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Next day, Hyuk-jin arrives at Jeongseon only to find himself stranded without his friends.
He reluctantly spends the night in the town, in a wrong guest house, as it turns out.
To add insult to injury, his awkward attempt to "pick up" the next-door neighbor (Kim Kang-hee) results in an ego-damaging brush-off by her thuggish companion (Tak Seong-joon).
But Hyuk-jin's troubles are far from over, as the weird locals he encounters, including a motor-mouthed woman with nasty temper (Lee Ran-hee) and a good-natured truck driver (Sin Woon-seop), begin to pose threat not only to his financial security and mental stability but perhaps to his chastity (? Filmed extremely cheaply (with the total budget allegedly under 10 million won) over a couple of years by director Noh Young-seok with zero film-school background, Daytime Drinking won an audience award at the 2009 Jeonju Film Festival and landed a robust distribution deal, even though its box office performance did not measure up to the mind-boggling success of Old Partner, another extreme low-budget indie feature.
Daytime Drinking is definitely not a good showcase of filmmaking skills on the part of director Noh: in some aspects it's downright amateurish.
For instance, the camera seems to have trouble keeping a proper focus in some distant shots, resulting in blurred edges, as if we are seeing them through an opaque window.
The situation was particularly tough for mid-sized, genre-based commercial films, which in the previous few years had lost money for more often than they had earned it.
The film is full of these even-its-goofs-are-hilarious moments.
Park Si-yeon, foxily charming in Dazimawa Lee, here has to grapple with a role that cannot decide if Yuri is just a spoiled brat with a drug problem or a manipulative femme fatale. Or maybe that was a put-on, too, since we never see her once without looking like she just stepped out of a Vogue photo spread.
I suppose since she and Cheon-soo got to sip Pina Colada at Palua in the end, we shouldn't be asking these niggardly questions.
Even when the troubles keep piling up, the doofus kid always stays one-and-a-half steps behind the right response, making his expression of slow-burn befuddlement, when done right, both droll and sympathetic.
The film only loses its bearing in the last thirty minutes or so, when Hyuk-jin finally meets up with Ki-sang and visits the "right" "pension." This section features an embarrassingly inane "nightmare sequence," which probably could not have been done properly with the meager resources available to the crew, and the explanation of Ki-sang's real motivation that pivots on a disappointingly lazy storytelling device.