Parents' Guide to

Sweet & Sour

By JK Sooja, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Slick Korean romance has some language, drinking.

Movie NR 2021 101 minutes
Sweet & Sour Poster Image

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This romance has its moments, but it ultimately doesn't succeed. There's a lot to like about it, like how it depicts the stifling modern Korean work life and culture. The performances in Sweet & Sour are great, too, as are the slick production and the effectively written script. The problems, however, start to drag the film down as its conceits begin to become clear. For instance, while the very important late twist and/or fake-out is cool, using a character's body size to ensure the fake-out isn't. This romance also doesn't do enough to convince us of the love or connection between the two main characters. By the time significant decisions have to be made, the later-version Hyeok simply hasn't done anything to deserve any empathy.

Further, the film assumes a male perspective, so the audience is supposed to feel the pain of Hyeok's mistake or confusion, when in reality, not much at all about later him is remotely attractive or desirable. In a similar vein, the two female main characters are stereotypical in their roles (one is the "always at home, waiting woman" and the other is the "other woman" at work), the ending makes it seem like the audience should care about what happens to the later Hyeok (which feels weird), and the ending rewards a man who earlier displayed stalker-like behavior.

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