Dir: Kim Daehwan | Dragon & Tigers | Gateway | South Korea | 2017 | 101 mins
Tuesday, Oct. 10, 12:15 p.m. | International Village 8
The couples and relationships we typically see on screen full of passion, sexual tension and conflict. In The First Lap, Ji-young and Su-hyeon’s relationship likely more resembles our own. They only have eggs left in the refrigerator for dinner. They eat take out. They comment on each other’s haircuts. They try, and fail, to get their GPS to work in the car.
One night, right after Su-hyeon watches an adorable kitten video, Ji-young declares her period is late. It is with this unexpected news that the couple meets each other’s parents for the very first time.
Each of them have their own family issues. Ji-young’s mother pointedly asks why she isn’t married yet and wishes aloud she could brag to her friends about her daughter. Sy-hyeon’s parents are separated, and his father is an abrasive alcoholic. Both of their parents wonder why they have not married yet.
What The First Lap excels at is present observations of the daily humour, monotony, frustrations and tenderness of being in a long-term, steady relationship. While there is no doubt they care deeply about each other, audience members are left wondering where their relationship will end up.
Perhaps this is the enigma of modern romance and the question we are all pondering. How do we know if this is it, if this is the one?