Monday, April 14, 2014

Review: Dancing Queen (2012)

Dancing Queen (Review)
Lee Seok-hun/Uhm Jung-hwa, Hwang Jung-min/2012
Where to Watch:
Netflix Streaming
Amazon Prime

"...very lighthearted in its humor and message, which I enjoyed."

Jung-hwa (Uhm Jung-hwa) has dreamed of becoming a singer all her life, but sets her dreams aside when she marries Jung-min (Hwang Jung-min). When her chance arises, Jung-hwa begins chasing her dreams once again...

Dancing Queen is very procedural and by-the-books. The story begins with the beginning of Jung-hwa and Jung-min relationship as children and young adults -- I thought this segment was hilarious but too short. Fast forward to the present, Jung-min is a lawyer barely supporting his family and Jung-hwa works at a gym. When Jung-min incidentally saves a man from getting hit by a train, he spirals into the world of politics and becomes a mayoral candidate. Meanwhile, Jung-hwa becomes a member of a mature pop group, the Dancing Queens. So, Jung-hwa tries to keep her dancing identity secret, and Jung-min attempts to win the race. It leads to a great but very predictable ending -- you can see the ending coming from the beginning.

Like I said, Dancing Queen is very procedural. If you've seen any romantic comedies, you've likely seen Dancing Queen. But, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Dancing Queen strives from the charisma of both lead characters -- whenever they share the screen, you can bet you'll be laughing. Apart, both characters have their ups and downs -- more ups than downs, though. I like the quirkiness in them, but sometimes they come off as overly obnoxious. The film is also very lighthearted in its humor and message, which I enjoyed. The story really emphasizes following your dreams and triumphing over obstacles -- a bit cliché, but very positive and appreciated. Otherwise, it's just very traditional; it almost feels like an American comedy. Also, at two hours long, it feels longwinded, especially for a comedy.

Uhm Jung-hwa and Hwang Jung-min are both great. Their performances have great charisma, they feel like an actual couple -- and they accomplish this without constantly locking lips. The rest of the cast offers great support with quirky performances. The music is mostly pop singles, which matches the subject perfectly; how much you like the music depends on how much you like the genre -- I though it was great. Every thing else is great; it shot well, picture quality is high, and so on. The English subtitles are nearly flawless, which is always appreciated. Lee Suk-hoon, director of the excellent See You After School, takes a much safer route with this film; it's a very well made film, but it just doesn't really feel distinct.

Overall, Dancing Queen is a great romantic comedy. I had a fun watching the film, it had me laughing to the end. And, I loved the positivity and lightheartedness of the film. But, Dancing Queen is also generic and a bit too lengthy. It's difficult to pick this film apart, but these two issues really stood out to me -- how much weight they hold is completely up to you. By the way, it'll probably be much more enjoyable if you haven't watched a romantic comedy in a while.

Score: 8/10
Parental Guide: Some sexual references, but generally safe for most audiences.

No comments:

Post a Comment