Film Review: Hot for Teacher (AKA Who Slept With Her?)

   Many of cinema's greatest tales focus on mysteries. What exactly, Citizen Kane asks its audience, is Rosebud? In Kim Yoo-seong's feature Hot For Teacher (also known as Sexy Teacher) a conundrum is posed to the audience early on - who slept with her?

   The "her" in question is Ji-young portrayed by former Miss Korea Kim Sa-rang - an attractive female teacher who is assigned to an all boys high school and begins turning teenage heads instantly. The chaos her introduction to the hormone-flowing corridors of school comes to a crescendo of sorts when the Dean of Students notices something suspicious - a silhouette, the sound of female moaning and, upon inspection, an abandoned red stiletto. There's no shortage of suspects as to who the male candidate could be and, using less than subtle sleuthing, the Dean attempts to ascertain exactly - who slept with her?

   Kim's film, as anyone who has read either the title or the synopsis will understand, is hardly a subtle comedy masterpiece. It is, however, rather goofily funny - sometimes in a chucklesome way and, more often than not, in the "bizarre" meaning of the word. One pupil, for example, has the physical appearance of a man some three decades older than his apparent age and also sports a rather unfortunate defect of his anatomy which he has no control over.

   Anyone expecting the refined, cerebral humour of a Billy Wilder classic will, inevitably, find this comedy of oddness a significant letdown. For the more curious audience, and one who is willing to surrender any desire for coherence, will find much to enjoy in this highly unusual, perhaps demented, movie. Whilst Kim Sa-rang has little to do other than look good, which she does with the consistency of an award winning model, the supporting cast of Park Jun-gyu, Ha Seok-jin and Ha Dong-hoon all appear to be having a whale of a time with their committed performances.

   The enthusiasm is infectious and even if its not entirely possible to figure out exactly what this film is supposed to be, or what it is trying to achieve, Hot for Teacher is a wacky, curio of a movie that can be enjoyed as a bizarre, eccentric, albeit confused, 109 minute experience of the truly strange.

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