This is not a prequel for Richard Curtis’s 1994 Oscar Nominated Smash Hit which had two more weddings, but actually a dark and somewhat hit and miss comedy about some of the issues of living as a gay man in Korea today.
Closeted handsome Min-Soo is a gay young hospital doctor who wants to stop the constant questioning from his pushy parents about his love life, so he marries Hyo-Jin a doctor co-worker. She’s not only a lesbian, but she also conveniently lives across the hall from his apartment with her girlfriend. Hyo-Jin agrees to go along with the charade as its the only way that she will ever be allowed to legally adopt the baby that she is desperate to get.
It’s tough keeping up the pretense especially as Min-Soo’s mother has a habit of dropping in on the ‘marital home’ unexpected, and then if that wasn’t enough, Min-Soo goes and falls in love with a man who is ‘out’ and who really doesn’t approve of this fake marriage.
Most of Min-Soo’s leisure time is spent with his close friends in ‘Why Not’ a local gay bar where they bitch/gossip/laugh together …. mainly at each other. They also have formed their own Gay Chorus and rehearse once a week for a competition they have entered.
Things at home however are never relaxed and come to a head when Hyo-Jin’s sexuality is exposed at the hospital (although strangely the gossip mongers believe that she duped her innocent ‘straight’ husband!), and whilst she is prepared to sit it out, Min-Soo completely panics and wants to immediately fly to France to start a new free life with his boyfriend. When he gets turned down, he runs to hide out with Tina one of his bar pals. They get drunk together and when being driven home have a nasty contretemps with a homophobic cab driver. They quickly escape, but the next morning when Tina encounters the same cabbie in the street, the driver gets violent and beats him up.
This is where the funeral part comes in ….. and although Min-Soo comes across the beating, he fails to rescue his friend for fear of being included in the anti-gay taunts, which is a little too implausible. He does however come out of the closet to everyone after the event ….. too late to save Tina …. but still in time to save the relationship with his boyfriend ….. hence the second wedding.
Part comedy, part melodrama and even part farce, I am taking the fact that the movie was directed by a gay Korean, to assume that it accurately reflects how tough it is to be a happy homo in that country. It is odd though that Min-Soo is the only gay man in the story who is not a stereo-typical camp queen. And very noticeably apart from his new boyfriend, and his lesbian ‘wife’ and her girlfriend, under their gay bar bravado, they were a deeply unhappy lot.
As a piece of entertainment there are a few laugh out loud moments, but the melodrama part is not well done. It is however definitely worth a look simply as an insight to being gay in a foreign culture.