The Korean Bride

Throughout this scene, Rory and Lane do the hair up and make-up for cousin James’ bride from Korea – a woman who remains nameless, and is played by Jessica Shim in her first role. She would go on to a smattering of small TV roles.

The bride is unable to speak English, but Lane speaks Korean, and exchanges a few words with her, asking if she likes her hair (not really, is the answer), and getting her water when she asks for it. Neither Lane nor Rory make any attempt to include her in their conversation, give her any comfort, or even try to teach her just one or two words of English.

She has come from another country, doesn’t speak any English, and is marrying a stranger described as “quiet and skulky”, which sounds like code for lacking the social skills to attract a wife among his peers. Cousin James is played by stand-up comedian and actor E.K., and whatever James’ possible faults, he is at least attractive.

Lane and Rory discuss an unhappy marriage which began with a wedding at the Kim house, between Min Cha, and the “mean man” she married, Wan Nam. There were seven years of Min Cha being told she was stupid and ordered around like a slave before she snapped and attacked her husband. They now live separate lives in the same house, still married.

The chances of the Korean bride having a happy marriage and happy life in America seem quite slim, yet Rory and Lane express no pity over her situation (and not really any for Min Cha either). She is marrying into Lane’s family, yet receives little welcome or signs of kindness from anyone. Mrs Kim doesn’t even bother speaking Korean to her, or in front of her, while talking about her.

It’s rather chilling that Rory and Lane get to have a heartwarming bonding scene together all while virtually ignoring this young woman, doing her up like a doll, and treating her as if she barely exists. She is a prop in the scene, rather than another actor.

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