I really wanted to watch it when it came out but couldn’t find any streaming website that had it. Then I proceeded to forget about it for a whole year, finally stumbling upon it randomly on Netflix. I’ve always had a soft spot for Hwang Jung-min. He is such a lovable actor. So easy to connect with. He is really the everyday man. Uhm Jung-hwa…on the other hand, I respect as an actress, but her face (and by that I mean the plastic surgeon’s masterpiece) has always bothered me a little. But here are my thoughts on the cute comedy Dancing Queen.
So the characters use the own names in the movie (meta but not meta?) The back story is Jung-hwa and Jung-min go to the elementary school. After years apart, the college-aged characters meet again when Jung-hwa mistakenly things Jung-min groped her on the bus. Jung-hwa is a party girl, and sexy dancer while Jung-min is awkward, bumbling law student. They resolve their differences over some drinks and partying. But as they leave the nightclub they walk right into some sort of student protest. Jung-min gets injured and unknowing becomes the martyr of the cause. Jung-hwa takes care of the hospitalized Jung-min and their romance begins.
However after years of marriage. Jung-hwa becomes your average ahjumma (well, looking at her face and body you would never believe this). She has supported Jung-min through 7 (I think it was 7. Either way , it was a long time…) years of studying to pass the bar exam and finally become a civil rights lawyer. They have lost the spark in the marriage, and still borrows money from Jung-hwa’s father.
One day Jung-min rescues a drunkard who fell off the subway platform. (Again he does unintentionally, as someone accidently pushed him off the platform after the drunkard fell and people started freaking out.) This “heroic act” put him in the spotlight, and a flagging political party pushes him to run for Seoul mayor as their candidate, since he has a perfect record, unmarred by political corruption. Jung-min finally has some direction in life as he pursues his new dream.
Meanwhile, Jung-hwa, tired of her average life, decides to pursue her life-long dream of being a singer and tries out for pop star auditions with her bbf. They fail the auditions, but this is more due to her bbf’s overall look (said bbf is a true ahjumma). However, she is scouted by a manager she met in the past to be part of a mature girl group. She throws herself into the mix. Problems arise when she realizes she can’t keep up a Seoul mayor’s wife image and be a pop idol at the same time. What happens when Jung-min finds out? Will their marriage last?
This movie was definitely hilarious and heartwarming for the following reasons:
1. All the unintentional scenarios Jung-min literally and figuratively fell into were so unbelievable yet funny at the same time. These plot devices really pushed the story forward and made me laugh.
2. The somewhat contrite message here was don’t be afraid to follow your dreams no matter what obstacles are in your way. In this case, the obstacle is age. But the comedic spin on this message, and the interpretation by the actors made the message more palatable.
Some points I had trouble swallowing:
1. Jung-hwa is the perfect mature idol. But her role as an ahjumma is still a stretch for me.
2. I felt like the build-up of the love story was cute/short/sweet but it didn’t show me an established long-lasting love of a 10+ year marriage. At the end of the story I felt like the couples mutual understanding and support for each other was based on a very shaky bare-bones love story. There really seemed to be a chasm in the story since I felt each character pursued his/her own interests independently so I forgot how much they cared about each other
But overall recommended! A good watch for a lazy Friday night at home with lots of munchies. No brain power needed to break down this story.