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Rules of Dating

Though Asian romantic comedies have almost zero market in the West, except as remakes, "Rules of Dating" is well worth a look-see by programmers of Far East-friendly festivals. Pic was a surprising summer hit, with 1.5 million admissions (some $9 million).

With:
With: Park Hae-il, Gang Hye-jeong, Park Jun-myeong, Galina Park.

Though Asian romantic comedies have almost zero market in the West, except as remakes, “Rules of Dating” is well worth a look-see by programmers of Far East-friendly festivals. Dialogue-driven look at two wannabe lovers has a more free-ranging style than most slick Korean romancers, plus a standout performance by actress Gang Hye-jeong. Pic was a surprising summer hit, with 1.5 million admissions (some $9 million).

New high school teacher Choi Hong (Gang) is immediately targeted by a colleague, lothario Lee Yu-rim (Park Hae-il), who calmly suggests sex over dinner. After she turns him down, the two have accidental intimacy while drunk on a school outing. Their subsequent ups and downs — both have partners, and she’s due to marry a boring doctor — riff on the genre by making sex rather than romance the driving factor. Dialogue is frank, and the film’s easy flow, helped by a light guitar score and restless editing and lensing (with the camera like a voyeuristic third party), satisfyingly suspends belief. As the teach who likes sex but is worried by her lack of love, Gang carries the picture, with a nice line in put-down glances.

Rules of Dating

South Korea

Production: A CJ Entertainment release and presentation of a Sidus Pictures production. (International sales: CJ, Seoul.) Produced by Cha Seung-jae. Executive producer, Park Dong-ho. Co-executive producer, Lee Yong-woo. Directed by Han Jae-rim. Screenplay, Go Yun-heui, Han.

Crew: Camera (color, widescreen), Park Yong-su; editor, Park Gok-ji; music, Lee Byeong-woo; production designer, Jeon Su-ah; art director, No Sang-eok; costumes, Kim Jae-ah. Reviewed at CineAll 1, Bucheon, South Korea, July 19, 2005. Running time: 114 MIN.

With: With: Park Hae-il, Gang Hye-jeong, Park Jun-myeong, Galina Park.

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