Stand Up Man
Friday November 17, 2017 @ 7:00pm| Isabel Bader Theatre
Synopsis: Forced to move back to his hometown Windsor, wannabe comedian Moses Kim finds his dreams derailed in his family restaurant. Life gets more complicated when Moses’ teenage cousin from Korea unexpectedly shows up.
Balancing our personal dreams with familial expectations is something we can all relate to, as we get older. In Stand Up Man, Moses (Daniel Jun) is forced to confront this reality head on. A year after his wedding to a loving and supportive wife Yoojin (Rosalina Lee), he finds himself back in Windsor, living in his parents’ house, running their restaurant, and with a baby daughter. What happened to the time he was an aspiring stand-up comic? He cannot seem to find remnants of that self in him anymore.
The film also depicts what it may be like growing up in a Korean family. The sense of responsibility, duty, and of course, the guilt trips… “What would Jesus do?”, as Moses’ mother asks him when he is conflicted about ‘babysitting’ his teenage cousin Joon (Daniel Daegun Lee) moves to Windsor for school. I remember talking to my Korean-Canadian high school and university friends about their parents’ expectations, and what it was like for them to try to meet said expectations while also being able to follow their own path. I believe all of us who come from immigrant parents, or are immigrants ourselves, clearly relate to this internal conflict.
What I enjoyed about Stand Up Man is the mix of humour and drama that is part of the story. It is true that Moses and Joon are struggling to find their way, but in the process they are having fun together and relating to each other. Joon is just like any other teenager; he wants to have friends and have fun. It is great to see him join a K-pop dance troupe. Moses is trying to be a responsible adult, but also realising he can still have fun and be himself. I quite liked the part when Moses helps out Joon and friends at a dance competition. His wife Yoojin also plays an important part in reminding Moses that we do things because “sometimes is about what other people need,” and not what we need as individuals.
The film has a good mix of humour and drama. The cast all work really well together – they are what make the film so relatable. It is also good to see the City of Windsor as somewhat of a character in the film. Stand Up Man will not disappoint.
Aram Collier, Tony Lau, Daniel Jun, Deagun Daniel Lee, and Rosalina Lee are expected to be in attendance for a Q&A.
Sidenote: The film is a successful member of Telefilm’s Micro-Budget Production Program. It is also a first feature for both Collier and producer Tony Lau. Kudos to the team!