Spa Night (2016)

Joe SeoYoun Ho ChoHaerry KimTopher Park
Andrew Ahn


Spa Night (2016) is a Korean,English,Spanish movie. Andrew Ahn has directed this movie. Joe Seo,Youn Ho Cho,Haerry Kim,Topher Park are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2016. Spa Night (2016) is considered one of the best Drama movie in India and around the world.

Los Angeles' Korean spas serve as meeting place and bridge between past and future for generations of immigrant families; Spa Night explores one Korean-American family's dreams and realities as each struggles with the overlap of personal desire, disillusionment, and sense of tradition.

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Spa Night (2016) Reviews

  • Delicate, well made but almost too understated coming of age tale


    Beautifully shot and very well made on a truly micro budget, this story of a gay 2nd generation teen Korean coming of age in Los Angeles gains from it's intelligent production, attention to detail and unusual cultural setting, but also loses something in it's extremely familiar basic story of adolescence as well as in being so cold in it's lead actor's effect-less nature and the character's almost wordless personality. Add that with the film's distanced style and there ultimately is more to admire here than to be deeply emotionally engaged in. It's also not helpful that while Joe Seo underplays right to the edge of disappearing as David, our protagonist, some in supporting roles overplay to the point of near caricature. Neither extreme might have felt off putting in a film where the acting was more of a piece. But having the two styles next to each other was too often a reminder I was watching a film played by actors, not real human beings. Also, while I have no idea how old Joe Seo is, he looks far older than the high-school student he's supposed to be, which also took something away from feeling for the character's youthful confusion and ennui. None-the-less, for all that carping I'm very glad I saw the film, and in Ahn's delicate use of imagery there were a good number of poetic moments that captured the painful and joyful confusion of finding one's adult self starting to emerge, even when that self puts you on a cultural collision course with your both your parents and your community. If not the best coming of age film of recent years, it's at least a worthy addition to that admittedly overcrowded genre.

  • As Andrew Ahn's directorial debut, 'Spa Night' is an artistic breakthrough.


    Considering how many festival attendees arrive from Los Angeles, it is rare to find a movie in the competition that is entirely based there, in large part due to the emphasis on finding new voices of cinema from elsewhere. And yet, there are so many untold stories to be discovered in L.A.: here is one of them. 'Spa Night' is billed as being a movie about a Korean teenager discovering his sexuality at the titular Koreatown spas, but it is actually a broader story of being a first-generation Korean- American and the trials that come with it. Joe Seo plays David, an only child to two Korean immigrants who are struggling to make ends meet as he prepares to apply to college and live up to his parents wishes. The film is much more about the unique and loving relationship David has with his parents, which is why the film flourishes. The truth is David's sense of insecurity and strong desire to live up to his parents is relatable to anyone, so this movie encapsulates what director Ang Lee calls "Universality in the culturally specific." 'Spa Night' director Andrew Ahn aims for ultimate authenticity and hits his mark. His characters and situations feel painfully accurate all throughout the movie, and I would imagine even more so for Korean-Americans. The film's alternation between social situations with the protagonists and private moments with the family allow for the audience to see the numerous ways these characters interact and portray themselves. As an insight into this world, this is a very eye- opening film. The strength of authenticity also proves to be a weakness. Forgoing a musical score and shooting at a more muted pace means that at times it doesn't feel like it's moving forward at all. That isn't to say individual scenes aren't engaging, but based on the initial premise, it is expected that movement may happen faster than it does. Perhaps knowing that this film remains at a simmer for the duration will help viewers more thoroughly enjoy the artistic work. Overall, 'Spa Night' is a success and an artistic breakthrough, despite the fact that its pacing and restrained style may hinder it from general viewer interest. The city of Los Angeles has so many movies in production yet so few try to tell stories that are new discoveries, so for this alone 'Spa Night' deserves recognition. Its attention to characters, environment, and reality are top-tier for a directorial debut, and my hope is that Andrew Ahn's next work can elevate the overall story elements that are not as strong as the individual scenes. For more, visit:

  • Slow moving film unfairly categorized as a coming out story


    This is marketed as a gay film, but that is just one of many issues the main character is dealing with as he transitions into adulthood. He has bigger problems, but does not seem to attempt to resolve any of them. The actors in this film are uniformly excellent, which only made it that much more frustrating that the script did not give them a chance to grow and adapt to their circumstances. The plot advances only in inches - the film is half over before the main character gets the spa job. Many conflicts are raised, some unique to an immigrant family, some unique to coming out as gay, but many universal. None of them are resolved - the film just ends. It's as if the main character is just letting life happen and not making any effort to direct it. This made for an unsatisfying viewing experience, in spite of the outstanding performances. All of the actors, even those in small roles, made the story believable. I just wish there had been more of a story.

  • An unconventional gay coming-of-age story, well worth your time


    There is no happy ending here, as there isn't in so many of our lives; only the struggle to figure out enough in the short-term to get to the long-term, if one ever gets there at all. The rewards of watching this film are, first, the opportunity to see inside the day-to-day lives of an immigrant Korean family trying to survive against formidable odds; a family that includes a son whose central conflict is not coming out, as it might be in a more conventional film. Rather, the conflict is between his need to discover who he is and what he wants, including but not limited to his sexual identity, balanced against his wish to satisfy his parents' ambitions for him, which may or may not align with his own aspirations for himself and his life; while making an effort to help them financially. There is a quiet dignity in this young man's quest that makes us want him to find the answers he's looking for, but the film, to its credit, doesn't serve up an easy resolution at the end. What's clear instead is that the protagonist will continue his quest for answers and direction, which he may or may not find. The film had a lot to say and said it well.

  • Yet another coming-out story but with a Korean flavor


    David is a second-generation gay Korean-American only child. His parents are not successful though they have been hardworking. Davids of college age but not really college material and David is feeling those pressures plus the growing realization that he's gay. When his parents lose their restaurant David secretly takes a job to help his struggling parents and if it's in a men's sauna, well at least he can begin to study his other concern... The story is interesting but the cultural differences made some parts a bit tough to understand for this entirely occidental viewer. While I was interested in David's dilemma, the unresolved nature of the ending was a bit unsatisfying.

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