Horny Family (2010) Movie Review

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Horny Family (2010) Movie Image

Korean comedy “Horny Family” (also known by the odder title “Tummy”) is a film which has been kicking around for a while now, having started filming back in 2007 and finished in 2009. This was rather a shame for director Park Bo Sang, as though it marks his first release, his debut feature apparently remains on the shelf. It’s a bit of a mystery as to why “Horny Family” should have taken so long to see the light of day, as it’s a commercial enough film, dealing with sexual morality and modern values in amusing fashion, and one which quite obviously enjoyed a reasonable budget.

The film focuses on the Suh family, an affluent and apparently decent bunch who are all upstanding members of society. However, behind closed doors, each of the family members is embroiled in sexual shenanigans, with professor father Jung Min (Cheon Ho Jin, “The Unjust”) lusting after attractive and seemingly available grad student Yoong Jung (Kim Hyo Jin, “The Taste of Money”) while wife and mother Hye Kung (Lee Mi Sook, “Hellcats”) is edging towards an affair with a handsome photographer (Kim Seung Woo (“Iris”). Their two children aren’t much better, the hotel boss daughter Young Ran (Ji Seo Yun, “200 Pounds Beauty”) engaged to a successful doctor but carrying on an affair, and college student son Ji Hwan (Ye Hak Young, “Like Father, Like Son”) stalking Yoong Jung despite already having a girlfriend. Needless to say, the Suhs can’t manage to keep their secrets forever, and soon enough things start to get complicated.

Horny Family (2010) Movie Image

It’s kind of a pity that “Horny Family” took such a long time to make it to screens, as whilst admittedly not the most memorable or cutting edge of Korean comedies, it’s above average and perfectly enjoyable in its own modest way. Though a fair few films have tackled similar subjects, Park Bo Sang runs a nice and effective line in farce, managing to successfully juggle the many different relationships, illicit and otherwise, playing them off against each other for some decent laughs. Though the eventual consequences of all the affairs and cheating are predictable, the film makes an effort to take a realistic look at what tends to happen in such circumstances – without giving much away, the alternate title “Tummy” likely refers to pregnancies.

At the same time though, the film is also pleasingly non-judgemental, and while some of its characters do suffer for their actions, Park never really encourage the viewer to laugh at them too harshly or to take them as particularly bad people. This is representative of the film as a whole, as it offers a comical and exaggerated view of modern Korean sexual morals and hypocrisy that whilst not lacking bite or satire, is never mean spirited. Thankfully, Park also avoids going down the melodrama route, as so many Korean films tend to do, and this ensures that it stays sharp through to its conclusion, without any unnecessary tears or moments or forced self-realisation.

Horny Family (2010) Movie Image

Never aiming for the cheap titillation suggested by its title, “Horny Family” manages to get through its pleasingly short (88 minutes) running time without much nudity, a lot of its many sex scenes being semi-clothed or strategically shot. Though this might disappoint, it actually works well and keeps the film away from “Sex is Zero” territory or from undermining Park’s social commentary leanings, and it’s still a very adult and sexually frank affair – and one which definitely wins points for keeping its male and female characters on equal footing. This does give it an air of maturity, though in a light hearted manner, and it’s good to see a film which is able to deal with the realities of human desire without getting either too heavy or too smutty. The good looking cast help in this respect, the leads all turning in likeable performances, enough so to make their many different pairings and the resultant fuss believable.

There’s certainly enough here to enjoy, and it’s good to see “Horny Family” finally being made available. Funny, reasonably smart and not out-staying its welcome, there are many worse Korean comedies out there, and viewers looking for a mix of raunchy laughs won’t go far wrong.

Park Bo-sang (director) / Park Bo-sang (screenplay)
CAST: Kim Seung-woo
Lee Mi-sook
Cheon Ho-jin
Kim Hyo-jin
Seo Yoon
Ye Hak-yeong

Buy Horny Family on DVD or Blu-ray

Author: James Mudge

James is a Scottish writer based in London. He is one of BeyondHollywood.com’s oldest tenured movie reviewer, specializing in all forms of cinema from the Asian continent, as well as the angst-strewn world of independent cinema and the plasma-filled caverns of the horror genre. James can be reached at jamesmudge (at) btinternet.com, preferably with offers of free drinks.
  • http://www.beyondhollywood.com Todd

    I’ve been very curious about this one. Can’t wait to check it out.