High school chums look back

Barry C Chung
Barry C Chung |

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Eighties nostalgia gets a Korean facelift in Kang Hyeong-cheol's dramedy Sunny, a heart-warming film about cherishing the bittersweet moments of our youth.

When middle-aged housewife Na-mi (Yoo Ho-jeong; teen version played by Shim Eun-kyung) stumbles upon her cancer-stricken friend Chiun-hwa (Jin Hee-kyung; Kang So-ra) at the hospital, the pair reminisce about their cherished high school days as part of their seven-person friendship group called Sunny.

The film toggles between the '80s and the present day. We're thrown into a time when everyone rocked "fancy brands" such as Adidas and Nike and when Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and Boney M's Sunny would get more airtime than an airline in peak season.

Sunny is less sappy than your typical Korean offerings, but still, it's very much intended for you to have a tissue box within arm's reach. So, it's no big surprise that Sunny did well at the Korean box office, landing the number two spot last year when it was released in its native country.

Kang takes jabs at the pettiness and consumerism of Korean culture. But he never explores these ideas more deeply. They seem merely tacked on for the sake of having a social stance.

The Korean film industry is benefiting from K-pop's global success. The best part about Sunny is it doesn't take itself nearly as seriously as its music counterparts.

Contains strong language

YP Rating: 3/5

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