“The Last Godfather,” South Korean director Shim Hyung-rae’s slapstick comedy shot in English with an American cast and crew including Harvey Keitel, will hit theaters in 12 major cities in North America on April fool’s day.
Hearing the news of the April 1st opening, director Shim said he believed laughter is universal and hoped that his movie would be well-received by American audiences as well. In Korea, the film has attracted 2.55 million admissions since it opened on Dec 29, which is not bad but the company said the number still fails to meet its expectations.
Some critics attributed the movie’s success to its appeal to Korean national pride and a sense of nostalgia – the main character Younggu, considered the South Korean version of Mr. Bean, was very popular in the 1980s. As Darcy Paquet, an independent film critic, puts it, the film is “targeted squarely at a South Korean audience.” Meanwhile, two other movies are also waiting to meet American audiences. There are some doubts whether it can appeal to the American audience as much as the director has hoped for.