Everybody Has Secrets


Reviewed by: sukting

November 07, 2004

Rating: three-point-five

Foreword
Who is not eager to know how Ji Woo sheds her gentle and crying image to be steamy in bed with Byun Hun and how Byun Hyun charms three sisters? Is he better than Yong Jun in winning women’s hearts in ‘Untold Scandal’? You may be interested in watching it. However, those below 18 were not able to watch this movie in the cinema in Singapore.

I am not sure whether this happens in other countries too. So I narrate the story in detail below. Thanks to a friend, Sze Hee, who treated me to this movie. And also special thanks to Gin who got me this movie DVD in China when she went on tour.

Story (Warning! Mature content)

Mei Rong breaks up with her boyfriend before joining her second sister, Shan Rong, for a meal. She finds him too weak to cry for threatening to kill himself over the breakup. She wonders why Shan Rong is still a virgin at 27. I am appalled by the frank way that she uses mushrooms to indicate orgasm. Shan Rong longs for a romantic relationship and thus feels gross upon seeing the mushroom soup at home. Mei Rong even cheekily asks her mother to get her the clam soup the next time.

Mei Rong is a singer at her mother’s club. She shakes her head upon seeing the unattractive men coming in. When she sees Shu Xiong, she is attracted to him and even ‘dumps’ her singer status to be the waitress to tend to him. She tries to seduce him, sitting in front of him showing off her bosom. Suddenly his hand stretches out, not to touch it, but to remove a hair from there to make her blush!

She guesses that he will be ‘hot’ and will order a tequila drink. She is right but is wrong when he ignores her suggestion to order potato chips to go with it and orders fruits instead. She is delighted to get her dream man as she doesn’t want to get a ‘yes’ man.

She asks for his name card and later calls him on the spot so that he has her number. Both go on dates and she brings him home to meet her family. Who will not laugh when he brings salted fish? He then jokes that the eldest sister’s husband, Li Ming, can give him a health examination since he is a doctor. He answers no since he is a gynecologist. Mei Rong dresses up to go out with him.

Mei Rong declares Shu Xiong as her dream man but Shan Rong warns her to be careful of him. Through her conversation with him, she finds him knowledgeable in reading. He even knows that she is writing a thesis on sexual relationships and gives her tips to find out more. Mei Rong and Jing Rong have a walk. Mei Rong jokes that her sister’s sexual life must be dull like water because Li Ming seldom has demands. It must be that he has seen too many naked women at work so he doesn’t want to see one at home. Jing Rong declines her invitation to visit Shu Xiong’s art gallery together and she stops at the entrance.

All must watch the next intimate scene when Shu Xiong hugs to kiss her and touch her on the butt, slipping his hand under her dress! Then he tells her that he has the need. Well, we know the next moment they are in bed. The next time, Shu Xiong blindfolds Mei Rong to get her into his convertible to bring her to a beach resort. Both go into the same bath and enjoy the night scenery together. Mei Rong’s ex asks pitifully after playing the piano why she treats him so coldly even after the breakup. She gives him a cup of HOT water that nearly burns his palms instead!

Shan Rong sees Shu Xiong at her university library and he talks softly into her ear. She likes it so much that she laughs aloud, alarming the rest! Shu Xiong then stands at the window. After the librarian pushes a trolley of books between them, he is missing! Shan Rong finds him outside the library. He is upset listening to a piece of music that reminds him of his father who goes missing on the day he got his driver's license. He offers her a cigarette and although she doesn’t smoke, she holds it in her hand. There are tears in his eyes then. He reminds her of her late father too and she cries, hugging him.

Shan Rong suddenly gets confused and wants to write Shu Xiong a love letter. She starts with the sentence on how he steals her heart but dumps a few pieces later – he is not a thief. She then continues with another sentence – does he want to join her family? She tears it up again – as if she is asking him to join a mafia. Here comes another hilarious moment. She reads up books on sex and circles the penis on the pictures after locking the door. When she walks out for her breakfast, she sees two chili on the table. Upon seeing Mei Rong munching on sausage bread and peeling a banana plus her mother saying that they are having carrot soup, she walks away, feeling very gross!

Shan Rong goes shopping with Jing Rong. Jing Rong tries a red dress and she says that Li Ming will not be attracted by how she looks but how much the dress costs. Shan Rong sees Shu Xiong going up an escalator and chases after him……with a blouse which is not paid yet! He promises her over the handphone that he will come but he doesn’t turn up. Jin Rong wonders why she is so impatient and irritable.

Shan Rong goes to a musical with her classmate and she is appalled to see her with cigarettes. However, Shan Rong doesn’t smoke but is only trying to be as stylish as Shu Xiong to imitate on how he taps the cigarette with his hand. Her professor comes and sits beside her, wondering why there is a change in her style of writing her thesis. It is as if all her feelings are becoming open. Sure it does, she sees Shu Xiong walking out and runs after him.

The poor professor is actually interested in her but Shan Rong’s classmate pesters him to pull him back instead. Shan Rong only manages to find the musical brochure and Shu Xiong’s name card. She tries to call him at home but Mei Rong charges into her room without knocking the door. She scolds her and gets into a phone booth in the rain to call him. Upon hearing his voice which states that he knows she calls him, she immediately goes to his home.

Shu Xiong cites that he has wished that Shan Rong is the one to be with him when Mei Rong was in bed with him the last time. This is so hilarious – Shan Rong has said that she can’t drink so he offers her a big cup of tea and he gets himself a bottle of wine. Upon hearing this, she gulps a whole glass of wine and kisses him fiercely on his lips. You will laugh at her next move – she asks what she should do next?? He wants her to find out herself.

The next day, she wakes up happily and overhears Mei Rong telling Mrs Han that Shu Xiong is behaving weirdly lately. He is out of sorts and Shan Rong tells herself happily that he must have loved her. She gets her a glass of milk, looking into Mei Rong’s eyes wanting her to give up. But when she turns around, she knocks herself into the wall.

Shan Rong is still curious. So she gets into Jun Rong’s room to search for materials. You will laugh again – she crawls on the floor to reach his bed when he is sleeping. It is too exaggerating to see his penis enlarged to an incredible size under the shorts when she removes the blanket to steal his porno magazine. Then she searches under his bed and grabs his porno vcds to watch. It is so amusing to see her expression when she uses a blanket to cover herself except the face when watching the videos with a frowning look!

The truth about Mei Rong going out with Shu Xiong blindfolded in the car. Shan Rong sulks when seeing them together. Seeing that Mei Rong is going to remove the blindfold soon, he gives Shan Rong a kiss on her forehead. But she pulls him towards her and kisses him fiercely on the lips before he moves off.

They have a Mrs Han’s birthday celebration at the club. After a song, Mei Rong announces in front of the crowd that she wants to introduce a new member into the family. You should not miss this hilarious exchange between the two waiters – upon seeing Mrs Han putting his hand over Shu Xiong’s shoulder; they think that Mei Rong is so magnanimous to share her boyfriend with her! They conclude that Mrs Han is too lonely for being a widow for 10 years so she needs a very young man to nurse her broken heart.

She then declares that she wants to marry Shu Xiong on the spot – will he marry her? He stands up and says that this is not the way. I really laugh when I think like others that he will reject her. He says that men should do it – will she marry him? Both hug on stage. Can you believe that at this moment – he is flirting with Shan Rong under the table??? His leg is touching hers on her table without wearing the shoes. It is so funny when he can still calmly wear his shoe back while Shan Rong is so stunned that her foot lands on the floor instead of the shoe! She has to fight back her tears and clap her hands.

She cries on the street and Shu Xiong goes after her. She chides him for loving more than one woman. Hiss presence causes a lot of confusion in her. He hugs her and brings her home. This is something so expected – Shan Rong quickly undresses him, removing his belt and pulls his pants down. She stops and asks him what to do next!!! Now she is in bed covering with a bedsheet while he is sitting by the side. She refuses to let him switch off the light and he promises to do it when she is ready.

Here comes a steamy moment. Actually, she is still wearing lingerie. She tells him to turn off the lights and starts to lick his back and upper body. He laughs and tells her that it is not necessary to do this every time. He tells her to follow her own feelings and not to follow what is written in the book. After an intimate moment, she enjoys it and he asks for more. She refuses, saying that she studies from books that having too much sex is no good but later still gives in to him.

The next day, she walks happily in the rain and Shu Xiong is very amused that she refuses to be sheltered with the umbrella so he joins her. Jun Rong meets Shu Xiong in the toilet and complains about failure in asking sex from his girlfriend. Shu Xiong teaches him to read romantic verses – like waiting for her to open her heart to him. Jun Rong is impatient – what happens if she never opens her heart?? Shu Xiong invites the couple to his home and fixes a meal for them.

You will laugh – initially the gal states that she drinks very little wine but later wants Shu Xiong to give her a BIG bowl! Jun Rong is later annoyed that she chooses to sleep on the sofa bed instead. He isn’t smelly or dirty so why must he share a bed with Shu Xiong? Shu Xiong laughs off his joke and later exclaims that he is very strong by touching his skin and stomach muscles. Jun Rong suddenly feels that his heart is beating fast and starts to suspect whether he likes a man instead.

I surely laugh non-stop – at first, he tilts to the side but later he throws his pillow down on the floor and sleeps there instead. Shu Xiong tells the gal everything and finally the little couple sleeps on the bed together. Jun Rong goes to the swimming pool. He is about to dive into it when he sees Mei Rong with her ex kissing intimately in the pool. He has such a big shock that he falls into the pool instead. He can’t believe it as he continues to watch them under water. He can’t tell Shu Xiong so he keeps mum.

Jing Rong comes to the club and is uneasy to see Shu Xiong there. She is bored daily to finish washing dishes and seeing Li Ming sleeping on the sofa with a big tummy. She then goes to the garden and pushes a flower pot aside. There are cigarettes and an ash tray there so she smokes there, depicting her loneliness.

On the day of the shopping, Shu Xiong calls her and exclaims that she is pretty to choose a dress that shows her nice neck. She admires herself in the mirror but can’t find him too when she walks out. She wears it at home but Li Ming is unattracted. He even says that what Shu Xiong tells her is what salesmen normally say to please her. She mentions about Shu Xiong and Li Ming’s face light up - why doesn’t she ask him to invest in his hospital? Li Ming dislikes her to bathe and spray some perfume before sleeping.

The next day, Shu Xiong comes and Li Ming finds Jing Rong sexy in a black dress. He asks for sex but she reminds him of his promise and also there are outsiders. She looks into Shu Xiong’s eyes when he offers her grapes and gets so nervous to swallow a whole grape down! He enquires whether she gets the dress and she replies yes to wear it to a party.

Shu Xiong babysits their daughter and carries Li Ming on his back to the bed when he returns drunk. Both sit at the table and she is about to remove her jacket but stops. She drops her earring and he kneels to look for it. If he turns to look at her, will she avoid looking at him? She stammers but is about to kiss him when Mei Rong calls Shu Xiong to fetch her home from the club. She sings there on Fridays so he can come here. Shu Xiong tells Jing Rong not to suppress her feelings.

Actually on the day that Mei Rong offers to bring her into the art gallery, Jing Rong sees Shu Xiong standing on the second storey and declines his invitation. He later closes the binds after kissing Mei Rong in front of her to make her jealous. When she knows that he is going to marry Mei Rong on that night, he laughs hysterically, unlike Shan Rong weeping. She is unable to forget him so she drives to see him. Just in time to see Shan Rong walking out of his apartment with him. Shu Xiong smiles and leaves his umbrella there but she feels dejected in the rain.

On Mei Rong’s wedding day, Mei Rong is confused over who she likes and decides not to marry. She is frustrated when her ex comes to give her her favourite necklace but she throws it on the floor. She confesses to both sisters that she likes both men but Shan Rong warns her that she can’t marry both. She confesses going to bed with her ex after the swim and loves him too.

Jing Rong goes to Shu Xiong, demanding to know whether he is only interested to get women into bed with him. She ends up having sex with him in the living room – by sitting on top of him. Suddenly, Jun Rong comes and she hurries to leave. You will laugh at how frantically she puts on the traditional Korean dress and the pants. She throws the shoes down the small valley and runs without wearing the socks! Jun Rong chides Shu Xiong for being naked and taking his own sweet time to get ready on his wedding day.

Shan Rong notices a leaf on Jing Rong’s dress and she laughs it off uneasily. Mei Rong can’t go through the church ceremony and runs out. Shu Xiong talks to Mei Rong and stops her from telling him her secret as he believes everyone has secrets. He hugs her but looks happy driving away in his convertible. All have an enjoyable time at the club, dancing with their partners.

It has an expected ending. Shan Rong tries to seduce her professor, feeling his foot under the table. Mei Rong sleeps with her ex. Jing Rong is the most hilarious. She has sex with Li Ming in the living room –exactly the same way she does with Shu Xiong but the man is still sleeping. A couple breaks up with her girlfriend after she goes for plastic surgery, saying that this is affecting their future offspring. Shu Xiong sits into the car and waits for a next target. We can guess what he is going to do next!

Introduction on characters

1. Zhou Shu Xiong – Lee Byun Hun
He is a womanizer and no one knows his age. I only know that he is loaded from Li Ming’s mouth. Just who is this mysterioius Casanova? What movie has he to the sisters who don’t even seem to mind his two-timing ways? Or because Korean women are submissive in nature?To me, he is a twisted guardian angel whose idea of strengthen family ties is through infidelity and promiscuity. Or probably he is a devil in disguise? To think he even teaches Jun Rong ways to seduce women too!

Byun Hun looks so refreshed here-–which is so different from his haggard or thin look in Korean dramas. However, I think that his role has restricted him to be a male vase. He is charming with smiles and mushy dialogues. It is equally steamy with the hot scenes he toys with women but it stops there. Acting wise, he only gives an average satisfactory performance. It is the women who call the shots in here.

2. Han Jing Rong – Chu Sang Mi
She is the eldest sister who has a dull life after being a doctor’s wife and a housewife. After meeting Shu Xiong, the passion fire burns in her. She is traditional but unable to suppress the feelings for him. she has controlled her feelings for too long. Wonders whether it lures her to demand more sexual contacts with her husband after her encounter with him? Sang Mi is great although her role is minor. She does a great job as the neglected wife longing for love and attention.

3. Han Shan Rong – Choi Ji Woo
She is the second sister and is a bookworm who is too involved in reading and dreaming of meeting her prince charming. It is amusing to see her searching through books to find out more about love. She is bespectacled most of the time but after having closer contact with Shu Xiong, she discards her glasses and gets wild. Even deducing men too like him seducing women!

I will say that Ji Woo acts the best in this movie. She is simply fabulous. The intellectual way when she buries her head into the books is already so wacky. What’s more when she needs to consult them for advice! It’s really hilarious for the bed scene and also many more. I will say it is a big breakthrough for her.

4. Han Mei Rong – Kim Hyo Jin
She is the youngest sister who doesn’t believe in long relationships. So she ditches many of them. She changes slightly because of Shu Xiong. This is the first time that she ever considers marrying him. However, after meeting her ex, she becomes confused over her feelings. She is frank, wanting to tell the truth to Shu Xiong. She finally gets together with her ex.

I often see her in sweet and young roles in Korean dramas. This role creates a new image to let me realize that she has grown up. She is sexy indeed and sings the English songs very well. Anyone considering looking for her to cut an album?

5. Han Jun Rong
He is the only youngest brother the sisters have. He is curious about sex and thus keeps a big collection of materials on it. However, it is Shu Xiong who encourages him to make the first move. This actor can be very plain looking with beady eyes but he is such a good comedian. He really makes me laugh hard.

Interesting scenes

How Shu Xiong seduces the sisters with different ways. All go crazy over him because he manipulates their every move and thoughts. With Mei Rong, he is wild. With Shan Rong, he is gentle. With Jing Rong, he becomes mature and also a little aggressive.

Interesting facts

Byun Hun received 5 billion won for his role in this movie. It became the highest record in history. When the movie almost ended its filming, he broke up with Hae Gyo. It spent speculation on whether Ji Woo was the cause of it due to the bed scene with him to cause Hae Gyo to get jealous over it.

Byun Hun had wanted to treat it as a warm up. But he later realized that it wasn’t easy to make a comedy. It is not easy to make others laugh with a straight face. He was a flirt in the movie but he can’t accept this kind of ‘jerk’ in real life. Thus the more he acted, the angrier he became as it was tough for him. But still, he took it in his stride. He joked that it was still better than being sandwiched between women. The 3 actresses pit against each other in the clothes they wear for the poster. He joked that he could only sit and wait till a moustache grew on his face during the wait.

No one expected Ji Woo to act as a comedian. She stressed that she didn’t like failures so she competed against Byun Hun and the other 2 actresses. Upon watching the steamy scenes in the Korean premiere, she was so shy that she hid behind a chair. She had wished to resign at first but later liked the story too much to give up. When filming the naked scene, she only revealed her back and taped her bosom. She added the licking back suggestion but was hesitant on whether it could work.

Ji Woo and Byun Hun did not reveal their flight time to Japan to attend the Tokyo film festival for 5 days. Yet their 400 fans gave them a warm welcome at the airport. They wore white jackets when stepping out of the customs. 500 security guards helped them out. In one program, the popular SMAP even tried to show how much they ‘loved her. One even tried to charm her by impersonating Bae Yong Jun. Another charmed her with his fluent Korean making others jealous.

When both attended the movie preview to meet reporters, both wore black clothes. Ji Woo kept on looking at Byun Hun and he also looked back gently at her. However, many could see that they were uneasy. Byun Hun kept touching his nose and lips non-stop. Ji Woo’s eyes kept turning and smiled exaggeratingly when Hyun Hun and the director talked about her. She exclaimed that Byun Hun had the nickname ‘smiling killer’ in Korea so any woman who watched this movie would be charmed by him. Byun Hun praised Ji Woo for being accommodating and almost perfect. She did not have any airs at all. He didn’t get along well with many actresses but she was easy to talk to and he felt relaxed working with her.

During the movie premiere, Ji Woo got to know about the earthquake incident that happened. She quickly donated US$10,000 after Yong Jun, Dong Gan and Byun Hun. She wanted to repay her fans. The movie ticket price even chalked up by 240 times. Two 60 year old fans came all the way from Hokkaido to meet her in her hotel to get her signature. They had no place to stay as all hotel rooms in nearby hotels were all taken up by fans. Ji Woo let both stay in one of the rooms in her presidential suite, isn’t she sweet?

The captivating romantic tale has not only been hailed as a true winner, but also turned into a box office triumph. It really comes as no surprise that Japan's movie industry was itching to get its fingers on the cinematic pearl to come up with a remake , which finally led to a record deal over $5.5 million.


Conclusion

This movie is a direct translation of a 2001 movie, About Adam. I didn’t watch this Irish movie but it is said to be a total remake from it. The story is still attractive with the smouldering good looks of Byun Hun to get away with everything. The cast is impeccable with its amusing moments. I had expected Byun Hun to shine in this movie but I never expected the actresses to overshadow him. This is a bit disappointing but it is still a pleasant surprise. Actresses are no longer considered as vases in this movie.

Ji Woo’s fans might be shocked by the change of her in her but I welcome it. She keeps on getting the boring, weak, tragic roles in Korean dramas so it is evident in her trying to make a change in here. I am completely convinced by her acting now as all along I have not thought of her as a comedian. She should try this more often!

Sukting’s ratings :

On acting : **** (Scale of 5)

On story : ***1/2 (Scale of 5)


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