MOVIE CLUB: Lady Daddy Review
Welcome movie viewers to the DramaFever review of Lady Daddy. This movie tugs on our heartstrings and reminds us that a parent’s love has no definitions. Join Zombie Mama and me, Wendilynn, as we talk about our impressions of this movie.
Watch Lady Daddy:
Wendilynn: Our wonderful cast consisted of Ji Hyeon, played lovingly by Lee Na Young. Her boyfriend was played by Kim Ji Suk. Her best friend was played by Kim Heung Soo. Yoo Bin, our precocious 9 yr old, played by Kim Hee Soo. His Mom is played by Jung Ae Eun and his Step Dad played by Lee Pil Mo. Our cast is rounded out by our poor detective played by Kim Hee Won.
Zombie: So I wasn’t really sure what to expect, going into this movie with no idea of what it was about (because I hate spoilers of any kind and I’d rather go into a movie blind than with any preconceived ideas of what it should be like), but I was pleasantly surprised. I thought it was a sweet story though the idea of a little boy wandering off on his own, to search for his biological dad made me cringe. If my kids pulled a stunt like that, they’d be grounded for all eternity.
Wendilynn: All I knew was that it was about someone who had had gender reassignment who finds out that they now had a son. I wasn’t sure which way the movie would go on that topic. One thing I have to hand it to this movie, the lack of exposition, which is the hallmark card of Asian movies really allows them to show touchy situations without being judgmental. It allows the audience to make up their own minds.
Zombie: You know, I thought this drama did a really good job of not passing any sort of judgment up until the very last line when Yoo Bin was talking to his stepdad and he told Yoo Bin that all men are attracted to women because it’s in their blood, or something like that. Maybe I read too much into that last line, or I just took it the wrong way, but to me it seemed to negate the point this movie had spent the last two hours making.
Wendilynn: I didn’t really see it that way. First, children aren’t stupid. This kid wasn’t blind. He knew something was off kilter about his dad. But more importantly, I saw this as a way to show us that he had finally accepted his stepdad’s love for him. He was willing to ask him a touchy question that any child who is confused would ask.
Zombie: I never thought there was any doubt about the stepdad’s love for Yoo Bin, in fact Yoo Bin told his dad that he was afraid of accepting his stepdad’s love because if he did, he’d be replacing his dad in his heart and Yoo Bin didn’t want to do that.
Wendilynn: And that’s what I mean. Yoo Bin could now comfortably accept his stepdad’s love without feeling like a traitor to his real dad. He now knew his Dad, he knew that it was okay to love all his parents. Sometimes kids think they have to take sides, and Yoo Bin got to learn that he didn’t need to. It was okay to love all the adults in his world.
Zombie: I can see that, especially when Ji Hyeon is such a lovable person. I really don’t see how anyone could know her and not love her. She’s so sweet and she’s doing what she can to help her son realize his dream of meeting his birth father which is admirable, especially when you consider what it means for her, going back to a place she’d rather forget.
Wendilynn: This movie really started in a good place. We meet her and her boyfriend, we meet Yoo Bin’s Mom and Stepdad. We get to like everyone and then slowly the story starts to collide. Her situation is really tricky and she really tried her best to make it easier for her son to deal with. I really think she was pretty brave to try and handle it the way she did. She could have just told Yoo Bin that his dad was dead and let it drop.
Zombie: She could have but she’s too sweet of a person to do something like that. Her heart is so big, it’s only natural for her to immediately love her son. As such, she can’t bring herself to do anything to crush his dream of someday meeting his dad. She does what she can to make his dream come true and I’m sure that, in time, they’ll come to a place where she no longer has to pretend to be a man. Yoo Bin’s mom and stepdad are both very open-minded and accepting of Ji Hyeon, probably because they both have fond memories and strong feelings for her, so I have no doubt things will all come to light in time.
Wendilynn: I think two things helped in that. 1) The feelings you mentioned. They had been friends and close college partners. 2) They were both plastic surgeons. Gender re-assignment was something they would have had to deal with already in their own studies. It helped them be more prepared to deal with the situation. Unlike her Dad who was struggling between his religious beliefs and the love for his child.
Zombie: I thought Ji Hyeon’s plea with her dad to not only have faith in Jesus but in people as well, was very poignant. You could tell that Ji Hyeon’s father hasn’t been the most supportive of her decision but he seems to be in a place where he could very easily be swayed to support her, if only he’d put a little faith in her and believe that she’s doing what’s best.
Wendilynn: It can be hard on parents. Her mom was the opposite of the neglect that she probably got from her dad. She had become a worry wart instead. "What else would her child do? etc..."
Zombie: At least an overprotective mother proves she still loves her child, as opposed to a cold-shouldered dad who cuts a child off from his affection. You know making a decision like this wasn’t easy for Ji Hyeon or her family but they seem to be on the path towards healing. With her mom on-board, I think it’s only a matter of time before her dad comes to accept her as she is. Maybe with Yoo Bin entering the picture, things will become easier for all of them.
Wendilynn: I think her having an understanding boyfriend helped with Dad, too. Dad did go to him and ask him to watch over her. That was probably a big step for him. I really liked her boyfriend and Kim Ji Suk did a really good job. I also liked her best friend, that could not have been an easy transition since he knew her from high school. If anyone thought he looked familiar, Kim Heung Soo played the crazy King in Night Watchman’s Journal.
Zombie: I think her best friend has had the right attitude about all of this from the very beginning. He’s the one who pointed out that no matter what’s on the outside, it’s the heart that matters and he’s right.
Wendilynn: Absolutely. He was funny, he’d be all deep and insightful and then try to push a car sale without missing a beat. The funny moments in this movie were unexpected and funny in many ways. Like her boyfriend joking about how they both had being first sons in common. And that stabbed dummy. Oh my gosh. lol
Zombie: Oh gosh! That made me laugh so much! That and the fake severed head Ji Hyeon pulled out of her duffel bag and dropped in front of those thugs. I was rolling on the floor with that one.
Wendilynn: LOL!! That was so good. That head scared that detective pretty good, too. And when they were trying to put that knife back into the dummy. Oh my goodness, that conversation was hilariously naughty from any number of perspectives.
Zombie: I liked the humor in this movie, it was quirky and unexpected without being overly crazy and I think it added a lot to the overall feel of the movie, adding just the right amount of humor to a rather difficult subject.
Wendilynn: I agree that this movie was well paced. You had the ordinary moments of their lives mixed with humor to balance the sensitive subject matter of trying to wade through the difficult waters of Yoo Bin finding his Dad. Our characters were well developed so that you could identify with them and like them. I appreciated that there were no bad guys in this movie.
Zombie: No bad guys, just a couple of clueless detectives and a rather punky movie director, all of which could have been left out of the movie but since they weren’t really major characters to begin with, I’ll overlook their existence. So, I have to ask, now that we’ve covered pretty much everything (I think), would you recommend this movie to others?
Wendilynn: I can recommend this movie. The subject matter may make people think twice about wanting to watch it, but I can confidently let them know this movie makes no judgements and just lets you like these characters and feel the struggle they go through. This movie has a huge heart and an enjoyable story. And You?
Zombie: I agree. I’d totally recommend this movie to anyone looking for a sweet story full of lovable characters and lots of heart. It was just too cute.
Wendilynn: It certainly was.
That's our take on this delightful movie. What did you like best about this movie? Did you enjoy the humor or did it make you think? Let us know in the comments below.
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