15 Classic Korean Romantic Films That Always Endears
Set up a year-end movie marathon with the best romantic Korean films that remain sweet and classy through the course of time.
Korean romantic films propelled Hallyu’s popularity. Although dwindling in numbers in the recent years. The love stories captured in films remain sweet to hearts, no matter how many times you watch it.
Archetypal Korean romantic films usually run on a bittersweet note. It drowns you with heart-fluttering moments and happy closures, but sometimes it also brings you down because of its sad ending.
As holiday season tends to make you crave for a me-time and just slouch in your room lazily, here are some endearing and timeless romantic Korean films, which are perfect to join your year-end solitude.
1. My Sassy Girl (2001)
“Fate is building a bridge of chance for someone you love”.
South Korea’s quintessential blockbuster romantic comedy launched the popularity of A-list actors Jun Ji Hyun and Cha Tae Hyun. It is also a perennial favorite for online recommendations for Korean romantic films. Divided in two parts plus an overtime, the film narrates the story of the girl who wallows on her past love heartbreak. She is saved by a young man who subconsciously involves himself to the girl, who arouses his protective instinct, even with her bossy attitude. It is a perfect date movie about losing love, coping on the loss, helping yourself with whatever you can to find love again.
2. The Classic (2003)
“Chance is a gift for those who try.”
Capturing unsurpassed romance, this film will make you think about flowers, summer walks and pure love. True to its title, it is an epic love movie that you can tell your grandchildren, be giddy and nostalgic about it.
A woman (Son Ye Jin) accidentally bumps on her mother’s letters and she gets to know her mother’s first love story. The Classic treats you with two love stories happening in different timelines. The sad first romance of the lead girl’s mother is given a chance when the heroine confirms mutual love with a man, who turns out to be the son of her mother’s first love.
3. Il Mare (2000)
Do you have a memory that you wish you can just abandon?
This beautifully narrated love story of time-crossed lovers is a nice watch in a lazy afternoon around the arms of someone you love. The high-concept plot of a man and a woman living in the same house two years apart engages in romance as they exchange love letters through a magical mailbox.
4. My Little Bride (2004)
An ordinary high school girl who worries about grades and crushes on her school’s baseball team ace is forced to marry a guy out of her grandfather’s wish. My Little Bride is a sweet tale of young love. It reminds us that sometimes we may become blinded or preoccupied to notice a “love” that has been there all along. If you are a fan of Kim Rae Won, you would love his trademark manly appeal in this delightful movie.
5. Daisy (2006)
Set in Netherlands, a street painter becomes the love interest of a secret service agent and a professional assassin.
Narrated gorgeously in a three view points, this heartbreaking love tale genuinely strips bubblegum romance yet it leaves an edifying aftermath. There’s not a single kiss scene, but this stunning film overflows with emotional connection for the love couple who missed their chance to love.
6. A Millionaire’s First Love (2006)
Hyun Bin portrays the role of a millionaire’s heir, but in order for him to have his fortune, his dead granny forces him to finish high school education in the suburb. There he discovers the past that he erased in his mind, and the truth that money can’t save the life of the girl he loves.
7. 100 Days With Mr. Arrogant (2003)
After dumping her boyfriend just before their 100 day anniversary, Ha Young (Ha Ji Won) meets a college guy when she accidentally kicks a can that hits him in the face, and causes a scratch on his pricey Lexus. He demands she pays him on the spot and writes up an “Enslavement Agreement” in order to pay for the damage to his car. She gets into a nightmarish slave life for 100 days, cleaning his house, running his errands, doing his homework and cleaning his car. This quirky rom-com brims with charming appeal perfect for a day of regaining your energy.
8. Someone Special (2004)
This flick is one of the wittiest and funniest screenplay that I’ve ever seen. It keeps teasing your heart with its genuine storytelling. The amusing dying conflict and the secret love plot hilariously complement the engaging portrayals of the main leads.
When a baseball player learns the bad news that he is about to die, he creates a connection with a bar girl who has long harbored admiration towards him. The journey for the man to repay the longtime adoration of the woman is cleverly written with enough humor that makes the movie engaging.
9. A Moment to Remember (2004)
A Moment To Remember is a love story of a devoted husband who stays with her wife, even when she is slowly forgetting that he exists in her life. This story will surely drain your tear ducts, but the superb portrayals of Jung Woo Sung and Son Ye Jin gravitate you to the beautiful yet sad love premise.
10. 200 Pounds Beauty (2006)
A voice talent who has weight problems works hard to emerge fit. She becomes prettier to avenge her broken heart. This hell-hath-no-fury-when-former-fat-girl-turned-fit-now chick-flick is an encouraging film for women who are trying to cope up with their self-esteem. With flashes of romance here and there, the love fulfillment is sweetly achieved, even with the intentional revenge seasoning.
11. Lost and Found (2008)
It is ever moving with no dull moment. From the feisty female lead, sweet lead man and hot second male lead, this is the kind of Christmas gift you would promise to open on Christmas day, but when no one is looking out, you will open sneakily to see what it is.
A woman takes an opportunity to pretend that she has an amnesia to get closer to her longtime crush. But her neighbor who secretly loves her is determined to put up a fight to win the girl he has loved all his life.
12. Once in a Summer (2006)
It is one of the sweetest “summer love” movie I’ve seen, unfortunately the romance is not happy ending though, just like a sweet melancholic tale of finding love and holding on to it even if it is long gone.
A television staff is forced to promise that she can feature a famous professor in a TV program to compensate for her abysmal performance. The aloof professor declines at first to remember his long lost love but is eventually persuaded. He takes a trip down to the memory lane to reminisce the girl whom she loved one summer.
13. Christmas in August (1998)
Highly praised for its earnest characters and endearing yet bound to fade love, Christmas in August gives you a lesson of how important it is to reciprocate love when you have the chance. I have prepared myself that it could be a dragging narrative since it is an old flick, but the fetching capture of the poignant scenes won me over along with the vibrant emotions of the love couple.
A middle-aged photographer who lives with his father prepares himself to his eventual death. But he meets a woman who gives him the best moments of his routine life. Unfortunately, time is not on his side.
14. Daddy Long Legs (2005)
A radio scriptwriter dreams of meeting the guy who helped her pay her tuition in college. She accidentally bumps into emails that tells about a girl’s longtime admiration over a guy. When she thought she is finally meeting her daddy-long-legs, she learns it was her daddy-long-legs who wrote the emails that she stumbled on, narrating how he has been loving her from afar. Although running on despondent note, it is one sweet story that you should not miss.
15. Lover’s Concerto (2002)
Tied with friendship, secret adoration and almost love, this beautifully written charmer will fill you up with rose petals. Two sickly friends fall in love with the same guy. The guy gets rejected when he confessed his feelings to one of the girls, but the three remain good friends. Years later, he embarks on a journey to meet his old friends, but he is confronted with a sad secret about them. This film is a touching tale of friendship and an unfortunate missed-chance to claim a fated love.
Now, grab some popcorn and take a pick on these nostalgic Korean romantic films this holiday season ~