×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

S Diary

A tender story of love-gone-wrong belatedly becomes a revenge laff-fest in the romantic comedy "S Diary." Featuring comely actress Kim Seon-ah, pic rocketed to number one on local release late October, with 600,000 admissions in three days.

With:
With: Kim Seon-ah, Kim Su-ro, Lee Hyeon-woo, Gong Yu, Na Mun-heui, Kim Mi-gyeong, Kim Gwang-il, Jeong I-min.

A tender story of love-gone-wrong belatedly becomes a revenge laff-fest in the romantic comedy “S Diary.” Featuring comely actress Kim Seon-ah, pic rocketed to number one on local release late October, with 600,000 admissions in three days. Pic could find an audience offshore if given the chance, but is more likely to join the never-ending list of Korean candidates for Stateside remakes.

Lovelorn Ji-ni (Kim Seon-ah), who has been keeping a diary since puberty, pores over the laundry list of males from her past in an effort to discover why none of her relationships led to matrimony. First up was Gu-hyeon (TV actor Lee Hyeon-woo), a choirmaster who became a priest. Next was macho Jeong-seok (Kim Su-ro from “Volcano High”), who became a cop; and then there was Ju-in (Gong Yu, from “My Tutor Friend”), a sloppy cartoonist with a pet dog.

As Ji-ni takes the audience through the details of each relationship and the hurt she feels from each break-up — including one she initiates herself — the film feels, despite some genuine light-hearted moments, more of a meller than a romantic comedy. Oddly, Ji-ni does not go over the finer points of the most recent relationship that initiated the process.

It’s when Ji-ni decides to take her ungrateful past lovers to account that the pic morphs into a full-blown comedy. Posting invoices for all the money she spent on them, she’s greeted with derision by her former beaus. Undaunted, Ji-ni reinforces her demands for compensation with outrageous acts of personal harassment, most memorably spiking the Catholic priest’s wine with Viagra.

First-time helmer Gweon Jong-gwan does an effective job and the script never lags. Kim Seon-ah, whose previous roles have ranged from the sexy teacher in gross-out teen comedy “Wed Dreams” to a tough police commando in the futuristic “Yesterday,” is a delight as the not-too-perfect Ji-ni — Sandra Bullock springs to mind for a potential U.S. remake — and each of the three male leads is aces. All tech credits are impeccable.

The “S” of the title is never explained, though it could stand for either “Sex” or “Secret.” Sources close to the production claim it could also stand for “Seon-ah,” as helmer Gweon specifically wanted a project suitable for actress Kim Seon-ah.

S Diary

South Korea

Production: A CJ Entertainment release and presentation of an I Film production. (International sales: CJ, Seoul.). Produced by Jeong Hun-tak. Directed by Gweon Jong-gwan. Screenplay, Gweon, Park Seong-gyeong.

Crew: Camera (color), Kim Hun-gwang, Im Chan; editor, Mun In-dae; music, Pinocchio; art director, Kim Nam-gyeong. Reviewed at Tokyo Film Festival (Winds of Asia), Oct. 26, 2004. Running time: 107 MIN.

With: With: Kim Seon-ah, Kim Su-ro, Lee Hyeon-woo, Gong Yu, Na Mun-heui, Kim Mi-gyeong, Kim Gwang-il, Jeong I-min.

More Film

  • TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT

    China Box Office: ‘Bumblebee’ Flies on to $138 Million Total

    “Bumblebee” flew to its third weekend of dominance in China. But the Chinese box office remains in lackluster mode at the start of 2019. The spinoff from Paramount’s “Transformers” franchise earned $16.1 million in Chinese theaters between Friday and Sunday, according to date from exhibition and distribution consultancy Artisan Gateway. That was a 38% drop [...]

  • Mara Watkins Nabhaan Rizwan Steven Wouterlood

    Diverse Talents Pepper Variety's Fifth 10 Europeans to Watch List

    Variety has unveiled its fifth edition of 10 Europeans to Watch, spotlighting 10 rising talents from across the continent who are poised for breakthroughs in 2019. The selection includes emerging actors, directors, showrunners and cinematographers from six countries whose dynamic talents are being showcased on screens big and small, and on both sides of the camera. [...]

  • Glass Movie

    Box Office: 'Glass' Shines Overseas With $48.5 Million Weekend

    After autobots and aquatic kings have dominated foreign markets over the past few weeks, a different kind of hero has risen to the top of box office charts. M. Night Shyamalan’s “Glass” is the new champ overseas, pulling in $48.5 million from international territories. The supernatural thriller, a sequel to 2000’s “Unbreakable” and 2016’s “Split,” debuted [...]

  • Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, Marco Graf

    'Roma' and 'The Favourite' Lead London Critics' Circle Winners

    After ruling the U.S. critics’ award circuit, “Roma” continued its dominance on the other side of the pond, as the London Film Critics’ Circle announced its winners tonight. A week after landing seven BAFTA nominations, Alfonso Cuarón’s Mexico City memory piece landed film of the year and director of the year honors from the group [...]

  • M. Night Shyamalan Should Stop Writing

    The Big Twist M. Night Shyamalan Needs: He Should Stop Writing His Own Scripts (Column)

    Quick, name the greatest film by each of the following directors: Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, David Lean, Robert Altman, Roman Polanski, Kathryn Bigelow, Jonathan Demme. Answers will vary (mine would be: “Psycho,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Nashville,” “Chinatown,” “The Hurt Locker,” “The Silence of the Lambs”), but whatever your taste, odds are that [...]

  • Andy Vajna Dead: 'Rambo' Producer and

    Andy Vajna, 'Rambo' Producer, Dies at 74

    Andy Vajna, executive producer of several “Rambo” films as well as “Total Recall” and several “Terminator” movies, died Sunday in Budapest after a long illness. He was 74. The Hungarian National Film Fund confirmed his death, calling him a “dominant figure in the Hungarian and international film industry” who was responsible for the development of [...]

  • Glass trailer

    Box Office: 'Glass' Dominates MLK Weekend With $47 Million

    M. Night Shyamalan’s “Glass” topped box office charts during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, collecting $40 million over the weekend for a four-day sum of $47 million. If estimates hold, “Glass” will come in behind “American Sniper” ($107 million) and “Ride Along” ($48 million) as the third-best showing for both January and MLK holiday [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content