If you've ever watched a Korean drama, whether in the form of a series or a movie, you know you'll experience a dozen different types of emotions in the span of a few hours. It starts out slow, then the climax literally rips your soul apart, and the ending usually either leaves you sobbing from satisfaction or in despair over a lack of sequel. No matter the subject matter, be it a thriller or romance, Korean entertainment simply keeps you glued to your screens.
Should you be in the mood for some melodramas, especially the ones involving love stories that make you sob your eyes out, we put together a list of recommendations. For anyone who loves American rom-coms, especially those of the early '00s, you'll find a familiar happiness while watching these Korean romance movies. (Side note: The plot lines aren't always the most realistic, but the scenes will put you on an emotional roller coaster.) No one does melodramas about love and relationships quite like the Koreans. Ahead, the best K-romance movies to stream.
More Than Blue
This 2009 South Korean movie is about two orphans, Kang Chul-gyu ("K") and Eun-won ("Cream"), who first meet in high school. The two quickly form a bond but because Kang Chul-gyu has terminal cancer, which he keeps a secret from Cream, he urges her to marry someone kind and healthy. Eventually, Cream falls in love with another man, but only because she wants to appease K...and viewers see that she has known about his cancer all along. We won't spoil the rest of this love story. (FYI: The Korean title of the film translates to "A Story Sadder Than Sadness," which means you should get your box of tissues ready.)
My Sassy Girl
This 2001 movie is one of South Korea's highest-grossing comedies of all time and its success, and international reception, has been compared to that of Titanic. The story explores the relationship between Gyeon-woo and a girl, who is never named in the movie. Gyeon-woo's first encounter with "the girl" is when he rescues her from falling off the edge of a train platform because she is intoxicated. The two eventually fall for each other and go through various obstacles, but break up. The duo pens love letters to each other and sticks them in a time capsule, to be read two years down the line, as they part ways. When Gyeon-woo arrives to open the time capsule...and we'll just leave it at that.
This 2003 melodrama was directed by Kwak Jae-yong of My Sassy Girl and stars Crash Landing on You's Son Ye-jin. The film starts with present day Ji-hye (Son Ye-jin) finding a box of old letters and a diary that detail the story of her mother's life. As she reads the letters, we're drawn into her mother's life through flashbacks, which are intertwined with Ji-hye's own love story. This movie explores the relationships of both women (Son Ye-jin plays the daughter and mom!) in tandem and viewers are gifted with plenty of light-hearted moments as well as tear-jerker scenes.
The Beauty Inside
Right after he turns 18, Woo-jin, starts waking up every day as a different person. One day he's an old man, the next he's a woman, a child, or even a foreigner. Only a few people know about Woo-jin's strange condition and he is able to hide it from the world because he works behind the scenes as a furniture maker. Then, of course, enters Yi-soo, who works at a furniture store. The two embark on a relationship that's filled with twists and turns, which will keep readers guessing until the end.
Mood of the Day
Kim Jae-hyun is a sports manager who boards a train to Busan to track down a basketball player for business. Bae Soo-jung works in an advertising agency and is also traveling to Busan for work. The two are seated next to each other and Jae-hyun immediately starts to hit on Soo-jung, which turns her off. She later overhears one of Jae-hyeon's phone calls regarding the basketball player, who she actually needs to meet for advertising purposes. Soo-jung realizes that building a rapport with the guy will help her achieve her business goal and the two set off to look for the basketball player together. You can probably infer what happens next.
A street magician, Jo-goo, falls in love with a girl, Yeo-ri, who has the ability to see ghosts ever since she survived a car accident in high school. Yeo-ri not only can see dead people but is also hunted by one of her best friends, Joo-hee, from the accident. His presence causes her to live a very solitary life. Jo-goo, meanwhile, upon discovering her secret sets to help her find love and happiness, not realizing that the two will eventually fall for each other. But Joo-hee is always there and watching...
Our Wedding Day
What would you do if you received a wedding invite from the person you loved in high school and through out much of your life? Woo-yeon will help you answer this question in Our Wedding Day. The film explores the complicated love relationship between Woo-yeon and Hwan Seung-hee from their high school days to adulthood. The realistic ending in this movie will resonate with those who have ever fallen in love with their friend, though not in the way you would expect.
Snow Is the Sea
You know a movie is a tear jerker when one of the main characters, who suffers from an illness, falls in love (see A Walk to Remember, Five Feet Apart, etc). This 2015 melodrama centers around Sun-Mi, who has a blood disease, and falls in love with Sang-Woo, who works at an aquarium. He eventually proposes to her, not knowing the difficulties that the pair will face due to her health. Will they be able to face her illness together, or will this tear them apart?
Two Faces Of My Girlfriend
Gu-Chang is a 30-year-old virgin who has never had a girlfriend and is seemingly down on his luck financially. (He constantly flunks job interviews and receives money from his divorced sister and little nephew.) His life changes one spring when he meets a woman named A-Ni. Everything appears to go well, but then Gu-Chang realizes something is a little off about the woman he's seeing. It turns out A-Ni has a split personality disorder, making her sweet one day and then wild the next.
Tune in for Love
This movie explores the relationship between Mi-soo and Hyun-Woo over the course of a decade, from 1995 to 2005. The pair first meet as teenagers while working together at a bakery but as they become adults, they veer towards different paths. While they try to find their way back to each other again, there is a secret one of them has that might threaten the relationship. This love story is a tale of love, separation, and growth.
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