December 16, 2014

Two Weddings and a Funeral: To Have and to Hold and to Hurt and to Heal

Anyone who says that being gay or straight is a private affair and is actually nobody's business doesn't realize what a public thing love inevitably is. Imagine never being able to state who you were with last night or why you have to leave work early or having to jump through extra hoops to adopt a kid or having to pretend that you are what you're not because saying who you are is making something private public and that's not where this private thing belongs. In short the privacy of sexuality is a cockamamie idea that really has to do with keeping people in the closet.

This hypocrisy is exactly what's being exposed by Kim Jho-kwang-su's alternately fluffy and fired-up Two Weddings and a Funeral, a gay romcom that isn't overly concerned with political correctness so much as it is with the political realities that are the core of homophobic oppression. Gay doctor Min-soo (Kim Dong-yoon) and lesbian doctor Hyo-jin (Ryu Hyeon-kyeong) marry so he can please his parents and she can adopt a baby. But the minute he gets a boyfriend (Jin Song-yong), life gets complicated because said lover doesn't want to live a life of duplicity but wants to be out in the open, join a rock band, sing in the gay chorus, etc. There's a weird mix of eroticism and shame underlying their clandestine public flirtations. For Hyo-jin and her fashionably butch wife (Jeong Ae-yeon), post-marital bliss is constantly interrupted as Hyo-jin must play house to please Min-soo's parents. But the couples' problems are nothing when compared to that of their queeny friend Tina (Park Jung-pyo), who seems to know only longing and self-loathing. What's available to a queer femme not cute enough to snag a lover nor masculine enough to pass for straight. Hard times ahead!

Endearing and enlightening, Two Weddings and a Funeral is also surprising. An animated coda especially will blow your mind as it shows the lives of the main characters not in the future so much as in an alternate universe. The world is too hard to change. Sometimes, you just have to leave what you know completely to start something new.

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