6.6/10
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Yeonae-ui mokjeok (2005)

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An introvert, indifferent woman joins a high school as a student teacher, under supervision of a shameless, nymphomaniac man who is a year younger than her. On a school trip, the supervisor... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Lee Yoo-rim
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yeong-gi Jeong
...
Choi Hong
Dae-yeon Lee
...
(as Grina Park)
Young-hwa Seo
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Storyline

An introvert, indifferent woman joins a high school as a student teacher, under supervision of a shameless, nymphomaniac man who is a year younger than her. On a school trip, the supervisor tells the trainee that he wants to have sex with her. The movie deals with the woman willing yet indifferent to indulge in physical relationship with her professional senior. Ethics, morals, feelings, love show up and are turned down. Written by CreatingWitty

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Comedy | Romance

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Release Date:

10 June 2005 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

Rules of Dating  »

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2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Rules of dating are: there are no rules
26 August 2005 | by (Oriental State of Mind) – See all my reviews

Primitively speaking, there are far more bad romantic films with happy endings, than there are great films with sad or refreshingly innovative good endings. This film begins in a very straightforward manner as we see a man and a woman in a park, sharing verbally and physically uncomfortable moments which pave the way for the film's entire theme.

Hye-jeong Kang (OldBoy) plays Choi, a 27 year old student teacher assigned to a new school under guidance of a one year younger counselor Lee, who just happens to be a degenerate womanizer. Almost immediately he starts hitting on her and inviting her for drinks after work, but Choi, although not thrilled is neither too reluctant nor disturbed by his persuasiveness. It becomes even more strange when we find out that they both are in stable, long-term relationships with people who care greatly for them. For the first half of the film Choi's character seems internally vacant and emotionally unconscious, which prompts Lee to further pursue her with sexual endeavors. She confesses in suffering from insomnia, but shows signs of more serious depression that we become only aware of later on.

There are quite a few things she could have done to stop Lee from pursuing, but she chose to deal with things in a lukewarm, almost uncaring fashion. At certain instances she lead him on and at other she pushed him away.

There are moments when a viewer might not find things to be as humorous as Lee sometimes makes it to be with his borderline rapist behavior. Some might find it quite graphic actually and completely unromantic and unfunny. But I couldn't stop thinking about the film called Swept Away (the original, mind you), where sex was the force which brought two different people together. This film is similar to it in other ways as well. When these characters are together the world around them disappears, leaving them free of consequences and fear. But there are always consequences, especially for such unusual tales of romance.

Calling this film predictable or forcefully perplexing is unjust, although the process is quite frustrating, just like the relationship between Choi and Lee. I couldn't' have imagined any other way.

The following comments contain **Spoilers**

Some time later after they decide to fully indulge in their untamed desires, more people become distraught and aware of their relationship and expose part of the past that Choi was still emotionally scarred with. This is something that Lee already knew, but probably couldn't imagine the toll it took on Choi. That's when the film got back on track for me and hit the mark, as Choi decides to inflict same crudity that she was served with in the past on Lee. So she finally gets what she wanted. She got rid of Lee and kept her job, along with her dignity. For some people this could be the nail in the coffin, but I think her decision couldn't have been more suitable. Lee, a man who didn't believe in love, saw sex as the primary mean of relationship, even after she let him get very close. Choi has been mistreated in her life and couldn't afford another humiliation. Her decision served simply as an equalizer. And when the time was right for her to meet Lee, who she had grown to like, she was full of life and confidence. Lee on the other hand was more hesitant and almost childlike in his acceptance of whatever it is she was going to offer him. A switch of roles if you will.

End of Spoilers.

This film might not have employed the most (or any) lovable characters that romantic movies are structured upon, but I found it rewarding for its daringness to explore this sensitive issue. Movies like Rules of Dating, Someone Special and Green Chair don't want to settle for a conventional tale of romance. They don't necessarily strive to give you the warm fuzzy feeling which I find very refreshing.

And although this film is not as pragmatic as Sang-soo Hong's Turning Gate or as subtle and intense as Ki-duk Kim's 3-Iron, I found it strangely amusing and candid, but maybe because I was able to associate it with a person I know who is similar to Lee and watching him was both humorous and humiliating at the same time.


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