Please Teach Me English

Reviewed by: sukting

May 31, 2009

Rating: two-point-five

How long : 1h 30min


This comedy is about learning English in Korea. Mun-su and Young-su are interested in the language but Mun-su is learning it for another purpose. What is it?


Mun-su (Jang Hyuk) and Na Young-ju (Lee Na-young)are classmates in the same English class in a private school. Mun-su only likes to woo pretty girls. So he is close to the salesgirls in his shoe shop, getting all their attention. He is unaware that Young-ju is interested in him. She will often smile dreamily when doing her English homework.

Seeing that her shoes are dirtied by the rain one day, he gets a pair of sports shoes for her. Through his experience, he knows that size 5 suits her. Her heart flutters after hearing him saying that. Still, she is down as she knows that her dull bespectacled look fails to attract him.

One day, Young-ju talks about a pig in her grandparents' farm that knows the English alphabets. The whole class follows her home to see it. Their English teacher(Angela Kelly)is keener than the rest as she wants to know if it can form words too. But the pig is eaten before their arrival. Young-ju has lied as she only wants Mun-su's attention. They then want her to produce another genius. Since there are many pigs, they are sure that she can create another soon.

Young-ju trains a piglet frantically. Mun-su finds out but still helps her as he feels sorry for her. However, the pig runs off after they are successful. Their English teacher befriends a farmer who helps to catch the pig. After catching it, Young-su is pleased that it hasn't let her down to know the alphabets. The whole class has a celebration party with Young-ju's family.

During the return journey, Young-ju finds Mun-su looking at a woman’s photograph. She mistakens her as his girlfriend. Mun-su boasts that the woman is more beautiful than in the photo. She is a high-flying lawyer from New York. She is coming to Korea soon to meet him.

That night, Mun-su’s mother (Na Moon Hee, she acts as Zhen Xian’s mother in ‘My name is Kim Sam Soon’.)gets a call from the woman. She gets excited but is dismayed that she speaks no Korean. Mun-su can only speak in halting English –How do you do? His mother starts regretting giving her away when young. Her husband ran away with another woman. Unsure of how to bring up two children, she gives her away.

They finally get in touch with her through a lot of help. Mun-su gets impatient with his mother for keep dwelling on the past and quarrels with her. After getting a slap, he asks Young-ju out to recall how they will speak English in different situations. This scene is sure gross when he imagines himself to remove her bra as she is wearing a bikini. But when giving a choice to choose the correct answer bra, he selects the wrong answer so he has to give up the thought!

A upset Young-ju has no mood after knowing that he is attached. So she skips classes and her English teacher has to look for her. She changes her mind to return to school again. Mun-su asks her to sit beside him - just like the same as how their usual lessons go all along. Her heart isn't settled although she wants to give him up.

A month later, Young-ju sees Mun-su's mother at a hotel. She is well dressed in a hanook. Mun-su's mother is meeting the woman she has seen in the photograph. Mun-su has not arrived yet so Young-su presumes that he is coming for a match-making session.

Victoria, her Korean name Moon-young (Kim In Mun)is finally in Korea. She speaks no Korean and requests Young-ju to translate. Mun-su's mother wants Young-su to tell her how much she misses her. Young-ju's English is as weak as Min-su's. She can only say that she looks more beautiful in the photo than she is in real life - which she means in the other way round.

Victoria becomes confused as Mun-su's mother has related in long sentences. How can she be summarizing everything in a sentence? Mun-su's mother goes to the ladies to wash her face as she is getting overly emotional. Blinded by jealousy, Young-ju tells Victoria that Mun-su's mother hates her because she is Korean but speaks no Korean which is unacceptable in their culture. Victoria tells her to tell them that she comes with hope but they also let her down. She leaves in a huff.

Mun-su's mother is astonished when she finds Victoria no longer there. Mun-su arrives to see his mother weeping. Young-ju goes into hiding as she knows that she has done something wrong. Mun-su and his mother are shattered that Victoria has just checked out. His mother gets so badly affected that she sits on the sofa with a blank expression. Victoria gives one last glance at her family, before leaving with her luggage. Young-ju stops her taxi by standing in front of it. She tells Victoria that everybody is waiting for her. She is actually lying to her.

Victoria goes back in and hugs them after Min-su informs her how their mother misses her by looking at her photo and crying daily. She calls them 'omma'- mother and 'oppa'-elder brother which she has learned specially before coming here. The three are finally happily reunited.

Young-ju slips away after leaving her shoes with Young-su and walks on the street barefooted. She is oblivious to others staring at her bare feet. She decides to let everything go by returning the shoes back to Mun-su and boards a MTR home.

Although Young-su feels bad for losing her love, she is happy that her guilt is removed. Mun-su looks for Young-ju with a box in the MTR. He confesses that Victoria is not his girlfriend by shouting aloud. She is his long-lost younger sister from New York. How can he be toying with his sister although he is a player? That really makes all passangers laugh.

Young-su hides in vain behind a man's newspaper. After finding her, Mun-su helps her to put on the shoes that he brings along. Unlike the sports shoes that he has given her earlier, he has gotten a new pair of feminine red high heel shoes. They kiss each other when Young-su takes the initiative to try the feeling of a kiss. The passangers on the train cheer for them.

The couple get married and have a baby girl. They are now at the park and Young-su forgets to get her diapers. Poor Young-su has to run to his car which is far away to get it.

The ending shows their Korean teacher marrying a middle-aged farmer. To his surprise, she can speak Korean well. A taxi driver claims that he has to shuttle visits to Canada as he is sending his family there to learn English. Another student is going China to learn Mandarin.

Conclusion :
It can be comical but many scenes can be over the top. The jokes are gross. Cab you accept the Koreans speaking English in their hanooks? It also shows that many Koreans really need to brush up their English if they wish to communicate with the outside world.

The approaching ending is bewildering. Can the bellhop allow a customer to stand in front of a taxi which is supposed to be driven away? I must confess that I have never liked Na-young in 'Ireland'. She still looks foolish in here. Jang Hyuk is only reprising his old role as in ‘A bright girl’s success’. Only watch this movie if you feel bored or you want a change from watching weepies.

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