×
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

  • '2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live

    Film Review: ‘2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live Action’

    The Academy skewed dark in its choice of live-action shorts this year, selecting four films to slit your wrists by — each one featuring child endangerment in a different form — and a fifth, about a diabetic on her death bed, that finds a glimmer of uplift at the other end of life. If that [...]

  • How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes

    How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes Sports and Showbiz in an Entertaining Mix

    Walking through the El Segundo studio where veteran sportscaster Rich Eisen tapes his daily “Rich Eisen Show,” the sheer density of sports memorabilia is overwhelming — everything from game balls to jerseys, gear, autographs and uncountable photos are crammed onto every inch of wall and desk space. But step into Eisen’s dressing room, and the [...]

  • Yorgos Lanthimos

    Film News Roundup: 'The Favourite' Director Yorgos Lanthimos Boards Crime Drama

    In today’s film news roundup, Yorgos Lanthimos has set up a crime drama, “Here Lies Daniel Tate” is being adapted, and Donna Langley becomes a member of the USC film school board. DIRECTOR HIRED “The Favourite” producer-director Yorgos Lanthimos has signed on to write and direct crime drama “Pop. 1280,” an adaptation of Jim Thompson’s [...]

  • Brody Stevens Dead

    Comedian Brody Stevens Dies at 48

    Prominent Los Angeles comedian Brody Stevens died Friday in Los Angeles, Variety has confirmed. He was 48. “Brody was an inspiring voice who was a friend to many in the comedy community,” Stevens’ reps said in a statement. “He pushed creative boundaries and his passion for his work and his love of baseball were contagious. [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business

    Hollywood Agents Blast Writers Guild Over New Proposals

    The war between the Writers Guild of America and Hollywood agents has escalated as the two sides battle over the rules on how writers are represented. The latest volley emerged Friday from Karen Stuart, executive director of the Association of Talent Agents, who accused WGA leaders of misleading its members and asserted that the guild [...]

  • Xavier Legrand Custody

    Cesar Awards: Xavier Legrand’s ‘Custody’ Wins Best Film

    Xavier Legrand’s feature debut “Custody,” a tense portrait of a family torn by domestic violence, won best film, actress (for Lea Drucker), and original screenplay at the 44th Cesar Awards, which took place at the Salle Pleyel in Paris. The awards are France’s highest film honors. “Custody,” which marks Legrand’s follow up to his Oscar-nominated [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'Crazy Rich Asians,' 'Late Show With Stephen Colbert' Win Publicity Campaign Awards

    Hollywood publicists have selected “Crazy Rich Asians” as the top movie publicity campaign for 2018 and “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” as the best television campaign. Warner Bros.’ “Crazy Rich Asians” topped the campaigns for Disney’s “Black Panther,” Fox’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Paramount’s “A Quiet Place,” Sony’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and Universal’s “Halloween” for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content