Funny women break through with a string of hit comediesWomen are enjoying remarkable success on the silver screen thanks to comedy. The movie “200 Pound Beauty,” which stars the actress Kim Ah-joong as an obese pop singer, has drawn more than 2.5 million people since its release on Dec. 14. This is the best box-office performance by a single movie since the release of “The War of Flower” in September.
Although it does not measure up to “200 Pound Beauty,” the movie “Old Miss Diary,” which opened on Dec. 1, has been enjoying support from a steady stream of moviegoers. The movie is a comedy centered on single women in their 20s and 30s. “Go Go Sister,” which stars the famous actress Ko So-young, is scheduled to be released in a couple of days, and it is also a comedy.
Movie critic Shim Young-seop says “200 Pound Beauty” was successful because it resonated with a Korean female audience that is obsessed with being thin. The movie is about a young woman who, as the film opens, is extremely obese. She is then transformed into a perfect woman that men find hard to resist. Mr. Shim says the transformation itself is funny to watch because, at first, Kim is treated badly because she is heavy and suddenly all the men she meets start to drool because she has become slim and beautiful. This idea has struck a chord with both male and female audiences.
“Old Miss Diary” has succeeded in making a strong connection with the 30-something generation. In the film, 30-something Mee-ja is played by the actress Ye Ji-won, and she is attracted to a younger man. The women in the audience who are in the same age group find themselves empathizing with Mee-ja when she complains about being criticized by her family and relatives for being too old and failing to grab a young husband.
In “Go-go Sister,” Jeong-joo, played by Ms. Ko, goes back in time to change the circumstances of her current life, which is on the verge of disintegration. She believes the first boyfriend she had back in high school, who liked to play the field, has screwed up her life. So, back in time, she tries to fix up her younger self with a geek, who later becomes a very successful businessman.
“200 Pound Beauty” is based on a best-selling Japanese comic book by Yumiko Suzuki, while “Old Miss Diary” is the movie version of a television sitcom that had the same title. “Go-go Sister” was filmed from an original script, while “200 Pound Beauty” and “Old Miss Diary” are both quite different from the original material on which they were based.
“There were 15 different scripts written for ‘200 Pound Beauty,’ ” said producer Noh Eun-hee. It was the director Kim Yong-hwa’s idea to turn the main character into a pop singer, which she was not in the comic book version. “Old Miss Diary” originally had three main characters in the television show. But the movie focuses mainly on Mee-ja.
The success of all three films suggests that women in comic roles are becoming a major new trend in the Korean film industry.
by Lee Hoo-nam