Being beautiful is painful.
Starring: Kim Ah Joong, Joo Jin Mo
I am obsessed with the soundtrack to this movie, despite having watched it weeks ago. If you watch this and are not singing one of the songs afterward, you are a strong person. I knew that it had to do with plastic surgery, which made me a bit uncomfortable (almost as much as this picture of Joo Jin Mo and his uncanny resemblance to Gackt). I’ll explain that later. How about a summary?
Kang Hana (Kim Ah Joong) is an overweight young woman who works both as the behind-the-scenes vocals for popstar Ammy (whose own voice is terrible), and as a phone sex employee. She struggles with low self-esteem despite being in love with her producer, Sang Jun (Joo Jin Mo). Ammy makes a fool of Hana knowing her feelings for Sang Jun at his birthday party. While sobbing in the bathroom, Hana overhears the two talking about how they’re only using her, and Sang Jun telling Ammy to be nice so that she doesn’t walk out. After a failed suicide attempt, Hana decides to get plastic surgery and goes into hiding for a year. Meanwhile, Ammy and Sang Jun are looking for a new voice. But who is this lovely Korean-American called “Jenny”? It’s Kang Hana in her gorgeous new body, and full of confidence!
Now’s the part I get to why I hesitated watching this when I knew it had to do with plastic surgery. Hana was at extreme risk, continuing to live with the weight she had at the beginning of the movie. Maintaining it would have killed her very early, so I am glad she got liposuction. However, I was worried that they would push the idea that she wasn’t beautiful unless she got the surgery. It wasn’t as bad as I thought. Hana is actually a very sweet girl that actually ends up becoming worse after her change. She does eventually realize what she’s become, and amends it. I guess there is the thought amongt Korean men that says, “Plastic surgery is okay, so long as it’s not my girl.” They play this up in the film, but also make Sang Jun’s feelings toward Hana a little ambiguous.
What disturbed me was at the very end, during the credits. Of course, this was probably meant as a joke: Hana’s friend asks the same doctor that made Hana’s new body for full-body surgery. To me, she was fine. Anyway, it’s a pretty good movie for today’s society. From what I know about Korea, they look down on stars who aren’t all natural, but Americans don’t really care as long as they’re good at what they do.
Overall reaction was warm and fuzzy with a bit of edge. Average script – nothing to shout about. Pretty good cast, too.