Shades of Mary Kay Letourneau in Cradle-Robbing Romance
In the U.S., Mary Kay Letourneau, a married mother of four, made national headlines when it came out that she was pregnant with a child fathered by Vili Fualaau, a sixth grader in her homeroom class over 20 years her junior. Given a break after confessing to statutory rape, the cradle-robber was only sentenced to time served and allowed to return home.
However, she and Vili were soon caught on camera canoodling again, and the second time around the judge threw the book at the compulsive pedophile. While in prison, fertile Letourneau’s second baby with her boy-toy arrived, and seven years later the disgraced teacher and pupil tied the knot live on national TV.
Though set in South Korea, Green Chair touches on some of the same themes as the Fualaau-Letourneau liaison, as it revolves around an illicit relationship between a 32 year-old housewife (Jung Suh) and a seemingly-naive, 19 year-old (Ji-ho Shim) virgin. At the point of departure we find the pair just having consummated their union, followed immediately by Kim’s being carted off to jail for seducing a minor.
By the time she’s freed, her husband has left her, which is just fine since young Hyun is waiting right outside the prison gates. With lust trumping reason at every turn, the reunited lovers resume their steamy romance in the first motel room they can find, ignoring the omnipresence of prying paparazzi lurking in the bushes.
The plot thickens when the wanton shut-ins have to make a life for themselves which is when they decide to shack-up with Kim’s only remaining friend, Jin (Yun-hung Oh). At this juncture, the film finally morphs into something more than a mere skin flick about a copulating couple with little in common except that they can’t keep their hands off each other.
For Kim suddenly starts to show evidence of a jealous streak while voyeuristic Jin gives her every reason to be suspicious. An unorthodox triangle of forbidden love, Korean style.
Excellent (4 stars)
In Korean with subtitles
Running time: 105 minutes
Studio: Genius Entertainment/ImaginAsian Pictures