7 user 14 critic

Ad Lib Night (2006)

Aju teukbyeolhan sonnim (original title)
A young girl is asked by strangers to impersonate a prodigal daughter to fulfill a father's dying wish, and in doing so tests the fragility of family bonds.


Yoon-ki Lee


Yoon-ki Lee (screenplay), Asuko Taira (novel)
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Il-hwa Choi
Ju-bong Gi Ju-bong Gi
Hyo-Joo Han ... The Girl (as Hyo-ju Han)
Jung-ki Kim Jung-ki Kim
Young-min Kim ... Gi-yeong
Da-hyeon Kwon Da-hyeon Kwon ... Lee Jin-young


A young girl is asked by strangers to impersonate a prodigal daughter to fulfill a father's dying wish, and in doing so tests the fragility of family bonds.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »






South Korea



Release Date:

26 October 2007 (Turkey) See more »

Also Known As:

Ad Lib Night See more »

Filming Locations:

Seoul, South Korea


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

KBS Sky See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR


See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Very intimate look at the relations of a small community through an outsider
29 June 2008 | by refresh_daemonSee all my reviews

Ad-Lib Night is the third film by Lee Yoon Ki and this film falls well into the traditions that began with This Charming Girl, being a rather intimate portrait, a unique aesthetic that utilizes hand-held camera and close-ups, with depth of field framing and a really bold use of natural lighting. In fact, this film fits in Dogma 95 certification for all but perhaps two or three of the requirements (4:3 and director crediting, off the top of my head).

Ad-Lib Night explores the story of a young woman who is convinced to play the part of a dying man's estranged daughter. Going from her life in the city to a rural town, she encounters the man's neighbors, acquaintances and relatives and we get to watch, with her, as all the dysfunction in the gathered creeps out and how this affects our "guest", as she struggles to perform her role. I think the potent thing about the story is that, while the actual scope of the story is limited to a several hours in a night, we get to be so intimate and real with the characters. And further impressive is just how realistically all the characters are written and how they act and react. This is further enhanced by the directors selected style of shooting, which puts us right up close to the characters using a hand-held camera, further making it seem like we are there--and with limited lighting, so it seems even more like the actual spaces we sit in on.

The performances are solid and I was really impressed by how Lee uses space (temporally, where no plot-intensive action is occurring) in the film to explore characters and still somehow drive forward their development. There is no score for the film and that further enhances the "reality" of the production. Despite the limited lighting used, I found the look of the film to be quite compelling overall, really enhancing what the film is going for.

This is not a high concept film. It's an exploration of characters and a small community, in particular, and the interpersonal problems that exist all coming out in the wake of the last days of one of their members. We, along with the young woman, get drawn in as outsiders, but as we with her, we can start drawing parallels with our own lives. So our protagonist not only acts as a surrogate for the absent daughter of the film, but as a surrogate for our own viewing of the film. And in many ways, this very understated approach works extremely well. It's not for everyone, but this is a potent art film that I have to recommend to those who love these intimate stories. 8/10.

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