The title of this movie, “Rules of Dating” is a bit of a misnomer, as there are no rules really, more the differences of views between our two main characters. Indeed, the movie title is named by the subtitles as "to do or not to do" which is a much more accurate description.
Lee, a teacher, is in a long standing relationship, but has a wandering eye when it comes to the opposite sex. He doesn't want love from them, nor is he looking for any spiritual connection, rather intense physicality in a motel, car or wherever he can. Choi, a trainee teacher, is tutored by Lee and, like him, she is in a relationship but is engaged to be married soon. However, unlike Lee, she doesn't believe in sex without love and spurns his initial advances, much to his dismay and frustration. However, we soon learn, during this cat and mouse struggle, our characters aren't quite how they appear.
Well I suppose you'd call this a romantic movie, possibly a comedy, but having watched it, it's not quite so easy to label it. It has its own unique charm, but I can't say I hated or enjoyed it, as to be blunt, it's really quite weird and hard to elaborate without spoilers. Maybe it has a lot to do with the Asian cultures, but I can't think of a love story that involves a rape allegation. This makes me sound negative, but as I said, it is quite weird.
Acting wise, our leads are superb and engaging, with lee being both being unsympathetic and sympathetic during the movie, indeed when we see his change in attitude towards Choi, we know how he feels even when he isn't displaying it to her, due to typical male behaviour. Choi, is shy and coy with an air of innocence to her, yet she slowly develops into a character that we begin to hate, yet we understand and sympathise with why she changes into this person. Asian movie fans will certainly recognise her from "Oldboy" and she is certainly prettier here than I recall from the aforementioned film.
The only real problem I have with this movie is its inherent peculiarity, which I've alluded too. maybe I should say that it's a love story in the same way that "True Romance" is a love story, as I can't honestly think of anything else that I can compare it with - don't misunderstand me, this isn't a drug fuelled, violent love story. It's just far removed from a Hanks/Ryan love story.
A small word of warning, there is a sex scene or 2 in the movie and while neither are exceptionally graphic, you may wish to bear this in mind when watching. The other thing, be aware that the camera isn't the steadiest in the world either - in fact it can be quite disconcerting.
So, as I said, I neither hated nor loved this movie. It may well be a comedy, but if it is, I didn't get it and if it is a generic Asian romantic movie, then I guess I'm not quite used to this side of their cinema. Having said that, it does end ambiguously upbeat (thinks "As Good As It Gets") and may well give you a warm, fuzzy feeling, but prepare to go "Eh?" a lot.
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