[Review] Twenty – 스물

WHEN YOU JUST HAVE TO BELT OUT A CELINE DION TUNE…

Chi Ho (Kim Woo Bin), Kyung Jae (Kang Ha Neul) and Dong Woo (Lee Jun Ho) are best friends who’ve just graduated high school and turned 20.  Chi Ho is an unemployed player from a well-off family whose number one priority is bedding women.  Kyung Jae is a nerdy, university student who goal is to study hard and get a great, corporate job but he’s incredibly awkward around girls.  Although Dong Woo’s family went bankrupt, he remains positive and takes on various jobs to support his mother and siblings while attending art school to pursue his dream of becoming a cartoonist.  While these friends couldn’t be more different, they tackle the ups and downs of young adulthood together.


Director/Writer Lee Byung Heon, not to be confused with the actor of the same, brings us a coming-of-age tale from the male perspective.  He’s the same guy who adapted the script for Sunny.  As expected, these boys are immature and ridiculous.

Sweet Sorrow – 스물 (feat. 김우빈) (Twenty (feat. Kim Woo Bin))

스윗 소로우(Sweet Sorrow) – 스물 (feat. 김우빈)

I’ve seen Kim Woo Bin play the unsympathetic character before but as Chi Ho, we get to see a more 3-dimensional character come alive on the screen.  He comes from a well-off family and he’s incredibly confident guy.  He gets to enjoy certain freedoms that his friends don’t have the luxury to.  He spends his days literally sitting on the couch staring off into space and spends his nights at the club going after his next lay.

Chi Ho is just a ridiculous but hilarious character but the reason why we don’t dismiss him is because of his friendship with Kyung Jae and Dong Woo.  Unlike Chi Ho, they are the type of characters we’ve seen many times before because they are relatable.  They weren’t handed everything on a silver spoon like Chi Ho so they ground him while Chi Ho puts them at the center of dicey situations because of his general lack of social grace.  It’s that age when you can almost get away with being general miscreants and learning from your mistakes.

However, Chi Ho faces unexpected obstacles that challenge his idea about himself.  Sure, it comes in the form of Eun Hye (Jung Joo Yeon) but the fact that her heart is out of Chi Ho’s reach makes him sympathetic.  Kim Woo Bin plays him as a selfish character that’s real and genuine.

As for Kang Ha Neul, he seems like the typical guy to play the nerd that’s awkward around hot girls.  Jin Joo (Min Hyo Rin) is so put together in Kyung Jae’s eyes while the viewers can see that’s something just off about her.

I don’t think I’ve seen Lee Jun Ho act before but I was impressed with his Dong Woo.  Despite being so busy trying to make ends meet, it almost seems like Dong Woo is missing out on his youth, except that it’s right under his nose.

As the boys try to navigate the general cluelessness of their youth, So Min (Jung So Min) and So Hee (Lee Yoo Bi) aren’t afraid to tell them off about their stupidity.  The girls are also in the process of discovery but I can’t help but get the sense that they are a bit more savvy than the boys.

While the whole movie is comical and silly, there’s a pivotal line of Kyung Jae’s that resonated with me.  Adults always seem to say that your twenties are the best time of your life and it would be disrespectful to complain but the truth is your twenties are filled with a lot of emptiness.

It’s only through experience that you learn how to fill that emptiness but as banal as it sounds, when you first step out of the safe cocoon of adolescence and have to fend from yourself, it’s quite a shock.

The movie is a lot of fun and the actors all look like they had a great time making it.  The pièce de résistance has got to be the glorious Celine Dion rendition of “All By Myself” when the boys move beyond the level of youthful ambivalence.  I don’t think I laughed this hard since when I last saw this same song being used in Bridget Jones’s Diary.  It’s got that same level of being sad and pathetic but with an entirely different comical twist.  Usually flower boys alone will make spending time in a movie theater worthwhile but the fact that they were hilarious made me not regret sacrificing a beautifully, Spring-y Saturday afternoon.

Rating

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