Pretending to Be…

L.A. Korean Town’s Korean culture to be made into a film
March 11, 2008, 8:17 pm
Filed under: Pretending to be an Artist

the wedding palace
According to the Korean Content News Team:

“A film dealing with the Koreans’ unique marriage and family culture as reflected in the marriage of a Korean couple in L.A. Korean Town has begun shooting.The Wedding Palace, the Korean version of My Big Fat Greek Wedding and based on the life of Christine Yoo (Yoo, Mi-Na), the director of the film, is the story of a 29-year-old Korean man working for a U.S. advertising company who is being pressured by his parents to marry before he becomes thirty to put an end to the marriage curse in his family.

“This film is a fun and feel-good romantic comedy that deals with the Koreans’ unique marriage culture,” said Yoo. “I hope that this film will break the Americans’ preconception of the Koreans and will introduce to the world the Koreans’ humor and marriage culture.”

This film will show not only the family culture of the Koreans who have immigrated to and live in the U.S. but also their pride in the Korean culture. The staffs of the film are currently looking for locations that can serve as the main backdrops of the film, such as hospitals, restaurants, norae-bang (karaoke) bars, and wedding shops in L.A. Korean Town. The film will also tap the people in L.A. Korean Town to be its supporting actors to make the film a community undertaking of L.A. Korean Town.

The Wedding Palace is expected to become the most truthful film about Korean culture in L.A. Korean Town in the U.S. The first scene of the film shows a Korean baby’s first birthday party, which shows the Koreans’ desire to follow their traditional culture.

Ok, first of all I know west coast culture may be different from us folk here in the east, but are you telling me that L.A.’s Korean Town is that much different from the one in NYC? I mean in NYC we have two Korean Towns — one in Manhattan, one in Queens — both of them are they same culture wise. Although many miles separate L.A. from NYC I doubt that the culture is that drastically different. I do not want to assume anything but I will in this case and say that Koreans dry-clean the same way on both coasts. (I wonder if anyone will catch that joke.)

Secondly, movies with loud explosions and special effects put me to sleep while I own every joint Disney/Pixar film ever made. Also I think Lost in Translation is my favorite movie of all time, so take my thoughts on movies with a grain of salt.

Whew, with that disclaimer out the way let me say my expectations on this movie is very, VERY, VERY low, but I feel like the potential that this film has is fascinating.

In all likelihood Christine Yoo (whose Korean name is Mi-Na, huge pet peeve by the way, people that have two names) will try to steer away from stereotypes and try to give people an unique view of a typical Korean family. That I believe, will cause this movie to suck.

I say, play every stereotype in the book. If someone that is not Korean makes fun of Korean culture, they are rude, ignorant, and probably racist. BUT if a Korean makes fun of a Korean it can be freakin’ hilarious.

This movie is supposed to be a romantic comedy. I want to see the stereotypical Korean family; I want to see the overbearing, accent wielding mother. I want the protagonist to have senile and kooky grandmother. I want to see the grandfather that only talks in Confucianism. I need to see the perfect older cousin that has a Ivy league degree, with a amazing job, a house, a wife, a son, with a daughter on the way, that your mother always compares you to. I want to see the rebellious younger sister who the family loathes for dating that black guy. How about the uncle that everyone in the family respects but no one knows what the hell he does for a living? Use every single dog-eating, grocery-store-owning, evangelical-church-going, kim-chi-breath stereotype in the book.

Now, some people will say that stereotypes damage cultural reputations and prevent people of different races and creeds from accepting each other. I don’t think that way. I think in most cases stereotypes are true and understanding that these stereotypes exist and getting past them is most important. Director Yoo has the power to artistically and creatively shape the communication of these stereotypes to people that may not know them and to help them understand why they exist. Ethnic comedies such as “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and “Friday” used Greek and Black stereotypes to produce a good laugh out loud comedy. Korean families are so flawed — I can say that from experience — and if Director Yoo takes the initiative to make fun of us, the Korean family, I think that will accomplish more than anything else ever could. I just hope Director Yoo just flat out makes fun of herself, me, and every other Korean. Because if you cant laugh at yourself and your own cultural idiosyncrasies, what else is there to laugh at?


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