Director: Benson Lee
105 mins, 2016
Heavily influenced by the 1980s teen comedies of US director John Hughes, Seoul Searching follows a group of foreign-born Korean teenagers as they visit a summer camp near Seoul that aims to reconnect them with their lost cultural heritage, with varying degrees of success. As you’d expect from a teen comedy, the film has a catchy soundtrack and is full of memorable characters and outlandish comedy situations.
Benson Lee’s film is as concerned with matters of love, sex, underage drinking and partying as any of the other films associated with the genre, but it is the treatment of identity which is most pertinent. All teen comedies are about coming to terms with who you are as you approach adulthood, what Seoul Searching does is amplify this well-worn theme to encompass an acceptance, as a second generation immigrant, of a lost cultural heritage and national identity.