In the opening narration to "Write or Dance", Si-hyeong (played by Choi Si-hyung) explains that while he's always meeting up with women, they always end up breaking up with him because he's boring. But Si-hyeong thinks it's not that he's boring, but that the part of him they used to think was interesting has become boring to them. Why this distinction is supposed to be meaningful was not clear to me, and the ensuing five short stories of Si-hyeong meeting up with all these women one on one did not clarify matters.
Other mysteries include why Si-hyeong is so attractive to women in the first place. Well, that one's pretty easy to answer actually. It's because Si-hyeong is a writer. Well, no, not really, since he hasn't written anything yet, and freely admits as much to anyone who calls him a writer. But apparently just the idea that Si-hyeong might be an interesting writer is enough to get a woman to spend at least a day hanging out with him.
So that's about all I can come up with for "Write or Dance" when it comes to content. It is about Si-hyeong having varying degrees of success with women while mostly failing at his only actual goal, which is to come up with material for his book. Initially I was at a bit of a loss as to how exactly writer/director Lee Sang-deok was expecting to make a movie out of this concept but then I realized that the entire project is probably autobiographical. As in, someone gave him money to make a movie, and it was only then that writer/director Lee Sang-deok realized he had no ideas.
I do have to admit that, in absence of anything else to film, it's hard to go wrong with the generally attractive female cast of "Write or Dance", each of whom embodies an obviously different yet essentially womanly virtue. You've got Yeo-bin (played by Jeon Yeo-bin) and her earnest desire to find cute things to love, the girlishly adventurous Seo-jin (played by Chae Seo-jin), the perpetually relaxed Soo-jin (played by Yozoh, whose real name is probably Soo-jin).
Then there's the easily excitable I-deun (played by Yoo I-deun), and the mysterious tattooed girl in Okinawa So-ni (played by Jeon So-nee) and...whoa, laying them out end to end like this I kind of feel like watching "Write or Dance" was like browsing a dating website. Or maybe it was more like reading a titillating tell-all story about a ladies man who talks to women about their interests, since it's more interesting than talking about himself.
This is not exactly the most inspiring material and at its very worst "Write or Dance" is pretty explicitly pointless. About the only useful knowledge I got from this movie is that women are at their most attractive when they are having fun and relaxing. Which seems kind of obvious, although I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone phrase it that way before, from the vantage point of Si-hyeong thinking back to, hey, remember that day I hung out with that girl and drank beer? That was pretty cool.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Film Review] "Write or Dance""
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