Sunday, November 21, 2004

Viewed Please Teach Me English on DVD. Forced to choose an English nickname for her English class, our heroine comes up with "Candy" in an effort to break away from the plain Jane image that the class, and everyone else around her attribute to her. Candy is hyperimaginative, like Ally McBeal, and she lives in a fantasy world of romance and where real-life conflicts present themselves to her as impossible-to-beat video games or as overblown action dramas.

In class, Candy finally meets the boy she's "been waiting for." Elvis flirts with every woman he encounters; hence much of the story is about Candy's different efforts to get him interested in her exclusively. Sometimes she tries too hard, like when she commandeers a public bus to tail him when she suspects he is going to have a secret rendezvous with pretty blonde Cathy, their English teacher.

The movie pokes fun at the Korean's absurdly high regard for "public officials," and considers the need and value of learning English, a foreign language, in one's own native country -- which sounds better and more sincere to a Korean, "I love you," or "sarang he?" There is emphasis on strong family bonds, and it is also quite clear that learning the English language is not a result of Western cultural imperialism, but rather a reflection of the reality of the times; and that native English speakers (i.e., Europeans) are equally keen to master the Korean language as well.

Quite a fun movie with laughs and some melodrama, perhaps cliched in places, but it helped pass an afternoon easily.

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