Top Korean Romance Movies

Hello everyone and welcome back to another post by EonTalk! Today, I’ve got another highly requested content by the EonTalk community. Today’s post will be on “Top Korean Romance Movies.”

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As with the previous posts on other genres, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite Korean romance films that I believe are definitely worth checking out. A quick disclaimer, this list will be of Korean romance melodrama movies, and so, I refrained from including romance comedies in this video. I’ll have a separate post of Korean romcoms, so be on the lookout for that as well. 

Also, this list will include not only more recent films, but older ones as well. I’ve mixed the two to keep a good balance, and will be going back and forth between a more modern film and a more older one. Please remember that this list consists of not only my favorite romance/melodrama movies, but also ones that I thought were deserving of more recognition. These are composed of MY, PERSONAL favorites and are subjective to my totally biased opinions. If you have differing views and opinions, please respectfully leave them in the comments, and if you would like to further discuss, join the EonTalk Telegram group, where you can talk about Korean movie-related topics with a lot of K-film enthusiasts. 

That being said, let’s jump into today’s video on “Top Korean Romance Movies!”

 

#10

Starting off the list, the #10 film is the 2013 film <Very Ordinary Couple>.

<Very Ordinary Couple> was directed by No Deok, who also directed <The Exclusive : Beat the Devil’s Tattoo>, and stars the couple of Lee Min-Ki and Kim Min-Hee. As the title states, the movie is based on a “very ordinary couple,” and that’s where the entertainment of this movie is rooted. It does a great job at portraying the real-life relationships people go through, more specifically break ups and what comes after the break up. 

The synopsis is as follows:
Dong-Hee and Young are co-workers that have been secretly dating for three years. Keeping their love life on the DL, they had a hot relationship, but they broke up today. The next day, they meet at work as colleagues, and fuss and fight over small matters. A little while later, they start to feel a spark again, something that they didn’t feel when they were actually dating. Is it possible for a couple to break up, get back together, and have a successful relationship?

#9

The #9 movie goes to the 2011 film, <Always>.

Directed by Song Il-Gon, <Always> starred the power couple of So Ji-Sub and Han Hyo-Ju. Watching <Always> was like watching a classic Kdrama, and I believe this would’ve done great as a Kdrama as well. The movie just gives that vibe of an older Korean drama with its theme and tone, and I very much enjoyed it. One thing I’d like to point out is that I feel like the trailer of the movie gives away too much, so try and go into it blind if you can, pun unintended. <Always> truly shows how cruel fate can be.

The synopsis is as follows:
Chul-Min was a skilled boxer, but has closed his heart towards the world following some dark past. Jung-Hwa is slowly starting to lose her sight, but doesn’t let that bring her down. As Chul-Min was spending a lonely, mundane life, Jung-Hwa appeared like a miracle to his side. Chul-Min and Jung-Hwa, both with their own different hardships and challenges they must overcome, start to rely on each other to get through this hurdle called “life,” and shows each other that it is possible to love someone more than oneself.

#8

Next, the #8 film is another movie that does a really good job at portraying the realness of romantic relationships, the 2019 film <Tune in for Love>.

This more recent film was directed by Jung Ji-Woo, who also did <Eungyo>, <Heart Blackened>, and <4th Place>, and stars Kim Go-Eun and Jung Hae-In as the main leads. I’ve mentioned this movie a few times in my other videos, and have also made a review of the film, so I won’t go too in detail of this one. 

The synopsis is as follows:
The year was 1994 and the first day Yoo Yuhl hosted the radio show, “Music Album,” when Mi-Soo was working at a bakery, and fate brought her and Hyun-Woo together. The two show interest in each other, but the love-line is short-lived as the fate that brought them together, separates them. Years pass by, and the two run into each other again like a miracle. But their situations and timing does not allow the two to be together. As this process repeats itself over and over, the two rely on Yoo Yuhl’s radio show to keep in touch, and eventually, Mi-Soo and Hyun-Woo start a hot relationship. But how long will fate let it last this time?

#7

Moving along, the #7 movie is the 2001-released romance melodrama, <One Fine Spring Day>.

Known as one of the classic romance movies of Korean cinema, <One Fine Spring Day> was directed by Huh Jin-Ho, who’s responsible for other works such as <The Present>, <Forbidden Dream>, <The Last Princess>, and <Happiness>. This film is full of memorable quotes that’s still referenced to to this day, such as “라면 먹을래요?” which is used to ask someone to spend the night with them; 어떻게 사랑이 변하니? which translates to “How can love change?”; and “버스하고 여자는 떠나면 찾는게 아니란다” which means “Bus and girls aren’t something you chase after once they leave.” The film is an older one, and what I found with older movies is that they tend to be slow in progression. Thus, if you are not a fan of that slow-burn type of movie, this may seem a little boring to you. However, I must say, <One Fine Spring Day> does a great job at really portraying the “breaking up” emotions very well. 

The synopsis is as follows:
Sang-Woo is a sound engineer who lives with his grandmother, father, and aunt. One winter day, he meets a local radio producer named Eun-Soo. Eun-Soo, who was in the preparation stage to make a radio program that collects and plays nature sounds, goes on a trip to record the sound of nature with Sang-Woo. The two naturally gets closer, and spend the night together at Eun-Soo’s apartment. The two progress quickly to have a hot relationship, but as quickly the two fell for each other, the relationship doesn’t last as long. The seemingly eternal love-relationship eventually comes to a close, and Sang-Woo has an extremely hard time getting over his past love. 

#6

The #6 movie is the 2015 film, <The Beauty Inside>.

Directed by Baek Jong-Yeol, who does not have other feature film directorial works under his name, <The Beauty Inside> has a very unique premise. The film revolves around a person that wakes up to a new face and body every day. Because of the movie’s basis, you can probably guess that the film will have a lot of cast members. And you’re correct. To list just some, <The Beauty Inside> has the likes of Han Hyo-Ju, Kim Dae-Myung, Do Ji-Han, Bae Sung-Woo, Park Shin-Hye, Lee Bum-Soo, Park Seo-Joon, Kim Sang-Ho, Chun Woo-Hee, Juri Ueno, Kim Min-Jae, Cho Dal-Hwan, Lee Jin-Wook, Seo Kang-Jun, Kim Hee-Won, Lee Dong-Wook, Go Ah-Sung, Kim Ju-Hyuk, and Yoo Yeon-Seok. And that’s not even the full cast list. <The Beauty Inside> was also made into a Kdrama back in 2018, and although there are minor differences between the drama and movie, the overarching theme is mainly the same. 

The synopsis is as follows:
Woo-Jin’s body changes every time he wakes up. From being a man to a woman, to a child to an elderly, to even being a foreigner. Woo-Jin has had spent a difficult life since this curse has come upon him after his 18th birthday. This secret has been kept only between him, his mother, and his best friend. That is, until he meets ‘her’. He finally has found someone that he would like to share his secret with, and be together with for the rest of his life.

#5

Coming in at #5 of my list of favorite Korean romance films is the oldest movie on this list, <Il Mare>.

<Il Mare> was directed by Lee Hyun-Seung, who also directed <Hindsight>, and this movie went under my radar for the longest time before I discovered it when researching romance movies for this video. Upon watching, I had to include it in this list, as it is not only a great romance/melodrama, but gets you to really think. Also, the movie features the young Lee Jung-Jae and Jun Ji-Hyun, and the two were absolutely gorgeous. Of course, Lee Jung-Jae is very good looking and Jun Ji-Hyun is beautiful even to this day, but it was great to see their younger selves. The movie can be really confusing, as it’s kinda like time travel, but then not really, so be sure to really pay attention when watching. The movie was beautifully shot, and although the movie is now 20 years old, it’s aged very well.

The synopsis is as follows:
The year is 1997, and Sung-Hyun had just moved to his new home, named ‘Il Mare.’ There, he receives a very strange mail. The mail was from, or rather will be from, 2 years later, in 1999. The person who wrote the mail was Eun-Ju, who left the letter as she was moving out of ‘Il Mare.’ The two can’t believe each other, as it simply does not make sense that the two are communicating with two years of a gap in between them. However, as the two continue to converse through letters, they gradually start to get close and form a strong bond. 

#4

Moving onto the #4 spot, the #4 movie goes to the 2018 film <Be With You>.

This extremely emotional movie was directed by Lee Jang-Hoon, who’s only directorial work includes this movie, and stars the amazing So Ji-Sub and Son Ye-Jin. Based on the Japanese movie of the same name, I featured this movie on the Underrated Korean Movies video, and as mentioned on that video, this is a great example of a sad, emotional movie that’ll bring you tears without forcing it. 

The synopsis is as follows:
Before Soo-Ah passed away, she promised she’ll return on a rainy day. A year later on a summer day, as the rainy season began, Soo-Ah miraculously appears. However, Soo-Ah can’t remember who Woo-Jin, her husband, is. Nonetheless, Woo-Jin is just happy that his wife has returned to his side, and starts to share the story of their love story. As Soo-Ah hears the story of her and Woo-Jin’s first meeting, first date, and all their first moments of happiness, she begins to fall in love for her husband all over again. 

#3

Next, the #3 spot is the 2003 film, <The Classic>.

<The Classic> is just as the title claims it to be, a classic. Directed by Kwak Jae-Yong, who also did <Time Renegades>, <Windstruck>, and <My Sassy Girl>, <The Classic> starred the trio of Son Ye-Jin, Cho Seung-Woo, and Jo In-Sung. This film has one of the most iconic romance scenes of Korean cinema. That rain scene is a classic. The movie just has that ability of making you zone out and think back to the good ole days of when you first started falling in love.

The synopsis is as follows:
Ever since her father unexpectedly passed away, Ji-Hye lived with just her mom. When her mother leaves for an overseas trip,Ji-Hye decides to clean the attic to pass away the time. That’s when she finds her mother’s secret box. Inside the small chest is her mom’s memorabilia of her first love story, and through this, Ji-Hye is able to learn of her mother’s past love life. 

#2

And then there were two. Since we talked about an older film in the #3 spot, the #2 goes to a more modern film, <Architecture 101>.

Okay, <Architecture 101> may not be a newer film, since it was released nearly 8 years ago, but it’s still relatively new compared to some of the older films on this list. Directed by Lee Yong-Ju, who also directed <Possessed>, a very different type of movie, <Architecture 101> was the movie that really marked the start of popularity for Suzy and Jo Jung-Suk in terms of featured films. Suzy got the nickname “The Nation’s First Love” with this movie, and Jo Jung-Suk got his quirky image with his role in this film. <Architecture 101> just has a great way of making you reminisce and really touches your heart in a warm way when watching. 

The synopsis is as follows:
At the age of 20, the architecture major Seung-Min first lays his eyes on and falls for Seo-Yeon, a music major, in his “Architecture 101” class. As the two spend time doing homework together, the two gradually gets close. However, Seung-Min, who lacks confidence when it comes to girls, loses his opportunity to confess to his first love, and eventually the two grow apart. 15 years pass, and the two meet again. The now 35 year old Seung-Min is an architect, and Seo-Yeon has come to him to ask him to design her her new home. As the two start to plan for and build Seo-Yeon’s new house, the memories of their past blossoms. 

#1

And finally, the #1 Korean romance movie of my choice. The #1 spot of EonTalk’s list of favorite Korean romance melodrama movies goes to the 2004-released film <A Moment To Remember>.

Directed by Lee Jae-Han, who’s other works include <Operation Chromite> and <71: Into The Fire>, <A Moment To Remember> starred the incredible couple of Jung Woo-Sung and Son Ye-Jin. If you haven’t noticed yet, Son Ye-Jin is an icon when it comes to romance films, being in 3 of the top 5 movies of this list. And what’s amazing is that she’s still able to pull off those romance roles, most recently in the Kdrama “Crash Landing on You.” I feel like Jung Woo-Sung and Son Ye-Jin are the same and haven’t aged at all. Although <A Moment To Remember> is nearly 16 years old now, the movie doesn’t feel old at all, and has aged very well. I mentioned earlier that older films tend to be on the slower side, but <A Moment To Remember> had me intrigued throughout its duration. The film also includes another classic movie scene/quote, where Jung Woo-Sung pours Son Ye-Jin a shot of soju, and says “너 그거마시면 나랑 사귀는 거다,” which translates to, “if you take that shot, you’re going out with me.” 

The synopsis is as follows:
Su-Jin is a career woman who essentially has everything she wants and wanted, and was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. However, she faces grand hardship when her boyfriend, who’s married, dumps her. As she tries to forget her ex, she runs into Chul-Soo, a blue-collar worker who dreams of becoming an architect. Su-Jin starts to fall for Chul-Soo, and the two eventually falls in love and gets married. Just when they thought there’s only happily ever after left, the two are faced with the devastating news that Su-Jin has a disease wherein which her memories are slowly erased from her mind.

 

Conclusion

That concludes today’s post on my list of best Korean romance movies. Some movies you believe that are worthy of being on the list may not have been included, but please remember that this list was based on my personal tastes. If you have differing views, I’d love to hear them in the comments down below, or on the EonTalk Telegram group

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Disclaimer
Please keep in mind this review is composed of solely my own opinions, and should be taken with a grain of salt. I am in no way a professional writer, nor have I majored or studied journalism. This is for informative entertainment purpose only, representing my personal views. I do not own the images and/or videos used in the review. No copyright infringement intended.

2 thoughts on “Top Korean Romance Movies”

  1. Same here. Totally agreed with you in with A Moment to Remember. Both played excellent characters. I started love to watch KBS drama and movie when i watch Be With You. I started to love Son Ye Jin onwards plus check on her background made me more fall in love with her. How she manage to keep her personal in good way, being humble person and so close to her family. A Moment to Remember is a very good message to everyone on how important for us to express our true love to someone you care and love a lots before it is too late. I cried a lot when he finally said to his wife where she only got a few moment left before she lost her memory for ever. Sometimes man are not out front when expressing their feeling. Therefore, love is the purest thing on earth where it involve 2 purest heart to shared to be one..Last but least….if you love someone dearly just say and express it to the person before it is too late… No not worry about the circumstances as you know your heart most❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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