Girls wanna have fun

A film where Cindy Lauper’s genius hit Girls Wanna Have Fun is played out loud through a Korean girl’s high school in the eighties cannot be bad. And an audience, including me and a good friend, laughing to tears during a screening cannot be wrong : Sunny, 써니 is fun. It’s the spring success at the Korean box-office, and seeing how it look like, you understand easily why. It’s a clever mix of choral film (a dozen of main characters), teenage movie (above mentioned high school), revival 8O’s, and feelgood movies for ladies in her forties. Sunshine for everyone. The plot may have been generated by some hit machine, but who ever said the plot of a teenage movie is surprising?

Sunny follows six ajumas, who’ll remember the blasting group they formed in the eigthies, when they where dancing on Cindy Lauper, and choose Sunny, the famous Boney M song, to name their their joyful pack. Some will win, some will loose, some are born to sing the blues, as said another song of that time, Don’t Stop Believing. It goes on and on, of course we know the tune, but that’s also the rule of the game : how we’ll find what we expect in every teenage or generation movie of each country, but we also except the twist a korean modern film may give to the genre. For example, a korean film dealing with the eighties cannot help but mention political issues of that time, violent demonstrations between left-wingers and police. So our six-pack will be caught in between, but meets on the battlefield the other six-pack of the school, the « bad girls » (basically, it’s Wondergirls vs SNSD), another cliché of the genre. Our good girls will be by chance on the side of the activists, and the bad girls among the police. Just a wink to say « we choose our side », but  it’s a nice one. The sequence which follows is a memorable mess of funny kicks and grimaces.

Funny faces which brings us to the most interesting point of the film : most of the girls and ladies depicted here are not especially bimbo type, they range from good-looking to disgraceful, following a realist scale of what woman truly are. The lead role is not especially stunning, she’s a plain girl turned to a normal woman. This stands out among usual korean popular movies where you see on screen the same girls that stands on posters and appear in dramas.

On the contrary, the girls of Sunny appear quite fresh, even if of course you may have seen some of them here and there. All the casting is delightful, and anybody can enjoy some performance even without understanding korean, such as the hilarious running gag of the private detective and his guinea-pig.

The film is also clever because the guys who made the hit understood well when some of their sequences are so cheezy or copies, such as the big romantic love plot with the most sexy guy of the school, an adonis coming straight from Sofia Coppola’s Virgin Suicides. We’re cliché? Let’s be over-cliché, then the sequences with the dream-boy have a joyful layer of teenage dream.

Sunny also merits its success because the director handles well sudden turns to melodrama, which are a must-be in every korean comedy : you have to laugh to tears, then suddenly, really cry. The best korean comedies (such as My Sassy Girl, Sex is Zero…) contain a weighty sum of death or loss. Sunny’s team manages well to mix the joyful past and the gloomy present, to make five women dance at the wedding of the sixth mate, or to end a fight sequence into pure moment of horror which freeze the audience.Undoubtably, the director 강형철 Kang Hyeong-cheol, knows his basics and how to wrap a popular film. He already gained public acclaim with his first feature, Scandal Makers, 과속스캔들With Sunny, he doesn’t aim to build a piece of art, neither avoids usual lame effects you find in every plain popular film all over the world. But, hey, watching this kind of flick, girls just wanna have fun.

Trailer of the film :

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