In support of Korean Cultural Service's free screening tomorrow night of South Korean romance/comedy/drama Venus Talk, I'm reposting the following review, which went online at the time of the film's theatrical opening in North America on February 28th.
Venus Talk stars three of Korea’s most accomplished and provocative actresses as very close friends in modern day Seoul. They're in their early 40s and find themselves confronting anew the issues of love, relationships, commitment, and -- not insignificantly -- sex, at this stage of their lives.
|LEE Jae-Yoon (left) and UHM Jung-Hwa|
Shin-Hye (UHM Jung-Hwa, Haeundae) is a smart, capable and talented producer at a cable station. Unfortunately, she has a knack of getting involved with men in the industry. After an affair with a director ends, she has a one night stand with CHOI Hyun-seung (LEE Jae-Yoon), an incredibly handsome production assistant who, at 28 years of age, is much younger than she is. Despite the difference in age, he wants to have an ongoing relationship with her, but she is reluctant to get involved.
|Actor LEE Sung-Min (left )and actress MOON So-Ri|
Mi-Yeon (MOON So-Ri, Oasis) is a housewife who has a very lively libido. With their only child, a son, studying abroad, it would seem to be the perfect time for her and her husband to indulge in glorious, uninhibited sex with one another. However her husband is increasingly hard-put (no pun intended) to keep up with her sexual appetite. Viagra and pornography alone prove to be not enough for him to deal with the situation.
|Actor LEE Kyeong-Yeong (left) and actress JO Min-Soo|
Hae-Young (JO Min-Soo, Pieta) is a single mom who has her own bakery and is in a lovely relationship with Mr. LEE, an age-appropriate carpenter. Their relationship is made difficult by the presence of her 20-something and still-living-at-home daughter Su-Jung. Just as that issue seems on the verge of getting resolved another and much more significant problem arises.
|Actresses MOON So-ri, JO Min-Soo and UHM Jung-Hwa|
The film is most definitely a Korean take on the Sex in the City TV series and movies. But there's nothing wrong with that, since it's so well done. The situations are believable, the writing is good, and the direction is solid. Most importantly, the acting is fantastic. This is not surprising given the three female leads, but it can also be said of all the supporting cast as well.
According to Korean Cinema Today (February 2014, Vol. 35), Myung Films, which produced the movie, was hoping to tap into the growing pool of older filmgoers who have been a significant part of South Korea's recent domestic box office boom. The beefcake shots of LEE Jae-Yoon and the way the simulated sex scenes are filmed seem to clearly indicate that the movie is intended to appeal mainly to the female audience. But that's not to say that guys won't enjoy it also, especially those who appreciate great acting.
ACF Rating: 3 out of 4 star; very solidly recommended.