September 27, 2015

Venus Talk: Three Times as Depressing

When you're feeling down, you can listen to Bessie Smith, peruse Van Gogh's letters, read the poetry of Anne Sexton, that sort of thing. Somehow there's solace to be found in an artful blues song, a heartfelt complaint or a sublime turn of phrase even when it's rife with depression. Spending time with such work is a respectful use of the "misery loves company" philosophy that takes out the "saddling somebody else with your problems" component. Sometimes, you just need to sulk... alone. Is there any easier way to take your mind off your troubles then a really good "woman's picture"? So you'd think Venus Talk would be the perfect palliative for a case of the doldrums. But Kwon Chil-in girly gabfest, while comedic in tone, is a total bring down because the three main stories feel so doomed, even with their tacked on happy endings. My only question: Which one of these characters' lives is the most depressing?

Is it the one about the single mother (Jo Min-soo), whose insufferable daughter (Jeon Hye-jin) is eating her out of house and home, and whose construction-worker boyfriend (Lee Kyeong-hyeong) balks at marriage, right at the moment the mom's diagnosed with colon cancer? Is it the tale of the nymphomaniacal housewife (Moon So-ri) whose husband (Lee Sung-min) does not require Viagra with other women and whose one-night stand prospect ends up mugging her in an underground parking lot? Or is it story of the successful TV producer (Eom Jeong-hwa) who keeps helping men get ahead in their careers and can't get comfortable with a muscle man (Lee Jae-yoon) young enough to be her son? Before you decide, be forewarned: Things get worse for each — a burst bag of poop, a vaginoplasty, stitches in the head, a car crash and a case of scabies. What's working in their favor is really just a shared bottle of red wine. Apparently, life is worth living if you can drink a little booze then tell your besties lies like "age doesn't matter" and "you're getting prettier every year," despite the crow's feet, the sagging skin, the failing memory, the lost dreams, and the ever-growing pile of failures building at your front door.

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