The Art of Seduction


Reviewed by: sukting

February 15, 2009

Rating: two-point-five

Foreword

Min-Jun (SONG Il-Kook) and Ji-Won (SON Ye-Jin) are the "players" who are dating experts with 100% success rates in any dating pursuits. Following her usual tactics, Ji-Won fakes a car accident to capture Min-Jun's attention and successfully approaches him.

However, her smooth-sailing dating life finally meets obstacles. Why in the world is this guy not succumbing to her charm? Ironically enough, Min-Jun is also overwhelmed by the understanding that he has met his match. However, like the veteran players that they are, these two shouldn't show any signs of weakness in their dating tactics. Who will emerge victorious and become the last player standing?

Story

Han Ji-Won (Son Ye-Jin) and Seo Min-Jun (Song Il-Kook) are two individuals who are able to attract and seduce any guy/girl respectively. Both of them get easily bored and dump their prey easily. Min-Jun is living a double life of sorts. By day, he is a successful and well-respected architect. By night, he's a Korean Casanova, whose amazing skills in the art of seduction are seemingly unmatched. Min-Jun starts with seducing a boring-looking psychiatrist, lying that he can’t get over his dead girlfriend and she is the one to heal him. Needless to say, he ends up having sex with her right in her office!

Ji-Won is like his female twin. She gets all her deals using her charm as a banker. She knocks into a guy’s (Yoon Yeong-joon from ‘Lovers in Paris’) car and flies kisses at him to prevent paying him the car damages. The poor man has massive nose bleeding and his car is totally ruined as the types are flattened and the car rear has terrible scratches.

Another customer – a farmer (Park Young Woo) keeps digging money that he has buried in his farm when she demands him to get more money for investments. This man has fallen for her hopelessly and the money he gets is contained in a chest. Ji-Won frowns as the notes contain dirt but still puts up a smile. It is hilarious when the amount rolls from millions to a billion!

Ji-won’s colleague working at the credit card department, Min-woo (Park Joon-Gyu) is also wooing her without success. Min-jun’s father, Rae Pyo (Noh Joo-Hyun) is pleased that his son takes after him. He also often gets Min-jun to pretend to be the doctor to declare him as terminally ill in order to chase his prey away too.

Naturally, the two meet each other – when she pretends to be injured by his car. Realizing soon enough, they have met their match and in turn, a quirky and chaotic process ensues in determining the winner. Of course Ji-wan and Min-jun seem to be interested in one another, but the two will not let themselves be seduced by each other that easily. They just know the opponent's tricks too well and so they always have to be one step ahead of each other. They make a bet – if he wins, she has to do his bidding while she will get an expensive handbag if he is defeated.

Ji-won makes Min-jun turn up for a ‘charity audition’ event. Min-jun is disturbed to see all females turning up. She gets him into a room after exclaiming how fit he is. But Min-jun is dismayed to see more muscular men there, going work-outs. When he is led to the stage, he feels like a slave under the different women’s mercy as they shout out his ‘value’.

He looks at Ji-won with a pleading look, hoping that she will bid for him. Yes, she does at 4 million won but a woman in her 50s outbid her to be the winner. He is forced into her car and sips wine nervously. This lady keeps touching his foot as he tries to retract from her. What a change of events when her face changes upon knowing his name – he is actually her son’s classmate! Min-jun heaves a sigh of relief after promising her that he will not tell her son about this and getting off her car!

Ji-won is frightened upon seeing his number on her handphone when she is at the discotheque with her friend, Tae Young. (Hyun Young) She wonders what he is up to. Min-jun manages to track her down to see her dancing sexily on stage – for the sake of winning a Europe air ticket. Feigning to be ill as she is drenched by water splashed on her on the stage, she wants to avoid him. Knowing her scheme, he carries her over his shoulder to bring her to hospital.

How naughty he is to claim that he is her husband and wants her to take a jab right on the butt! He pounces on him while she resists in vain. Teething for revenge, she pours some medicine into his can drink. This results in him vomiting foams and has to be rescued. She knows that she is too much but has the pleasure to see him tortured.

Min-jun calls her for a date over the weekend. She lies that she has a meeting in Jeju while he agrees to meet her there with frozen crabs. Later, he calls her again to claim that he has to take care of his sick father. Min-jun ends up feeling bored at home, looking hungrily at commercials on how the crabs are being cooked. She is dismayed to get his call later to know that he is now in Jeju.

He has played her out. She rushes to the airport – with the hair rolls on her hair. When someone else calls her, she thinks that he is Min-woo to call out Min-jun’s name. Min-woo is enraged and searches for Min-jun’s particulars on his computer. He also flies to Jeju under the terrible stormy weather and has to be knocked out by the air stewardess for his irritable behaviour.

The two miss their last flight home and there is only a room at the hotel. Min-jun uses all his 7 cards but is puzzled by they are not accepted by the machine. Ji-won forwards hers proudly to produce the same result. She then realises that it is Min-woo’s doing. Both are stranded in a low-cost motel, eating instant noodles. She complains about it so he runs out to pawn his expensive watch.

The pawnshop owner only offers a low price and he yells – how can this be as his is among the only 3 in the world? The owner shows off his watch of the same design – so where is the third? Min-jun has to give in. Both are then in a comfortable environment eating sushi when Ji-won demands for red wine. This time, he pawns his necklace. The poor man keeps running in the rain. Reality strikes them again when they are back at the small motel.

Min-jun manages to contact his father who braves in the rain in his small plane. He hands over women lingerie to Min-jun, hinting him to take the chance. With the money he has now, Min-jun books a lavish hotel suite and Ji-won dresses sexily, waiting for him in bed. She is alarmed when he faints as he is about to have his shower. He is feverish and she is touched to sleep with him for the night. Both decide to give each other 3 months.

They seek other preys on the same night but are astonished that their targets are actually another couple like them. Feeling bored, both walk out from the bar. They get to see his father kissing Tae Young at a corner. Both avoid them and decide that they are still the best for each other.

Min-jun admits as the loser and brings Ji-won to a shop to get her handbag. To his dismay, his cards are not working again. The same happens to Ji-won too. They have forgotten totally about Min-woo. He yells – how can they treat him as transparent as he is at his computer again. As for the farmer, he is digging the other side of his land to discover more cash, hoping to make Ji-won
his.

Conclusion :

The movie had a good length to it and did not end abruptly - which leaves the audience satisfied. I will recommend this because it keeps all entertained at most times. It is funny to see both Ji-won and Min-jun trying to get the other to submit to them, but finally they both fall in love. There are also a couple of romantic parts. But I have expected to see something different but what I see are still the daily elements that are repeated too many times. This causes the film to lose its steam as it progresses and the awfully acceptable runtime starts to drag. ‘The art of seduction’ is still not explored thoroughly.

The scene in which the two protagonists carry on with their argument in an imaginary sword fighting sequence on a lake. Both do have the ancient look. The allusions to "Hero" are obvious, but do not seem tacky at all, they are rather astonishingly well-done with a lot of attention to details!

At least, the chemistry is right between those two main characters although little sparks are formed. Their games are amusing, at times. But it is obvious who's going to win in the end and it's just strange that Min-jun ends up being pushed so far that you can't see his self-confidence at all. He lets Ji-won call the shots. Very irritating, especially as there doesn't seem to be any obvious reason for this change. But this may as well be the script's fault, as it only creates very flat and caricature-like characters.

But there is one who definitely stands out – he is Min-woo. He is definitely a terror that causes all to want to avoid him as much as possible. I don’t like Min-jun’s dad’s existence, though. He is a bad model – no wonder his son turns out to be like him. Others are easily forgettable and not worth mentioning.

In truth, the movie is a dedication to Ye-Jin’s charm. She is convincing in her role as the puppy-eyed vixen with her cutesy antics. She lights up the screen every time she appeared with adequate youth and slyness. I never realize that she has comic talent in her before watching this movie. Song Il-Kook may convince with his appearance as a Playboy, but in terms of acting there is much more to be desired. The scenes in which he laughs, are the worst ever. I have never seen a laugh this unconvincing. Maybe Il-Kook should stick to acting dramas and not attempt movies at all.

Sukting's ratings :
On acting : **1/2 (Scale of 5)
On story : **1/2 (Scale of 5)


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