There's more cookin' beneath the surface than above it in "The Naked Kitchen."
There’s more cookin’ beneath the surface than above it in “The Naked Kitchen,” a handsomely shot romantic dramedy about a very curious menage a trois in which food isn’t the main course. Recalling metaphysical South Korean movies of a decade ago, femme director Hong Ji-young’s debut is a toothsome, if fluffy, dish that’s ideal for Asian webs, with a charming perf from Shin Min-ah as a woman who unrealistically wants two guys in her life.
Married to nice but undemanding childhood friend Sang-in (Hong Sang-soo regular Kim Tae-woo), the only man she’s ever slept with, Mo-rae (Shin) is unexpectedly seduced one day by Du-re (Ju Ji-hun). When she confesses her indiscretion, Sang-in shrugs it off, but when Du-re turns out to be involved in a restaurant Sang-in is opening — and comes to stay at their home — Mo-rae keeps quiet about Du-re’s identity and finds herself emotionally confused by his ongoing advances. The two men’s close friendship, Du-re’s louche personality and the almost platonic love between the married couple hint at all manner of sexual complexities, though the pic’s attraction is that they’re never made explicit. Korean title simply means “Kitchen.”