Watch Seoul Searching Online

Seoul Searching

Where to Watch Seoul Searching


Seoul Searching is a 2015 coming-of-age comedy-drama film directed and written by Benson Lee, inspired by his own experiences as a Korean-American teenager attending a government-sponsored summer program in South Korea in the 1980s. The film stars a talented ensemble cast, including In-pyo Cha, Justin Chon, Jessika Van, Teo Yoo, and Esteban Ahn.

The plot revolves around a group of foreign-born teenagers of Korean descent who are sent to Seoul for a summer program called "Seoul Summer Camp," designed to help them reconnect with their Korean roots, culture, and language. The program is run by strict and traditional Korean teachers who enforce strict rules and curfews to prevent the teenagers from indulging in American culture and habits.

The young protagonists come from diverse backgrounds and have different personalities, interests, and agendas. There is Sid Park (played by Justin Chon), a rebellious troublemaker from California who wants to experience Korean nightlife and romance; Kris Schultz (played by Jessika Van), a confident and artistic adoptee from San Francisco who seeks to discover her birth parents and identity; Sergio Kim (played by Teo Yoo), a charming and ambitious student from Paris who aims to learn Korean fluently and impress his crush; Grace Park (played by Rosalina Leigh), a devout Christian girl from Texas who struggles to reconcile her faith with her culture and desires; and Michael Mendoza (played by Esteban Ahn), an introverted and nerdy student from Mexico who tries to fit in and make friends.

As the teenagers navigate the challenges and joys of the summer program, they form friendships, romances, conflicts, and secret alliances that test their loyalty, honesty, trust, and authenticity. They also encounter cultural clashes, misunderstandings, stereotypes, and prejudices from both Koreans and foreigners, which they must overcome with empathy, respect, and humor.

Seoul Searching is a funny, touching, and insightful movie that explores the complexities and nuances of multicultural identity, belonging, and self-discovery through a nostalgic and colorful lens. The film is set in the 1980s, a decade known for its pop culture, fashion, and music, which are cleverly incorporated into the film through montages, dance sequences, and soundtrack.

The film also depicts the political and historical context of Korea in the 1980s, when the country was undergoing rapid modernization, democratization, and globalization, leading to a clash of old and new values, traditions, and aspirations. The film shows the contrast between the strict and conservative Korean culture of the camp and the liberal and hedonistic American culture outside of it, highlighting the tension and ambivalence of the Korean diaspora between their homeland and their adopted country.

The performances of the cast are superb, especially Justin Chon, who brings his natural charisma, humor, and vulnerability to the role of Sid Park, the most dynamic and conflicted character in the film. Jessika Van also shines as Kris, the most mature and introspective character who is determined to find her place in the world. In-pyo Cha, a renowned Korean actor, delivers a subtle and nuanced performance as the director of the camp, who represents the conflicted and ambiguous attitude of Koreans towards their cultural heritage and global influence.

The cinematography and production design of the film are also impressive, showcasing the beauty and diversity of Seoul and its landmarks, such as Gyeongbokgung Palace and Hongdae, as well as the authenticity and nostalgia of the 1980s, such as cassette tapes, boomboxes, and neon lights.

Overall, Seoul Searching is a must-watch film for anyone who loves coming-of-age stories, comedy, drama, romance, and multiculturalism. The film offers a fresh and entertaining perspective on the Korean diaspora experience and the universal themes of identity, belonging, and self-expression.

Seoul Searching is a Drama, Comedy movie released in 2016. It has a runtime of 105 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.9. It also holds a MetaScore of 63.

Benson Lee
Justin Chon, Jessika Van, In-Pyo Cha
Also directed by Benson Lee
Also starring Cha In-pyo
Seoul Searching is available on .