Movie Review: Please Teach Me English (2003 Korean With English Subtitles)

Posted: February 23, 2013 in Comedy, Romance

please teach me english

Yeong Ju Na (Na Yeong Lee) is a Korean civil service employee who is ordered to take an English as a second language class to better serve her English speaking clients in Korea.  Yeong Ju is a Plain Jane, who’s never had a boyfriend, so it’s no surprise that she immediately falls for a shoe salesman who’s a silver tongued Romeo named Moon Su.  (Hyuk Jung) Moon Su is always on the prowl for a new girl, and it seems like he is more interested in the English teacher, named Catherine (Angela Kelly) and not Yeong Ju.

As part of an exercise, all the Korean students are given English names.  Yeong Ju names herself Candy, and the teacher names Moon Su Elvis.  Try as she might, Candy doesn’t get Elvis’ attention, she even tries to dress provocatively, but Elvis just doesn’t think of her as a woman.  He is really taking the class for a girl named Victoria, but who is Victoria, and does Candy stand a chance against the pretty Victoria who lives in America, and speaks fluent English.

I watch a lot of foreign films, often I find them to be superior to their American counterparts.  But Please Teach Me English simply doesn’t measure up.  It is an uneven film, light romantic comedy one minute, heavy drama the next.  Moreover the comedy is very broad, sometimes bordering on slapstick, and I was hoping for more subtle humor but was disappointed.  Also, I wasn’t quite convinced that the romance was being reciprocated at any point in the movie, the chemistry seemed forced.  There were some bad video game type graphics, and pop-up balloons which added to amateurish feel of the movie.  I thought the drama would center on Yeong Ju’s angst over being an average looking girl, trying to find romance, but instead another dramatic subplot was substituted and was unnecessary.  The acting was ok, nothing to write home about, but good enough. Most of the time foreign films are worth the trouble of reading subtitles while watching, not this one.

Please Teach Me English.  Lost In Translation.

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