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FILM GUIDE ARCHIVE FEATURE NARRATIVE

MY DEAR ENEMY

TFF 2009 Directed by Yoon-ki Lee
FILM GUIDE ARCHIVE MY DEAR ENEMY [TFF 2009]
Lee Yoon-Ki's (This Charming Girl) deadpan comedy trails a pair of former lovers—he's a charismatic romantic and she's a no-nonsense realist—who bump into each other one year down the road. Hee-su wants back a hunk of cash she lent him, but perpetually penniless Byung-woon is unable to settle his debt. Refusing to leave Hee-su in the lurch, he carts her around Seoul on a day-long urban road trip to borrow small amounts from various acquaintances. As both day and debt are whittled down, the pair fall back into old patterns, rehash unsettled gripes, and slowly come to see each other in a new light.

Based on the short novel by Taira Azuko, My Dear Enemy is an exercise in subtle comedy, anchored by the delightful chemistry of the pitch-perfect lead performers. Jeon Do-youn, as the sensible, even-tempered Hee-su counterbalances the hysterical mother of a murdered child she played in Secret Sunshine, for which she was named best actress at Cannes in 2007. Ha Jung-woon, too, is winning as the compulsively likeable, if unfailingly inept Byung-woon (a role also in stark opposition to his previous outing as the serial killer antagonist in Hong-jin Na's The Chaser). During their day of piecemeal debt collection, they slowly unfold their characters' nuanced relationship. Truly this is a romance for a recession age.
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Lee Yoon-Ki's (This Charming Girl) deadpan comedy trails a pair of former lovers—he's a charismatic romantic and she's a no-nonsense realist—who bump into each other one year down the road. Hee-su wants back a hunk of cash she lent him, but perpetually penniless Byung-woon is unable to settle his debt. Refusing to leave Hee-su in the lurch, he carts her around Seoul on a day-long urban road trip to borrow small amounts from various acquaintances. As both day and debt are whittled down, the pair fall back into old patterns, rehash unsettled gripes, and slowly come to see each other in a new light.

Based on the short novel by Taira Azuko, My Dear Enemy is an exercise in subtle comedy, anchored by the delightful chemistry of the pitch-perfect lead performers. Jeon Do-youn, as the sensible, even-tempered Hee-su counterbalances the hysterical mother of a murdered child she played in Secret Sunshine, for which she was named best actress at Cannes in 2007. Ha Jung-woon, too, is winning as the compulsively likeable, if unfailingly inept Byung-woon (a role also in stark opposition to his previous outing as the serial killer antagonist in Hong-jin Na's The Chaser). During their day of piecemeal debt collection, they slowly unfold their characters' nuanced relationship. Truly this is a romance for a recession age.
Film Information
Year: 2008
Length: 123 minutes
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea
Premiere: New York
Cast & Credits
Primary Cast: Jeon Do-youn, Ha Jung-woo
Director: Lee Yoon-ki
Screenwriter: Park Eun-yeong
Producers: David Cho, Cho Kwang-hoe, Oh Jung-wan
Co-Producers: Kim Kwang Seop, Shin Kang Yeong, Lee Nam Ki, Ro Tae Soek
Executive Producer: Cho Eun-un
Contacts

Director
Yoon-ki Lee
jiyoon@finecut.co.kr

Director
Yoon-ki Lee
jiyoon@finecut.co.kr

About the Director(s)
Lee Yoon-ki (b. 1965, Daejeon, South Korea) earned his MA in business administration at the University of Southern California. After returning to Korea, he worked as a producer and director of several short films. His first feature, This Charming Girl, attracted lots of attention from major film festivals, including Sundance and Berlin. His second feature, Love Talk, was invited to compete at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, and his third feature, Ad Lib, was critically acclaimed.

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