‘Intimate Strangers’ gets too close for comfort

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‘Intimate Strangers’ gets too close for comfort


Actors from the film, including Yoo Hai-jin and Yum Jung-ah, attend a press event for “Intimate Strangers” earlier this month. [LOTTE ENTERTAINMENT]

People usually believe that they know every little detail about their family and closest friends. Director Lee Jae-kyu’s upcoming film, “Intimate Strangers” proves that all wrong.

Starring Yoo Hai-jin, Yum Jung-ah, Lee Seo-jin, Kim Ji-soo, Cho Jin-woong, Yoon Kyung-ho and Jiwoo as a group of childhood friends and their spouses, the movie begins when the friends gather at the fancy house of plastic surgeon Seok-ho (Cho) and his psychologist wife Ye-jin (Kim).

Once their friends gather at a large table to enjoy dinner, Ye-jin brings up the idea of playing a game. The rule is to reveal every text, phone call and social media notification that pops up on their smartphones throughout their dinner. She invites them all to join in on loudly reading out text messages and putting their calls on speakerphone for everyone to hear.

Though a bit reluctant, everyone’s desire to not be suspected of having any secrets, especially from their spouses, eventually leads them all to agree to participate.

Things start off fun. They get excited over learning new information that they had not known about each other. As time passes, however, the game leaves many of their loved ones feeling anxious and betrayed after learning too much about one another, and people start to get suspicious of their friends and spouses.

Ye-jin and Su-hyeon (Yeom), who is married to Seok-ho’s friend Tae-su, seem to share a close friendship. Although Ye-jin is far better off in terms of career and wealth, Su-hyeon shows respect and frankly expresses how much she envies her life.

However, Su-hyeon’s true feelings towards Ye-jin are later revealed to everyone at dinner when her friend calls up and brings up Ye-jin and all the negative things Su-hyeon said about her.

“To me, [my] smartphone is [my] closest friend,” said director Lee at a press event on Tuesday.


“Intimate Strangers” is a comical drama that unfolds based on the imagination of the outcome followed by sharing trivial information to their family and closest friends. [LOTTE ENTERTAINMENT]

“It seems to know me the best, but I sometimes hope to get away from this friend. Though a series of incidents that occur from a phone may sound preposterous, I hope the story could become an opportunity for people to reflect on their lives and that they feel comforted.”

Lee added, “I guess [the negative outcome of having to reveal all of the information a person has on their smartphone] is something that everyone has thought of at least once. The movie touches on my deep thoughts about whether sharing every trivial detail [of our lives] with other people is necessary.”

“Just like people need personal space, I believe that smartphones are private space,” said Yoo at the press event. “Personally, I think that the game [from the movie] is not desirable.”

Rated 15 and above, the comedic drama arrives in theaters on Oct. 31.

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]
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