Like a Virgin (2006)

Run Time - 116 min.  |   Countries - South Korea  |  
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A young woman trapped in a man's body discovers that same body may hold the answer to her problems in this offbeat comedy-drama from South Korea. Oh Dong-gu (Ryu Deok-hwan) is a high school student who has always believed he was different than everyone else around him, and he's become convinced that he was meant to be a girl rather than a boy. Emboldened by the sassy attitude of his favorite singer, Madonna, and determined not to intimidated by his father, an alcoholic former boxer whose tirades drove his wife from him, Dong-gu works a part-time job and saves his money, dreaming of the day he can afford a sex change operation. Dong-gu is a big kid and more than one person has suggested he has the build to be a great wrestler; he has no interest in sports, but when he learns that a wrestling tournament is being held with a large cash prize going to the winner, Dong-gu decides grappling just might be the ticket to his new gender. Dong-gu signs on with the school's wrestling team in order to learn the sport, but while his teammates shun him, the coach (Baek Yoon-sik) sees promise in the eccentric lad, and to the surprise of everyone, Dong-gu's years of imitating Madonna's dance moves have given him a speed and agility that might make him a winner in the ring after all. Like A Virgin (aka Cheonhajangsa Madonna) was screened at the 2006 Pusan Film Festival as part of the "Korean Cinema Today" series.