Sassy girls, funny gangsters, lust-filled teenagers; these are all elements that fans of Asian rom-coms should be familiar with. Since the start of the latest ‘Korean New Wave’ in 1997, the comedy genre has expanded by leaps and bounds. Admittedly, not the hugest rom-com fan in the world, I have enlisted myself to watching quite a bit and actually enjoying quite a few. In addition, romantic melodramas have also reflected the aspirations and conflicts of female moviegoers as they transitioned from arranged marriages to a more present-day society over the last few decades. I now look into this genre and break down the top 10 Asian romantic comedies kicking off the list with the number 10 slot:
My Fair Gentleman is produced by John Woo which is kind of weird given what kind of countdown this is, however, it follows the age old plot of a man who becomes determined to transform his down-to-earth image to pursue a famous actress.
Light, fluffy, and enjoyable, Please Teach Me English also manages to be engaging, and a damn fun time at the movies. Please Teach Me English features multitudes of wacky jokes, and over-the-top characters who could only exist in the movies, but it is a romantic comedy that has creative stuff, with charismatic stars who give funny, and not egregiously over-the-top performances, and a likable streak that makes the film’s predictable transformation from fun comedy to romance a tolerable one.
The story begun when Kim Jae Won had a car accident because Han Ji Won kick a can of softdrinks due to her depression. Since the girl is so young without money to pay for the damages of the car they decided to have a contract that will bind them 2 for 100 days. It is a cookie cutter rom-com and its ideas are not particularly inspired, but the film finds its magic in the characters, actors and premise. Most of the movie is comedy oriented but the movie takes a drastic turn near the end and becomes more serious and quite sad.
My Girl is more of a comedy than a drama series, Ju Yoo Rin is a tour guide on Jeju Island. Her father is an addictive gambler, and because of him, Ju Yoo Rin often has to pay back his debts. The spin off movie is very lighthearted and not quite as sad as many other material, which gives it a much broader appeal.
A story about a girl who believed that she should find a boyfriend according to blood-type, Ha-mi accidentally meets Young-bin after a row over him ruining her handphone. She believes that he and she were destined to meet, but the problem is, he has blood-type B, making him spontaneous and emotional but unreliable. When the movie finished, I was feeling better about the movie, but I still felt put-off by the cruelty the boyfriend showed. This didn’t hamper the romantic comedy aspects by any means, but it did prevent it from getting higher marks on the countdown.
Suh Boeun, a 15 year old 1st yr. highschool girl has a childhood friend named Park Sangmin, a 24 yr old playboy who enjoyed his primetime of being a single man. Of course, they get hitched while everyone in their lives wishes against it. Happy ending insues while not taking any real risks but does a good job with the formula. Another fine accomplishment in this film is delivered through its length, which stands at almost two hours. It lets the story gradually develop along with its characters, making all transitions and actions feel well paced and believable.
Kang Han-na is a nice woman who is blessed with an incredible voice which she uses to make a living as a phone sex operator and as a singer. However, the problem for her music producers is the fact that she is a girl weighing in at 200 pounds. With funny moments in between, 200 Pounds Beauty is a good movie to watch to inspire and be inspired, whether on a good or bad day. Taking the concepts of the personal makeover and the obsession with appearances to an extreme, the film manages to work in not only comedy, but also some surprisingly social commentary.
For fans of My Sassy Girl, Windstruck is also a must watch as Jun Ji Hyun is great in it. While some may say that this movie does not live up to its hype as the sequel to My Sassy Girl, I am inclined to disagree. The plot is in its own right beautiful. Windstruck is about this crazy relationship between the guy and the girl who fall in love, and everything goes wonderful until the guy passes away, and the girl has to deal with it. It’s a story about great and true love transcending death. And the fact that even through all the heartache, being able to let go of the pain and to find the strength to live again.
This particular series (but viewed as a movie) is about this girl, Ji-Eun, who inherited this house named Full House from her parents. Later, her friends cheated her and sold her house while she was having a vacation in China. During her vacation she met this superstar, Young-Jae who coincidently the one whom Ji-Eun’s friends sold her house to. It’ll later get all complicated and leads to a marriage contract between them. The story is essentially simple in its premise but has been made interesting by adding a mix of wit, slapstick humour and a great cast.
It should be no surprised that the #1 slot goes to My Sassy Girl. Gyeon-woo is a single Korean college student, still not very sure of what he wants to become in the future. One night, on his way back home, he meets an extremely beautiful girl, but who is also completely drunk. He knows that she is not really his type, but a relationship forms nevertheless as he is unable to ignore her. It’s a very special romantic comedy and whether you enjoy chick-flicks or not, this film is going to make you laugh, cry, and most importantly, smile. I loved the movie, and for most of you out there, it should be a very good entertainment. It is funny, yet with a not-too-sweet-but-still-touching love twist.
And there you have it! If you need a date night with your significant other or you just want to laugh until it hurts watching a feel good rom-com, then this is the list for you. I have a new appreciation for these types of movies and hoped you all enjoyed my countdown. Feel free to provide feedback, comments, or your own top 10 list in the comment section below. Until next time…!