Penny Pinchers is a 2011 South Korean comedy-drama-romance film about a young man in his mid 20s named Ji-Woong (played by Soog Joong-Ki) and a penny-pinching woman around the same age named Hong-Sil (played by Han Ye-Seul). Ji-Woong is a college grad but just can't land a job and instead survives off money from his mother while he lives in a super-cheap low-income rooftop apartment. Still, he lives carefree, not taking life too seriously... until finally his mom has enough and cuts him off, and being several months behind in his rent he is evicted by his landlord.
In contrast, Hong-Sil works very hard every day and takes life quite seriously. She makes money in a variety of unusual ways, such as going through abandoned homes collecting stuff to sell, collecting recyclables, and some other ways which I didn't even understand. She is extremely frugal and pretty much never spends it on anything. She purposely has no friends and no boyfriend because she feels they just cause money to go to waste.
Ji-Woong and Hong-Sil live in adjacent rooftop apartments, so Hong-Sil witnesses Ji-Woong getting kicked out of his apartment and she knows he's hard up for cash, which is good for her because one of her schemes involves needing a bank account of some sort under someone else's name. I didn't really understand that part the first time through, but it wasn't too important. The key is that the two strike a deal where she'll create a bank account in his name and he has to follow her around for a couple months as she show's him how to make money in all these odd ways, as well as how to live frugally in order to keep the money.
Of course spending so much time together the two form a connection and a friendship which has its ups and downs. The actors are both really great and they make these characters truly believable throughout the entire emotional journey. They each have their quirks and they're just a fun pair to watch interacting together. I really loved the cinematography of the film. No matter where the scene takes place, in the city, in an office, in a van, or on the rooftop apartments up on a hill overlooking a valley full of buildings, the movie always looks great.
Romantic comedies usually tend to feel pretty generic, but this one really feels like it's different, like it's not even a romantic comedy. So even if you're not a fan of rom-coms, like myself, I'd still have to recommend checking this out. The DVD even has some nice extras, like a Making Of featurette, and Q&A session with the two leads, a press conference, and footage from the premiere.
- The Making of Penny Pinchers
- Q&A with Song Joong-ki and Han Ye-seul
- Press Conference
- Poster Shoot
- VIP Premiere Footage
- 2 South Korean Trailers
- Cast and Crew Bios
- 5 Points Pictures Trailers