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87 Ratings

Spa Night

Directed by Andrew Ahn
United States, 2016
Drama, LGBT+


David Cho is in that curious threshold between late teens and manhood. He lives in a tight-knit, traditional home in the heart of Koreatown, Los Angeles, with his first-generation parents. David works at the family restaurant, but business is slow and the restaurant is forced to close.

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Spa Night Directed by Andrew Ahn

Awards & Festivals

Sundance Film Festival

2016 | Winner: Dramatic (Special Jury Prize)

Independent Spirit Awards

2017 | Winner: John Cassavetes Award

2017 | Nominee: Someone to Watch Award

Outfest: Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival

2016 | Winner: Grand Jury Award

2016 | Special Mention: Grand Jury Award

It is this curious—but not timid—desire that propels the film past the clichés of exotic memorabilia and self-conscious didacticism and into a higher dimension of complexity, precisely because we see and feel through David’s eyes, and the sensations running through his body.
December 31, 2016
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The film takes too much time to portray David’s achingly slow and incomplete coming-out process, but its focus on the interior maelstrom of a teenager is extremely insightful. David is a dutiful son and a gay kid yearning to be himself in a community where that is just not done.
August 19, 2016
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There have been upbeat coming-out films (But I’m a Cheerleader) and tragic, infuriating ones (Boys Don’t Cry, Brokeback Mountain). Andrew Ahn’s Spa Night is executed on a significantly smaller scale, a deliberately anticlimactic one, which makes it all the more doleful.
August 17, 2016
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