Film Review: Please Teach Me English (Yeongeo Wanjeon Jeonbok)

   Please Teach Me English takes a well worn narrative path recognisable to anyone who has seen more than a handful of romantic comedies.

   The girl, in this instance Na Young-ju (Lee Na-young), is a slightly dowdy and eccentric, unlucky-in-love lady who falls head over heels for an arrogant, womanising man (Mun-su portrayed by Jang Hyuk). Mun-su fails to notice Young-ju's attraction to him, instead sporting a crush on a third lady, and, ultimately, it is up to our protagonist to convince him to abandon his foolhardy ways. Why can't he realise love was under his nose all along? So far, so standard.

   Young-ju and Mun-su, however, meet in a rather curious environment. After being unable to help a foreigner at the government office at which she works, Young-ju is ordered, much to her terror, to take English lessons. At class she meets Mun-su, an unruly student who clearly pines for their teacher (Angela Kelly). Young-ju is too shy, he is too crass. Yet, as they say, opposites attract. A caveat which could be added to that truism in this instance, however, could be: "but not instantly or without much soul searching".

   Whilst there are pleasing performances from our leads here and a certain value to watching region-specific inflections on well worn tropes, Please Teach Me English is a touch too formulaic, and reliant on "stock" characters, to illicit any real long-term affection for. An affable 118 minutes of viewing but little more than that.

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