HBO’s TV series “Sex and the City” paved the way for female-centric dramas and opened up an untouched genre. It attracted a whole new market of viewers and has earned the name as the bible for feminine dramas. “Sex and the City” targeted the modern women’s ideals and ambitions and told the story of how four women faced the stark differences between their dreams and reality. While most filmographies during the time focused on love, marriage, and family, this drama focused on telling the ambitions, money, and everything that a real female in the modern world deliberates on. Many movies that focus on the modern women have been released since “Sex and the City.” For example, “The Devil Wears Prada” (2006) showed both the bright and dark side associated with power. In the movie “Morning Glory,” (2010) the female lead has to fight through warring co-workers.
The Korean movie industry has also tapped into this genre’s market. In 1998, Director Lim Sang Soo depicted an unprecedented female character in “The Dinner with the Virgins.” Director Kwon Chil In also produced “Singles” (2003). However, after that, the Korean market for the genre lost its steam. The Korean movie industry continued to make films that targeted female audiences with “Singles 2,” “I Like it Hot” (2007), and “Girlfriends” (2009), but the attentions they got as opposed to “Sex and the City” was incomparable. Female viewers, who live in the harsh real word, could no longer relate to the trite marital worries of a beautiful female character. Currently, Koreans are awaiting the release of “My Black Mini Dress,” a Korean take in expressing the everyday happiness and worries of twenty-something-year old girls.
The four lead female characters of “My Black Mini Dress” are comparable to the characters in “Sex and the City.” Yoon Eun Hye plays Yoo Min, an aspiring writer who graduated from college with a theater/film degree. Park Han Byul’s Hye Ji loves men and entertainment. Cha Ye Ryun stars as Soo Jin, a cool-headed perfectionist. Yoo In Na plays Min Hee, a fun, lovely character who isn’t too bright. As college students, they enjoyed the good life. But as they graduate and enter the real world, they realize that reality is a lot different and start going their different paths. Yoo Min dreams of becoming like “The Devil Wears Prada” Miranda Priestly, and starts working as an assistant to a famous writer – only to be disappointed because she’s assigned to petty tasks. Min Hee, who is from a wealthy background, is determined to go to Europe to study fashion and decides to enroll in an English academy to study the language. Soo Jin lies that she graduated from Seoul National University (Korea’s best university) to tutor students. While Yoo Min, Min Hee, and Soo Jin realize that reality isn’t always kind and that nothing is easy, Hye Ji’s life takes a turn for the better. She gets discovered as a model at a club. Their friendships start to crack as Hye Ji becomes a star.
“My Black Mini Dress” chronicles the lives of four friends in their twenties as they fight through their lives and party away at night. The girls are somewhat expressed as shallow as they race to buy designer bags and black mini dresses when they’ve scheduled “blind dates” with wealthy men. While Korean females hate the expression doenjangnyu (a Korean term for females who excessively love designers), they wish to be treated as such. The movie depicts the ambitions and superficialities while also addressing some of the common troubles of females in their twenties.
Photo by Kim Soo Jin