Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

14 Korean Movies To Watch On Valentine’s Day

ByKatherine

February 14, 2024 , ,

Well, look who’s here reading this instead of being out on Valentine’s Day.

Personal attacks and jokes aside, going out on dates or preparing grand plans for February 14th isn’t really mandatory. Sometimes, all you need is some time with your friends and family or savor a much-needed opportunity to recharge while also paying homage to the season by immersing yourself in something low-energy but enjoyable. Like a movie marathon.

As tested and proven by time, stories about the shared human experience never go out of fashion. They consistently break barriers, transcend cultures, overcome obstacles many would consider to be impossible, and appeal to a public always that enjoys a good tale.

When combined with South Korea’s masterful storytelling which has made it a formidable name in film and television through the years, there is no doubt that the audience is in for a treat. So get ready to be swept away by yearning, passion, heartache, and just pure magic when you watch these movies on our list!

1. Il Mare (2000)

Il Mare, which translates into “The Sea,” is the lakeside house where the story is centered around. Voice actress Eunjo (played by Jun Jihyun) leaves a note to the next occupant and is mystified to discover a reply from architectural student Sunghyun (played by Lee Jungjae) dated two years from the past. Connected by a strange mailbox, the two begin a friendship that blossoms with time.

In 2006, Warner Brothers made an American remake of the movie starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock titled “The Lake House.”

Media: AsianCrush/Youtube

2. Ditto (2000)

University student Yoon Soeun (played by Kang Haneul) finds an old radio in her dormitory. While tinkering with the device, she finds a frequency that allows her to connect with another student called Jiin (played by Yoo Jitae) who claims to be from the same school and shares her love for radio. The two develop a good friendship and, after a failed meet-up, discover that Soeun is a Junior in 1979 while Jiin is a Sophomore in 2000.

Media: AsianCrush/Youtube

3. A Moment To Remember (2004)

Sujin (played by Son Yejin) is a young fashion designer who meets construction site foreman Chulsoo (played by Jung Woosung) in a less-than-ideal way. Soon their paths cross once more and this time, a deep romance blooms between them but their happiness is short-lived as Sujin finds herself getting more forgetful by the day. When Sujin is finally diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, the couple struggles with the reality of what it means for her and their relationship.

Media: CJ ENM/Youtube

4. 200 Pounds Beauty (2006)

The well-loved Korean classic film is about Kang Hanna (played by Kim Ahjoong) who is an overweight ghost singer and phone sex operator. She has lofty dreams and a beautiful voice but due to her appearance, she struggles with her self-esteem and can only watch from the shadows as someone else claims the praises for her singing.

After a particularly devastating humiliation, she blackmails one of her clients who is a plastic surgeon and undergoes extensive plastic surgery. With her new face and equally attractive body, she rises to achieve her dreams of stardom but forgets herself and the people who loved her as she was.

Media: AsianCrush/Youtube

5. Maundy Thursday (2006)

Yujeong (played by Lee Nayoung) is a wealthy professor who struggles with suicidal tendencies. She reluctantly joins a volunteer group that meets convicts awaiting execution and finds Yunsoo (played by Gang Dongwon), an inmate with a tragic past who was thrown into jail for murder.

The two form a connection and their bond grows deeper with every visit, both relieved to find someone who understands the deep abyss of grief. Yujeong and Yunsoo work through their traumas and navigate their feelings for each other while the clock continues to tick closer to Yunsoo’s grim end.

Media: primeenter/Youtube

6. Always (2011)

Cheolmin (played by So Jisub) is a former boxer who carries a bitterness towards the world. He works nights as a part-time parking attendant and meets Junghwa (played by Han Hyojoo), a blind telemarketer who initially mistakes him for someone else. Junghwa’s persistent nature wins him over and together they try to heal from their pasts as they explore a passionate relationship.

Media: KoreanFilmBiz KoBiz/Youtube

7. Sunny (2011)

Sunny is a story of youth, friendship, nostalgia, and the unpredictability of life. It jumps between the past and the present as it unfolds the story of seven spirited high school friends who grew apart and lived very different lives.

In the present, rich housewife Nami stumbles upon a dying businesswoman Chunhwa while visiting her mother in the hospital, and the two trace down down the rest of their group in an attempt to reunite everyone before Chunhwa passes away.

They soon find the struggling insurance saleswoman Jangmi, the previously crude Jinhee who married a rich cheating scumbag, the unemployed wretched Geumok, and the prostitute Bokhee who has lost her daughter and her mother’s hair salon. Suji however remains elusive.

The women rekindle their friendship and recount fond memories while also reflecting on everything that went south before their separation. In the process of searching for her friends, Nami also secretly finds her first love and finally learns to let go of the past.

Yoo Hojeong, Jin Heekyung, Go Soohee, Hong Jinhee, Lee Yeonkyung, Seo Geumok, Kim Sunkyung, and Yoon Jung play the older version of the cast while Shim Eunkyung, Kang Sora, Kim Minyoung, Park Jinjoo, Nam Bora, Kim Bomi, and Min Hyorin play their younger version.

Media: CJ ENM/Youtube

8. The Beauty Inside (2015)

Since he turned eighteen, furniture designer Woojin wakes up every day to find himself in a different body. He randomly changes age, gender, and race with no rhyme or reason. With each transformation, he records himself to keep track of who is he that day and learns to adjust to the quirks of each body.

He falls in love with a furniture store clerk named Yisoo (played by Han Hyojoo) and decides to pursue her despite his strange condition. When Yisoo learns of his affliction she is shocked but soon accepts to be in a relationship with him. The constant changing of Woojin’s appearance eventually takes a toll on them and Woojin must make a difficult decision.

Media: Rotten Tomatoes Indie/Youtube

9. Snow in Sea Breeze (2015)

Former national swimmer Sangwoo (played by Park Haejin) works at an aquarium and meets perfumer Sunmi (played by Lee Yeongah) when he saves her from falling into a river. He returns a precious gift to her after the incident and, to express her gratitude, Sunmi decides to make a special fragrance for him. The two fall in love and get married but with Sunmi having been diagnosed with a fatal condition since childhood, their love faces a rocky path.

Media: KoreanFilmBiz KoBiz/Youtube

10. Will You Be There? (2016)

Surgeon Soohyeon (played by Kim Yunseok ) is dying and his last wish is to see his girlfriend (played by Chae Seojin) who tragically passed away thirty years ago. A mysterious old man gives him a few pills that allow him to travel through time and with this strange power he teams up with his younger self (played by Byun Yohan) to prevent the grim events that will unfold.

Media: Lotte Entertainment/Youtube

11. The Princess and the Matchmaker (2018)

In an attempt to save their famine-hit kingdom and to curry the gods’ favor, a royal search for a favorable match for Princess Songhwa (played by Shim Eunkyung) from the Joseon Era is decided. A well-respected fortune-teller called Doyoon (played by Lee Seunggi) is brought in to select men with the best luck and marital compatibility with the princess.

The list eventually narrows down to Shikyung (played by Yeon Woojin), Kanghwi (played by Kang Minhyuk), and Chiho (played by Choi Woosik) but the headstrong princess refuses to leave this important decision to the court. Thus begins her sneaky investigations and Doyoon’s troubles as he cautiously follows her in her shenanigans.

Media: CJ ENM/Youtube

12. On Your Wedding Day (2018)

Hwang Wooyeon (played by Kim Youngkwang) receives an invitation to his first love’s wedding. This sudden disruption causes him to reminisce about the ups and downs of their lives from the first time he met Hwan Seunghee (played by Park Boyoung) to the friendship they developed and the ill-fated romantic relationship that followed. With the news of her marriage, Wooyeon gets the chance to face the regrets that haunt him and to bring closure to their past.

Media: mm2 Entertainment Channel/Youtube

13. Romang (2019)

Gruff Jo Nambong (played by Lee Soonjae) and gentle Lee Maeja (played by Jung Youngsook) are an old married couple of forty-five years. When the Maeja begins to display worsening signs of Alzheimer’s, the family is troubled. When Nambong also shows signs of the same disease, their son eventually ends up abandoning them for the safety of his own family.

As their memories slowly fade away, the two find themselves rekindling their love which has gone stale through the years and learn to relish the moments they have left as time runs out.

Media: KoreanFilmBiz KoBiz/Youtube

14. 20th Century Girl (2022)

Na Bora (played by Kim Yoojung) and Kim Yeondu (played by Roh Yoonseo) are two high school best friends in 1999. When Yeondu rejects an important heart surgery in the US due to her falling in love with someone from their school, Bora promises to investigate the boy and send all of her findings to Yeondu as long as she goes through with the treatment. Unrequited love, misunderstandings, and an enduring friendship all come together in this bittersweet story of youth, romance, and sisterhood.

Media: Netflix K-Content/Youtube

Do you have any movies you would recommend for people to watch? Let us know your thoughts by tweeting to us @whatthekpop1 or leaving us a comment on Facebook and Instagram!

Katherine grew up watching Korean dramas and other Asian shows. Although she first learned to appreciate Korean music through OSTs broadcasted locally, it wasn’t until 2011 that she properly paid attention to K-pop. She holds a fondness for SEVENTEEN and NCT and would recommend (G)I-DLE, Dreamcatcher, and XG to whoever cared to listen. She reads just about anything and is currently easing back into full novels.

MEDIA: As Credited