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Film Review: ‘Twenty’ Is Like ‘American Pie’ And ‘The Hangover’ Rolled Up Into One Film

BY Adrienne Stanley | Apr 16, 2015 10:14 PM EDT

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One of the most unique stories to grace the Korean silver screen in quite some time is “Twenty,” starring Kim Woo Bin, Kang Ha Neul and Junho of 2PM. “Twenty” provides a humorous perspective on young adults in Korea.

Kim Woo Bin channels his slightly off-putting charisma from “The Heirs” into the role of Chi Hoo, a high school horn dog who is not reluctant to grope girls. Kang Ha Neul is Gyung Jae, a studious young adult who attempts to enter the business world directly from his teenage years. While they enjoy carefree lives, 2PM’s Junho is tasked with caring for his family as Dong Woo, as studious, aspiring illustrator.

“Twenty” is one of the most realistic young adult films, in quite some time. One of the best quotes of the movie is delivered by Gyung Jae. During a pivotal moment at the opening, he said, “We are now forced to choose between our dreams.”

Gyung Jae is shy in his approach of women along with Dong Woo. Chi Hoo has the confidence to approach Soo Bin through a simple note, which leads to backyard groping. He wins the the ability to date her after the guys settle their score through rock, paper, scissors. They become modern-day Three Musketeers, banding together over their common flaws.

“Twenty” plays out the way that teen dramas like “The Heirs” should have, with women settling love triangles by slapping the guys, rather than their female counterparts. But their high school days come to an end at graduation, where they are forced to choose their paths towards adulthood. They are approaching 20-years-old and have not yet submerged themselves into the mundane activities that make adults boring.

Gyung Jae approaches their situation from the most practical perspective. He recognizes that they have become older and need to accept responsibility.

However, Chi Hoo thinks he has the best solution; he would rather focus on sex than growing up. He points out that Koreans worry and become obsessed with homework while Germans are more concerned with sexually transmitted diseases. It is a simplistic view of adulthood but one that is fostered by many twentysomethings. He then goes on to point out the conditions which are created by a life spent obsessing over sex- Audis and luxury cars.

He becomes the quintessential man child, accepting a life of clubbing over work at his parent’s restaurant. During an accidental run-in with Jin Joo (Min Hyo Rin), he is struck by with inspiration to become a director. Veteran actor Park Hyuk Kwon (Unkind Women), serves as his inspiration to pursue a career in film.

Jung So Min (Playful Kiss, Big Man) portrays Seul Moo, Chi Ho’s hapless girlfriend, who falls in love with him when he carelessly gropes her in the back of their high school.

Lee Yoo Bin (Pinocchio) is adorable as Gyung Jae’s sister, So Hee, who is obsessed with Dong Woo. She is supportive of his artist lifestyle and rarely criticizes him.

4 Minute’s “What’s Your Name” serves as a hilarious plot device, during a noreabong scene in the film. “Twenty” explores the surrealism of the song and the bizarre, off-kilter concept which framed its promotion.

Music plays an important part in the progress of the film. The 1975 Eric Carmen hit “All By Myself” also plays a key role in the film, as the key characters struggle to recognize the importance of a unified front.

At the end of the day, the young men portrayed by Kim Woo Bin, Kang Ha Neul and Junho are just geeky young men who are struggling to find their way in life. “Twenty” is a film that people who are over 21 can easily relate to and contains a story that adolescents can aspire towards.

“Twenty” is a must-see film which truthfully captures the invigorating sentiments of young men and women in their twenties.

"Twenty" is not rated but parental guidance is suggested for younger audienes. 

Run Time: 115 min. 

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