Mi-yeong (played by Song Eun-jin) is a woman who likes having sex with her boyfriend. Somewhat awkwardly, her boyfriend is actually a friend of Mi-yeong's younger sister Mi-hye (played by Joo Yeon-seo). Even more awkwardly, it turns out that Mi-hye kind of sort of made one of those "if we're still single by such and such date let's get hitched" promises with said boyfriend. Well, there's no non-awkward way of resolving a situation like that.
"The Sisters' Room" is first and foremost, a mildly erotic comedy. There are sex scenes- reasonably extended ones. Director Han Dong-ho likes him some breasts and isn't so big on penetration. You know, I can live with that. It's not like the men here are schlubs or anything. Jung Neom-chyeo and Kim Do-jin both have reasonably attractive bodies and let's be totally honest here. We'd all much rather be watching rock hard abs instead of dongs. And Song Eun-jin has some pretty impressive breasts, just to make that much clear.
...Did that come off a bit crude? Sorry. There's not really any accurate way to describe a movie like "The Sisters' Room" that doesn't come off as kind of creepy. This is an uncomplicated movie for uncomplicated people. The interpersonal conflict between Mi-yeong and Mi-hye isn't terribly deep- it's just kind of weird. And it's sort of funny watching the whole plot resolve, not due to drama, but precisely because the characters make a conscious decision to avoid drama.
I'm not insulting the movie, to be clear. Believe me, I've seen enough pretentious films try to take a deep, artistic view of voyeuristic sex that it's actually kind of relieving to run into "The Sisters' Room" and just watch people having sex because they enjoy having sex. They're not trying to make a political or artistic statement or anything. Well, I guess Mi-yeong and Mi-hye do kind of sort of use sex as a salve for depression- but we're not talking, like, medically diagnosed depression. Sometimes they just have a bad day.
Ah, but don't we all? "The Sisters' Room" is a bit of a cheap production, but I was often surprised at how much the movie resembled the real world. Take the sets, or the clothing. "The Sisters' Room" was obviously filmed principally in someone's apartment. There's random stuff lying around like a box set of "Misaeng" comic books. At home the characters frequently wear cheap t-shirts with silly messages. In other words, this apartment probably resembles your apartment much more than any apartment you've ever seen in another movie.
Where am I going with this? I'm not really sure, but "The Sisters' Room" isn't really going anywhere either. Just a mountain hike where people admit that life is awkward, then they agree to move on. And also they got to have sex along the way. That's a rather modest goal to have in life- yet that doesn't make it particularly unsatisfying. "The Sisters' Room" is the kind of inoffensive, sexy entertainment with the occassional funny joke that will probably make it tolerable foreplay for the nondiscriminating couple. I'm not sure I can recommend it on objective merits, but honestly? I've seen a lot worse.
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Film Review] "The Sisters' Room""
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