×
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

  • Gabrielle Union Marketing Summit

    Listen: How Gabrielle Union Bet on Herself and Changed Her Brand

    Actress Gabrielle Union said she was nearly 17 years past the expiration date of her mass appeal when she got the brand partnership of her dreams. “They tell you that after 26, ‘Honey, hang it up,'” Union said on the latest episode of the Variety podcast “Strictly Business.” The episode was recorded during a keynote [...]

  • HanWay Films Boards Takashi Miike’s ‘First

    HanWay Films Boards Takashi Miike’s Cannes-Bound ‘First Love’

    HanWay Films has boarded sales on Takashi Miike’s “First Love,” which has been selected for Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes. HanWay has worldwide rights excluding Asia. Jeremy Thomas’ Recorded Picture Company is re-teaming with Miike on the picture, which will have its world premiere in Cannes. The film marks the fourth collaboration between the prolific Japanese [...]

  • Newport Film Festival Honorees 2019

    Newport Beach Film Festival Honors Five Artists, Kicks Off With Sundance Hit 'Luce'

    The Newport Beach Film Festival, which kicks off April 24 and continues through April 27, will honor five talented artists who will be on hand to accept their awards. The event kicks off opening night with the West Coast premiere of Sundance indie hit “Luce,” a provocative racial drama from director Julius Onah starring Naomi [...]

  • Newport Beach Film Festival Illustration

    Newport Beach Film Festival Gathers a Global Following

    Now celebrating a landmark 20th year, the Newport Beach Film Festival, which runs April 25-May 2, has become a major fixture on the crowded festival circuit and is increasingly recognized internationally as one of the leading lifestyle film fests in the U.S. This year it will spotlight more than 350 films from some 55 countries, [...]

  • Photographer: Guy Godfree. In shot: Zoey

    Tribeca Film Festival: 9 Movies to Watch

    The Tribeca Film Festival kicks off on Wednesday with a slate of movies from up-and-coming filmmakers and established directors that tackle hot-button issues such as gun violence, homophobia, and gender discrimination. The annual celebration of film was originally founded by Robert De Niro and producer Jane Rosenthal to encourage people to return to a corner [...]

  • Tribeca Film Festival'Venus in Fur' film

    Tribeca Film Festival: 10 Music Docs We’re Excited to See

    While the Tribeca Film Festival usually has strong music entries, this year has such a bounty that narrowing our top picks down to 10 was a challenge. This year’s offerings range from documentaries on the legendary Apollo Theater, the Wu-Tang Clan and Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman to music-adjacent films like Danny Boyle’s “Yesterday” (about [...]

  • Abigail Disney on Bob Iger

    Abigail Disney Calls Robert Iger's Pay 'Naked Indecency' in Op-Ed

    After stirring a flurry of reactions over her Tweets calling out wage inequality at the Walt Disney Co. on Sunday, Abigail Disney, a filmmaker and philanthropist who is the grand niece of Walt Disney, penned an opinion column outlining her arguments against Disney’s pay practices. In her op-ed, which was published in the Washington Post [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content