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FamilyHood (Goodbye Single 굿바이 싱글)- FILM REVIEW

I attended the London East Asia Film festival, and couldn’t wait to watch “Familyhood.” Also known by its Korean title “Goodbye Single” 굿바이 싱글.

This film’s leading lady is the stunning Kim Hye Soo 김혜수 (Tazza: The High Rollers, Signal 시그널), who’s amazing acting portrayed the fictional life of successful actress Joo-Yeon. She has it all. Money, fame, a killer figure and a chic and stylish wardrobe to compliment it!

Joo Yeon is extremely unlucky in love, and feels that her current toy-boy is “The One”. Unfortunately she is traded in for a younger model!

This is her last chance for marriage and a family; as she finds herself tripping at the final hurdle, she turns to the option of adoption, and finally artificial insemination. When her doctor tells her that it’s too late, and she’s fallen into menopause, she is at her wits end.

As she exits the clinic, she runs into a young teenage girl that is about to have an abortion, when she makes her a crazy deal that she cannot refuse. In exchange for her baby, Joo Yeon will give her $100,000!

The young girl (Dan Ji) is portrayed by actress Kim Hyun Soo 김현수, whom gives a heart wrenching, and tear jerking performance. Dan Ji lost her parents at a young age, and is in the care of her sister, who pays little to no interest in her. Dan Ji’s passion is art, and as she comes from a poor household, her dream seems like an unrealistic fantasy. But with the $100,000, her hopes of going to art school along with a more comfortable life seem more probable.

Joo Yeon stages a pregnancy, with a fake bump-and-all! Her publicity goes through the roof, and she is in high demand-which is exactly what she wants. In the midst of it all, Dan Ji is under house arrest in Joo Yeon’s luxury apartment, and soon becomes forgotten, once again. But everything eventually takes a positive turn.

This film is both humorous and deeply sad at the same time. Kim Hye Soo was very funny, and depicts an uncouth, yet classy and charismatic character in such a balanced way. Her character’s hard shell is cracked by the empathy she feels towards Dan Ji.

Kim Hyun Soo’s role was played tremendously well; especially for an actress of such a young age. Every ounce of pain she felt, I felt. Rejection, angst and loneliness- all performed so well.

I highly recommend this film, as it shows the hidden realities of modern-day Korea. Acceptance, hush-hush teenage pregnancies and the pressures of having a family, at a respectable age.

Take a look at the trailer below!

Shari Coakley

Longing to travel, and document my experiences. A vast taste in music; always enthused by culture and people. Favourite city so far? Seoul...<3

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