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200 Pounds Beauty – Review December 1, 2009

Posted by Cello in Movie Reviews.

With funny moments in between, 200 Pounds Beauty is a good movie to watch to inspire and be inspired, whether on a good or bad day.  Taking the concepts of the personal makeover and the obsession with appearances to an extreme, the film manages to work in not only comedy, but also some surprisingly social commentary.

Kang Han-na is a nice woman who is blessed with an incredible voice which she uses to make a living as a phone sex operator and as a singer. However, the problem for her music producers is the fact that she is a girl weighing in at 200 pounds. However, they do not want to let go of her voice, so she is the voice of an ultra popular pop singer called Ammy who is thin and beautiful but who cannot sing a note. While not being completely content with her life, Kang Han-na gets by with the secret affection she holds for her manager Sang-jun. However, her world is shattered at Sang-jun’s birthday party when she overhears Sang-jun telling Ammy that he finds her to be hideous. At first Kang Han-na thinks of committing suicide, but instead she turns to a plastic surgeon whom is one of her phone sex customers for help. Armed now with beauty and thinness, Kang Han-na returns to the outside world and is determined to start a new life.

Although much of the humor in 200 Pounds Beauty stems from embarrassment gags, the film is refreshingly free of the kind of cruel fat jokes you’d expect to see in this type of film.  re, the film was funny and light-hearted, and maybe even tugged at the heartstrings at some moments. But the bottom line is that the film is somehow JUSTIFYING plastic surgery and altering who you were naturally made to be in a nation where plastic surgery is already as common as McDonald’s. Was the goal of the filmmakers to discourage plastic surgery as a way of “improving your life,” or encourage it as another means to finding your true self and learning to love yourself? Of course, this fairy tale comedy turns out beautifully as expected, and there were many moments to shed tears where you can really feel for the girl in her journey of accepting herself from both before and after surgery.

She is also worried about her enlarged breasts and what he would think of her if he knew they were implants. It’s a bit sad but I think people can understand and sympathize with her situation, which leads the audience into laughter. This movie wasn’t so much my cup of tea given the plot but I would imagine my female readers loving this film quite a bit. The plastic surgery argument is something that irked me, but I can appreciate what the movie tried to accomplish and in the end it did send out a good message. 200 Pounds Beauty doesn’t quite work, but it makes a valiant effort. At the very least, it’s a breakout role for Kim Ah-jung, and I eagerly await seeing her shine in future movies.



1. gaguri - December 1, 2009

Sharp with your analysis, as always. And I agree. I recommend people to not take the plastic surgery question in this movie too seriously because it’s handled BAD. My biggest problem out of many, many, many problems was the ending. Basically, I don’t buy all those hollywood endings where you can just say sorry and everything becomes rainbow and smiles for ever after~. What a load of crap, as if the public forgive a lie like that so easily. But this plastic surgery thing was a good vehicle for light hearted laughs and joy. So for that, it was an ‘ok’ romantic comedy, pretty good for a mainstream film to come out of Korea.

And if you liked the theme song ‘ave maria’ sung by Kim Ah Jung, check out the original ‘ave maria’ version sung by ‘Loveholic’, which used to be a band I rreally enjoy before the lead singer left 😦

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