×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Girls’ Night Out

One of the hottest tickets at its Pusan festival world preem, thanks to an advance rep for verbal and visual raunch, "Girls' Night Out" skillfully avoids being simply a Korean stab at the women-talking-about-sex genre that's almost become a cliche in North American indie cinema. Though the three lead characters are too neatly balanced in their makeup (low-sex, high-sex, no-sex), and most Korean women really don't talk like this (though how many American women do, either?), the movie's an entertaining, sexy ride that deserves play on Western screens in the coming year. A slightly modified version opened on home turf in early October.

With:
Ho-jeong ..... Kang Su-yeon Yeon ..... Jin Heui-kyeong Sun ..... Kim Yeo-jin.

One of the hottest tickets at its Pusan festival world preem, thanks to an advance rep for verbal and visual raunch, “Girls’ Night Out” skillfully avoids being simply a Korean stab at the women-talking-about-sex genre that’s almost become a cliche in North American indie cinema. Though the three lead characters are too neatly balanced in their makeup (low-sex, high-sex, no-sex), and most Korean women really don’t talk like this (though how many American women do, either?), the movie’s an entertaining, sexy ride that deserves play on Western screens in the coming year. A slightly modified version opened on home turf in early October.

The trio of 29-year-olds are Ho-jeong (Kang Su-yeon), upwardly mobile head of a design firm who, much to the chagrin of her regular b.f., will tango with anything in pants she fancies; Yeon (Jin Heui-kyeong), a lobby-lounge waitress who dreams of marriage but whose lack of sack technique is grating on her partner; and Sun (Kim Yeo-jin), a graduate student who’s still waiting for the right guy to come along and relieve her of her virginity.

Film gets right down to business with the threesome trading graphic girl-talk one evening in Ho-jeong’s apartment, where Yeon also rooms. Thereafter, things spin off into a multitude of sequences (funny, dramatic, melancholy, erotic) spread over several months, as pic dips into the women’s emotional, sexual and professional lives at key moments. There’s a neat twist in the tail as the quiet Sun proves the most resilient and focused of them all.

Mostly using a hand-held camera and deploying a patchwork approach with rapid fade-outs, first-time writer-director Im Sang-su draws spirited performances from his cast (all of whom contributed to reshaping the dialogue) that match the pic’s restless energy. (Special processing to give a slightly bleached look also adds to the atmosphere.) There’s nothing here that Western auds haven’t seen or heard, but thesps are so good that they manage to bring off even the most familiar dialogue with aplomb and freshness.

Topping the honors is the experienced Kang as yuppie Ho-jeong, whose bottom-line attitude to copulation — “Let them stick it in, and afterwards they’ll see the real you once they get over the sex thing” — rebounds on her with a vengeance. In quieter roles, both the photogenic Jin (from “Motel Cactus”) and newcomer Kim are fine, with the latter coming through strongly at the end. Despite several realistic sex scenes and general lack of coyness from the leads, the movie is quite tame visually, with no full frontals.

Girls' Night Out

(COMEDY-DRAMA -- SOUTH KOREAN)

Production: A Samsung Pictures presentation of an Uno Films production. (International sales: Samsung, Seoul.) Produced by Cha Seung-chae. Directed, written by Im Sang-su.

Crew: Camera (color), Alex Hong; editor, Kyeong Min-ho; music, Mun Jun-ho; art directors, Oh Jae-weon, Jeong Eun-yeong; sound (Dolby), Oh Weon-cheol. Reviewed at Pusan Film Festival, South Korea, Sept. 29, 1998. Running time: 100 MIN.

With: Ho-jeong ..... Kang Su-yeon Yeon ..... Jin Heui-kyeong Sun ..... Kim Yeo-jin.

More Film

  • Agustina San Martin Talks Cannes Special

    Agustina San Martin Talks Cannes Special Mention Winner ‘Monster God’

    CANNES – An exploration of the ramifications of God, “Monster God,” from Argentina’s Agustina San Martín, took a Special Mention – an effective runner’s up prize – on Saturday night at this year’s Cannes Film Festival short film competition. It’s not difficult to see why, especially when jury president Claire Denis own films’ power resists [...]

  • Atlantics

    Netflix Snags Worldwide Rights to Cannes Winners 'Atlantics,' 'I Lost My Body'

    Mati Diop’s feature directorial debut “Atlantics” and Jérémy Clapin’s animated favorite “I Lost My Body” have both been acquired by Netflix following wins at Cannes Film Festival. “Atlantics” was awarded the grand prix while “I Lost My Body” was voted the best film at the independent International Critics Week. The deals are for worldwide rights [...]

  • Stan Lee, left, and Keya Morgan

    Stan Lee's Former Business Manager Arrested on Elder Abuse Charges

    Stan Lee’s former business manager, Keya Morgan, was arrested in Arizona Saturday morning on an outstanding warrant from the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPD’s Mike Lopez confirmed that the arrest warrant was for the following charges: one count of false imprisonment – elder adult; three counts of grand theft from elder or dependent adult, [...]

  • Moby attends the LA premiere of

    Moby Apologizes to Natalie Portman Over Book Controversy

    Moby has issued an apology of sorts after writing in his recently published memoir “Then It Fell Apart” that he dated Natalie Portman when she was 20 — a claim the actress refuted. “As some time has passed I’ve realized that many of the criticisms leveled at me regarding my inclusion of Natalie in Then [...]

  • Bong Joon-ho reacts after winning the

    Bong Joon-ho's 'Parasite' Wins the Palme d'Or at Cannes

    CANNES — The 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival wrapped with jury president Alejandro González Iñárritu announcing the group’s unanimous decision to award the Palme d’Or to South Korean director Bong Joon-ho for his sly, politically charged “Parasite.” Following last year’s win for humanistic Japanese drama “Shoplifters,” the well-reviewed Asian thriller represents the yin [...]

  • Invisible Life Brazilian Cinema

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão'

    A “tropical melodrama” is how the marketing materials bill “The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão.” If that sounds about the most high-camp subgenre ever devised, Karim Aïnouz’s ravishing period saga lives up to the description — high emotion articulated with utmost sincerity and heady stylistic excess, all in the perspiring environs of midcentury Rio de [...]

  • Best Movies of Cannes 2019

    The 10 Best Movies of Cannes 2019

    The Cannes Film Festival is too rich an event to truly have an “off” year, but by the end of the 72nd edition, it was more or less universally acknowledged that the festival had regained a full-on, holy-moutaintop-of-art luster that was a bit lacking the year before. It helps, of course, to have headline-making movies [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content