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Romance of their Own - Movie Poster
Original Title:
Neukdaeui yuhok

South Korea 2004

Romance, Drama

Kim Tae-gyoon

Lee Cheong-ah
Kang Dong-won
Jo Han-sun
Jeong Da-hye
Lee Cheon-hee
Kwon Oh-min
Hong Ji-Yeong
Kim Bo-yeon

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Romance of their Own

aka Temptation of Wolves

Story: After her father has died Jung Han-kyeong (Lee Cheong-ah) moves from the coutryside to the big city. From that day on she lives at her mother's place. Actually, Han-kyeong had been looking forward to coming to the city, because she wanted to meet her old secret love interest. But he is already taken as she finds out. While still grieving on her way home on the bus she by chance meets Ban Hae-won (Jo Han-sun). He is the most popular guy at Han-kyeong's school and seems to be interested in her. However, shortly afterwards she runs into Jung Tae-sung (Kang Dong-won), who seems to know her and have feelings for her as well. Tae-sung goes to another school and is at enmity with Hae-won, which doesn't make the impending love triangle any easier. Han-kyeong is also a bit surprised by this development and doesn't know at all who she should choose. For ballsy Hae-won it seems the first time that he actually needs to put effort into winning over a girl and Tae-sung has a secret that makes it difficult for him to seriously fight for Han-kyeong.

Review: There are movies that are truely shocking eye-openers to critics. So that's how a movie pubescent fangirls adore looks like? It rather seems that this movie has been written by one of those fangirls! And some small research confirms the horrifying truth: That's exatly the case! Guiyeoni is the alias of the girl who wasn't even of age when she wrote her internet novel. Accordingly the movie is as unelaborate, unrealistic, ridiculous, melodramatic to the degree that it makes you wanna puke and tiring as you would expect. "Romance of their Own" counts among the most corny romantic dramas you ever will have seen from South Korea. And unfortunately that also includes TV dramas. If you want to do yourself a favor you should just look for your drama fix somewhere else. No matter what you choose, it will definitely be better than this movie.

Romance of their Own - Film Screenshot 11

It's difficult to decide where to start nagging. The two main characters are depicted as uber-cool thugs that have pop idol status among girls. Which needs to be stressed in almost any scene by the shrieking of schoolgirls, naturally. Han-kyeong on the other hand is your regular girl that suddenly finds herself in the spotlight of interest of two superior gods. Why, no one really knows. Most likely this is supposed to appeal to the average fangirl. Who wouldn't want to be courted by even two fairy tale princes? And it works. "Romance of their Own" is incredibly popular among fangirls even outside of South Korea. What that means? Absolutely nothing. After all, there is also an audience that couldn't live without the "Teletubbies".

Romance of their Own - Film Screenshot 12

Main reason why the film is so popular is actor Kang Dong-won, who delivers an extremely bad performance here. That is only partly his fault, though. At least in "Jeon Woochi" or "Maundy Thursday" he proved that he could do a lot better. By the way, latter one is also a thousand times better as a drama and is based on a novel by a real writer. You can tell the difference. And since we are already at it: Guiyeoni is also responsible for the story of the similarly horrible "Do Re Mi Fa So La Si Do". "Romance of their Own" actually manages to be even a bit more corny, though, which in itself should be considered a complete impossibility.

The rest of the cast is absolutely insignificant as well. Real individuals look different. Moreover, the movie arbitrarily jumps from one set to the next leaving things without any cohesion and lacking any attempt to make us build up an emotional relationship to the characters. Isn't it enough that the story is incredibly shallow and that the emotional scenes are caught by cameras circling around weeping actors? Do there really need to be countless schmaltz pop songs oozing with corniness that make it hard not to throw up? Oh yeah, of course there is also a potentially deadly illness that is pushed into the foreground at the end while being introduced very clumsily in the middle part. And the numerous tears towards the end can only bring out one emotion - disinterest. Wait, is that an emotion after all?

Romance of their Own - Film Screenshot 13

Thus, I will rephrase it. "Romance of their Own" is aimed at a PREpubertal audience. But who are the few brawling scenes aimed at, which don't really want to fit into the rest of the film? Maybe director Kim Tae-gyoon ("Crossing") needed them for himself in order to be able to shoot this nonsense of a movie to the last frame. Every now and then there are at least in technical respects some nice ideas. And to all fangirls out there: You should show some class and not try to whitewash a really bad movie. After all, there are some really good romantic dramas from Korea out there, with which you can spend your time in a lot more reasonable way. The only thing that once again puts me in a more gracious mood is that after a long time I really had fun writing a devastating review.

(Author: Manfred Selzer)
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