First off, if you’re looking for a romantic comedy, this movie won’t satisfy. However if you’re up for a sweet nostalgic melo romance, this movie definitely delivers.
This movie stars Uhm Tae Woong (Equator Man) as the mid-30s Seungmin and Lee Je Hoon (Fashion King) as his younger version. The protagonist yang Seo Yeon is played by Han Ga In (The Moon that Embraces the Son) with her younger version played by Miss A’s Bae Suzy (Dream High).
Of course The Uhm Force was the draw to this movie for me because he’s always excellent. I wasn’t so sure about everybody else as I haven’t watch Je Hoon in anything and Han Ga In is serviceable at best- boring at worst, and Suzy is still a rookie who hasn’t quite managed to hook me with her acting. So everything was meh for a while…And then I saw him… Eun Shi Kyung!! my baby he’s alive!!! ok well so it wasn’t ESK but it was the next best thing: Jo Jeung Seok. He was hilarious as young Seungmin’s best bud, I wish he’d appeared as an older version of himself too… oh well.
The shooting of this drama was beautiful. The color palette and the lighting were romantic and nostalgic, especially with the scenes from the past. The present had a subtle difference in which it seemed more grounded in reality whereas the past had that rosy tint of nostalgia despite the sometimes grittiness of the set such as the abandoned house where Seungmin and Seo Yeon hung out.
This story touches on that often trod ground of romance stories that is FIRST LOVE, but it has a slightly differing take from most of its predecessors. It’s a story that is well told and has managed without being pretentious to capture an era that for a lot of us is fast becoming our “glory days.” The days when walkmans and baggy clothes ruled the day and when computers with 1gb of memory were considered the grandest of things.
At it’s basic premise, Seungmin is approached by Seo Yeon to build a house for her father to live in. It’s revealed through a series of flashbacks that during their first year of college- they met in the Intro to Architecture class. He noticed her from the start and she noticed him noticing her. As they became friends she made him promise that he’d build a house for her later on. So her coming to him in the present is a way of fulfilling that dream from those early college days.
I was pleasantly surprised with both girls acting and I enjoyed their interpretation of the character of Seo Yeon, even though I didn’t necessarily like her character. I don’t know… it’s like I GET IT, I understand her but I can’t like her…
Why? because she has been hung up on a single guy for so long that it has probably contributed to the dissolution of her marriage. Because she has a talent in piano but doesn’t want to use it because she’s ashamed of being a “scholarship student” and so she chooses to pursue an announcer career that she ends up giving up to marry. And then she gets a divorce and hangs on to him so that she can get money from her husband. I want to shake this girl. I want her to decide the direction to pursue and stick to it. However I do love her devotion to her sick father, that she would use her money to renovate their house and spend the time that he has left together is really touching and might just be the breather that she needs to move on with life.
Seungmin is a character that I like but I don’t get. He’s angry at her for a slight from the past so he pretends that he doesn’t recognize her. But then he’s quick to “remember” her. He wants to figure out everything about her but he doesn’t let her find out anything about him. The way he denied he had a girlfriend and then it turned out he was engaged? poor form, though technically he didn’t lie when he said he didn’t have a girlfriend since he has a fiancee not a girlfriend… but still… getting her hopes up only to crush them? I felt bad for Seo Yeon. And that engagement… I didn’t feel any real love from him for his fiancee, it seemed like he was just doing it as an obligation so I really didn’t feel bad rooting for a break-up.
The ending of this drama was definitely mellow as well as melo. It was bittersweet and though it satisfies me because it gave me closure it also made me upset. It wasn’t exactly what I hoped for, but perhaps it’s what was needed.