a short film by Kim Jho Kwang-soo
2009 | 29 mins | South Korea
›› Just Friends?
an ever so sweet take on boys in love.
Just Friends? by Kim Jho Kwang-soo Fans of the work of South Korean writer and director Kim Jho Kwang-soo of Boy Meets Boy fame, will no doubt relish in this ever so sweet take on boys in love.

For aspiring cook Seok-i is in love with Min-su; a slightly older youth who is doing his service for his country, military style. Knowing that he cannot put off the inevitable army life for much longer, Seok-i goes out of his way to spend time with his man, whether visiting him on duty as his lover ... better make that his friend, or spending time at the family home, an overnight stay that results with Min-suís mother being just too close for, well sexual comfort. Then again, as far as mother dearest is concerned, they are just friends; aren't they?

Just Friends? by Kim Jho Kwang-soo Affectionately known as Boy Meets Boy 2, this unapologetically tender tale of two young men in love, is as much a delight, as it is a cute coming out story. Yet those familiar with the work of its director will have an idea of what to expect here and sure enough Kwang-soo just cannot help himself from staying true to his vocal roots. Only what isn't anticipated is the ending, given this short concludes with a continuance of the story after the trans styled end credits have rolled, a brief scene twist that to say more, would be a spoiler.

What has to be said however is that and in spite of the upbeat feel of the piece, the reality of being gay in the armed forces in a country in which homosexuality is still largely taboo, is poignantly different to that as depicted here. All of which makes this fictional work a courageous cinematic step in the right direction, just as it equally equates to a joyous coming out tale, played with glee from the two leads who are not afraid to get down to some passionate boy-on-boy action. Adorably sweet and charming, kind of goes without saying.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - strictly from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 

›› Available to buy from Amazon.co.uk.
available on DVD as part of the Peccadillo Pictures catalogue - 'Boys on Film 7: Bad Romance' release: 26.September.2011
starring: Seo Ji-hoo / Min-su, Lee Je-hoon / Seok-i, Lee Seon-joo / Min-soo's mom, Lee Chae-eun /
Chae-eun, Moon Seong-kwon / the Sergeant and Son Cheol-min as the Visiting Soldier.
Copyright 2010 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #314
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