Aju teukbyeolhan sonnim   2006   South Korea Ad Lib Night
Ad Lib Night Image Cover
Additional Images
Director:Yoon-ki Lee
Studio:KBS Sky
Writer:Yoon-ki Lee, Azuko Taira
IMDb Rating:6.7 (203 votes)
Awards:1 win
Duration:99 min
Location:South Korea: Seoul
Yoon-ki Lee  ...  (Director)
Yoon-ki Lee, Azuko Taira  ...  (Writer)
Il-hwa Choi  ...  
Ju-bong Gi  ...  
Hyo-ju Han  ...  The Girl
Jung-ki Kim  ...  
Young-min Kim  ...  Gi-yeong
Da-hyeon Kwon  ...  
Sang-ho Choi  ...  Cinematographer
Comments: Yoon-ki Lee is a sit back and observe kind of auteur, a method he used to great effect when he directed Kim Ji-su in This Charming Girl. There is no one the caliber of that actress here, and character studies need strong actors to make them shine. Han Hyo-ju, the lead actress in Ad Lib Night is charming and competent, if perhaps a little low-key, but the film focuses on too many of her ad-lib family members at the expense of a clear center, spreading the interest too thin.

The story is intriguing, though. Han Hyo-ju plays a young woman enlisted by two men to play the role of a dying man's estranged daughter. She looks just like the dying man's real daughter and the two men assume she can fill in undetected because the dying man's mind and eyesight are decaying rapidly. The men want to give the dying man his last wish of seeing his daughter before he passes. It's unclear why the girl accepts the challenge or why she ends up taking it more seriously than the real family members do, or expect her to. Her revelation at the end of the film is more like a postscript than a movie explaining motivation.

The film is slow paced, getting a little lost in the middle amidst the family gathering, but there's nothing deal-breakingly wrong with the film. If it had been more tightly controlled, the revelation at the end might have tied things up with better results. I will probably watch it again, as I am a big fan of This Charming Girl and the director's 2008 film My Dear Enemy. I think knowing the girl's motivation from the beginning may result in a different viewing experience.


Summary: Approached on the street by two strangers who insist that she is someone she is not, a sympathetic young woman from Seoul agrees to pose as the runaway daughter of a dying old man who longs to see his child one last time in director Lee Yoon-ki's adaptation of Taira Azuko's short story. Gi-yeong (Kim Yeong-min) is certain that the girl he has met on the street (Han Hyo-ju) is Myeong-eun, but he is mistaken. Despite Myeong-eun's mistake, however, the amiable young woman agrees to accompany the insistent man and his brother to the old man's home so that he may see her face and die a peaceful death. Upon arriving at the dying man's home, it immediately becomes obvious just how dysfunctional the two men's family truly is.

Search: AmazonMRQERoviAsianmediawikiHanCinemaWikipediaMetacritic