Body swap comedies have been one of the most familiar themes in international cinema. Kim Heyong-hyeop makes his own effort in the subcategory, and manages to distinguish his work due to a number of elements, and particularly by presenting it as a tribute to father-daughter relationships. Let us take things from the beginning though.
The story revolves around Do-yeon, a high school girl who constantly argues with her father, Sang-tae, a salary man who works in a cosmetics company. She has a major date and a talent show audition coming up while he could get promoted in his company for the first time in years. The two of them used to get along quite nicely when Sang-tae was little, but as the years passed, they got further and further away, each one focusing io his own problems and considering the other one's insignificant.
As the story begins, Do-yeon has a talent show coming up and soon after, a date with her crush while Sang-tae a presentation that may get him get promoted in his company for the first time in years. One night though, and while the two of them are driving in from Do-yeon's grandfather's house, they crash and in the morning wake up in the hospital, finding out they have swapped bodies.
Kim Heyong-hyeop's biggest asset in the film is the fact that manages to retain the comedy for the most of its duration, in a concept that is harder than it seems. The slapstick nature of the comedy benefits the most by the acting, with both Yoon Je-moon as a girly edition of Won Sang-tae and Jung So-min as the manly edition of Do-yeon being hilarious in their renditions. Particularly the scenes where the two have to dance in the way the other would, will probably stay on the viewer's minds for some time.
Furthermore, as mentioned in the prologue, Kim makes a film that functions as a tribute to father-daughter relationships and the difficulties they present, with the footage in the ending credits being a tribute to the fact. The solution he seems to propose is a simple one, as he suggests that each one should try to put oneself in the other's shoes, with the concept of the body swap actually deriving from this aspect. Some comments about corporate policies and they way they perceive their clients also exist, but are rather minor.
Some (melo)dramatic moments are not missing from this one either, although the moments are much less than the comedic ones and actually function as a "break" from the comedy.
Jeong Gi-won and Jang Nam-cheol's cinematography focuses on the realistic depiction of the school and the company setting, and in that fashion, succeeds to the fullest. The colors are bright and the lighting intense in most of the scenes, as is usually the case in mainstream comedies.
"Daddy You, Daughter Me" is a very funny film and a movie that any kind of father with a daughter will enjoy particularly.
Review by Panos Kotzathanasis
Available on DVD from YESASIA
Panos Kotzathanasis is a film critic and reviewer specialising in East Asian Cinema. He is the founder of Asian Film Vault, administrator of Asian Movie Pulse and also writes for Taste of Cinema, Eastern Kicks, China Policy Institute and Filmboy. You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Panos Kotzathanasis can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[Guest Film Review] "Daddy You, Daughter Me""
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