicesonline.org]
Good, but not amazing.
This is a great film if you are in the mood for some silly Asian fluff. Let's face it, we all are sometimes, right?
However, film is not anything to write home about. As expressed above, the narrative itself is thin and you may be left with a slightly unsatisfied feeling as the credits roll.
That being said, there is a lot of humour within it and it certainly opens up a debate on the true legitimacy of the blood type theory of personality. It is a film for a quiet night in, especially if you are a fan of slightly kooky Asian rom-coms.