March 1, 2008

Wishing Stairs: This One's (Not) for the Fat Girls

Now that makeup artists are obsessed with making ingenues look like walking whales, the roles for obese actresses are fewer than ever before. But contrary to the art department's claims, these pretty young things never look like real fat people. They look like women in fat suits topped by faces plumped up and disfigured by putty. It was true for Gwyneth Paltrow in Shallow Hal. It was true for Eddie Murphy in Norbit. And it's true for Jo An in Wishing Stairs. This makeover movement has no color boundaries! In Yun Jae-yeon's freaky fable about a staircase that grants wishes, the faux fat girl (who wishes--can you guess it?--to lose weight) simply finds her true self post-transformation. Lee Soyoung's script may insist that she's now totally bonkers but she looked crazy beforehand, too. Who walks around in a padded dress and adds prosthetic blubber to her neck? To actress Jo An's credit, she keeps her fat mannerisms when she's skinny but nowadays with all the makeover shows, why not just hire a XL tween and then really have her lose the weight? Anyway, that's the subplot. The central (slim) story is about two (slim) ballet students who are in love and in competition. Kind of fun actually.

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