Lovely Rivals

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Lovely Rivals
Lovely Rivals movie poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Hangul VS
Hanja VS
Revised Romanization Yeoseonsaeng vs Yeojeja
McCune–Reischauer Yŏsŏnsaeng vs Yŏjeja
Directed by Jang Kyu-sung
Produced by Kim Mi-hee
Written by Lee Won-jae
Jang Kyu-sung
Starring Yum Jung-ah
Lee Se-young
Lee Ji-hoon
Music by Jo Yeong-wook
Cinematography Lee Du-man
Edited by Ko Im-pyo
Distributed by CJ Entertainment
Release date
  • November 17, 2004 (2004-11-17)
Running time
109 minutes
Country South Korea
Language Korean

Lovely Rivals (Hangul여선생 vs 여제자; RRYeoseonsaeng vs. Yeojeja; lit. "Female teacher vs. female student") is a 2004 South Korean comedy film about a harsh teacher and her headstrong 5th grade student who battle for the affection of the school's handsome new teacher.[1] The film attracted 1,175,580 admissions in 2004.[2]

The scene in which the character Yeo Mi-ok is caught on camera slapping her student was based on a similar real-life incident from earlier in the year in which a teacher repeatedly punched a student in the face.[3]


On the first day of the new elementary school year in Korea, Ms. Yeo Mi-ok (Yum Jung-ah) lays down the law to her students. She is strict and demanding. When her new student Go Mi-nam (Lee Se-young) arrives late and calmly takes her seat, Yeo ignores Mi-nam. Assigned bathroom cleaning duty as punishment, Mi-nam beats up the girls who taunt her and forces them to clean instead. At home we see that Mi-nam lives with her mother, who rarely has time for her because of the hours she must work at the food and alcohol tent she owns.

Back at school, the newest male teacher Mr. Kwon Sang-min (Lee Ji-hoon) is causing a stir with his handsome good looks, and every female teacher and student is falling for him. Mi-nam tries to apologize and unburden herself to Ms. Yeo, who ignores her while trying to impress Mr. Kwon. Mi-nam decides to compete for him as well, even getting his cellphone number. Mr. Kwon goes to Ms. Yeo for advice on how to deal with the students' affection, not realizing she likes him too. The teacher and the student start a heated rivalry that climaxes when Ms. Yeo slaps Mi-nam in class—and is recorded doing so on a student's cellphone camera.

She resigns from the school but eventually makes amends with Mi-nam and returns to teach.



  1. ^ Kim, Tae-jong (18 November 2004). "Lovely Rivals Wins Over Local Audience's Hearts". The Korea Times via Hancinema. Retrieved 2013-01-11. 
  2. ^ "Commercial Releases in 2004: Ranked Box-Office Results". Retrieved 2013-01-11.
  3. ^ "Video Clip of Assault Gets Teacher Fired". The Chosun Ilbo. 1 April 2004. Retrieved 2013-01-11. 

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