As the new school year begins the 5th grade art teacher quits. Her replacement is a sexy male and all of the female staff and young girls instantly fall in love with him, including 5th grade homeroom teacher Ms. Yeo and one of her students Mi-nam.
That's a weird premise for a movie: a female teacher vs. a 10 year-old girl for the love of a grown man, but that's what we got. And somehow it works. From the very first scene LOVELY RIVALS travels at a neck break pace and never lets up. It's funny, unfocused, silly, slightly perverted, bizarre, surprisingly deep and in the end heartwarming. I'm not even sure what to think of it, but I think I liked it. At one moment it's fucking silly as shit and just a few seconds later it deadly serious...very bizarre style of storytelling. Overall, I wish the film had been more focused and the ending not quite as predictable.
Enough about the story, let's get to the acting: I really enjoyed everybody involved. I usually hate movies with kids in it, but all of these kids put in believable performances. Very impressive. I also really liked the two adults leads. Another favorite was the headmaster. He was only in a handful of scenes, but he was really great.
I'm not sure what they put in the water over there, but South Korea has been churning out some impressive movies in the last decade. LOVELY RIVALS wasn't a great film or anything, but if this same story had been made in America it would have starred Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler (maybe Matthew McConaughey - barf!!!) and been fucking schmaltzy and retarded as fuck.
If you're into Korean cinema and are looking for something lighthearted and enjoyable then I say it's worth a watch.