Now available On Demand is Julian Kim and Peter S. Lee’s acclaimed drama Happy Cleaners.
The film stars Charles Ryu, Hyang-hwa Lim, Yeena Sung and Yun Jeong.
Happy Cleaners is the story of the Choi family. They are Korean immigrants that own a laundry cleaning service in Flushing, Queens (New York).
Mr. and Mrs. Choi are very “old school,” where as their daughter Hyunny and son Kevin, live a bit more modern, “American-ized” lives. As a result, the parents and their children tend to butt-heads a lot.
Kevin is a college drop out that dreams of moving to Los Angeles, California, to have a food truck business. His sister Hyunny also goes to school and works part time.
There are a lot of issues that come up (as it would with any parent/adult child relationship), but the family some how manages to get through them.
Then tragedy strikes and the Choi family loses their dry cleaning business. Now it’s a matter of survival and how the family can come together, despite their issues and differences, to get through this difficult time.
I received a screener link to review this film. Initially I wasn’t sure if it would be my “cup of tea,” especially because there are a lot of subtitles in this film (I’m not a fan of having to read subtitles when watching a film), but there was something about this film that sparked my interest.
I think why I was drawn to this film is that it gives me a glimpse into what it’s like to be immigrants in the United States, and struggling to survive. I was born in the United States, but my mom immigrated here l can’t imagine how difficult it was to leave one country for another, and finding success in the new country.
I think what happens to the Choi family is realistic enough that it happens to many families, not just immigrants. I also think that the gap between generations can also be an issue whether you are an immigrant or not. I see that in my own children, and we were all born and raised right here in New York.
Food is a big part of this film. And by the way… it looks delicious! I think as it is with many families, meal time is what brings us all together. That is where we can share our day, express our concerns, and reconnect with each other. That is why I make it a point to sit down at the dining room table and have dinner together whenever either (or both) of my kids are home. Normally they are both working, so it’s just me and my husband. I miss having meal time with my children. I feel like I don’t know what is going on in their lives.
This is a film about family, struggles, generation gaps, and love. These themes run through this movie and I think it’s something all families can relate to. It doesn’t matter if you or your family are immigrants or not.
The acting was pretty good. I found the actors to be very convincing their roles, meaning, you believed they were actual people and not actors. I think the parents (Charles Ryu and Hyang-hwa Lim) did exceptionally well in their roles.
I think the film was well written and well cast. It’s one of those “surprises” that you wouldn’t think was that good – but it is.
Honestly, this isn’t the type of movie I would normally watch. I think if I was scrolling through my television and saw this, I might stop to read the description, but most likely I won’t think it was worth watching. However, now that I have seen the film, I’m glad I did. In fact, if I was scrolling through my television, and I saw that this film was playing, I would watch it again.
Below is the film’s trailer for your enjoyment.
*I received a free screener in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.