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Boomerang Family ("Goryeonghwa Gajok")

Quebec Premiere
  • South Korea
  • 2013
  • 112 mins
  • DCP
  • Korean
  • English (subtitles)

In-mo (Park Hae-il) has just hit rock bottom. His girlfriend just left him for another man, the film he directed bombed at the box office and he’s dead broke. Now he must succumb to the greatest dishonour a man his age can face: moving back home with Mom (Youn Yuh-jung). The move also reunites him with the family loser, his criminally inclined older brother (Yoon Je-moon) who just came back from his fifth stint in the penitentiary. To top it all off, his younger, trash-talking sister (Kong Hyo-jin) has just dumped her husband and decided to move in with her daughter (Jin Ji-hee), who happens to share her mother’s gutter mouth. Even though it’s been years since they all left home, it doesn’t take long for old rivalries to rise up and cause a frantic succession of juvenile disputes. The clan may rip each other apart over trivial slights and continuously stab each other in the back, but don’t you dare irritate any one of them or they’ll gang up on you in a flash. They may be loud, marginal and a tad insane, but they stick together. They’re willing to confront their demons and yield to the traps of yesteryear for one another’s benefit.

BOOMERANG FAMILY proves extremely hard to nail down. Family saga, sitcom, social drama, food film or gangster flick, all of these terms would be accurate in describing parts of the full feature but would fail to capture its essence on their own. Take Cédric Klapisch’s UN AIR DE FAMILLE, add in the dysfunctional-family attitude of THE HOST, the mafia/family conciliation of THE SHOW MUST GO ON and a LE GRAND CHEF-inspired obsession with food, and you start getting an idea of the different flavours that emanate from this concoction prepared by Song Hae-sung, talented director of FAILAN, screened at Fantasia in 2004. While Song is a master at mixing his cinematic ingredients, it is his impressive cast that constitutes BOOMERANG FAMILY’s main course. Park Hae-il (THE HOST), Kong Hyo-jin (CRUSH AND BLUSH), Yoon Je-moon (MOTHER) and young Jin Ji-hee (DOOMSDAY BOOK) all have a ball giving performances that are as even as they are passionate, under the watchful eye of the great lady of Korean cinema, Youn Yuh-jung (THE HOUSEMAID). With its Korean-slang dialogue, French-comedy-inspired music and over-the-top characters with whom we’d love to spend an evening eating, drinking… and arguing, BOOMERANG FAMILY will touch your heart and make you smile. It’s a movie to be seen with the family before a nice evening of fine dining.

— Nicolas Archambault