It is one of the sweetest “summer love” movie I’ve seen unfortunately though they didn’t get their ever after.  Lee Byung Hun translates to the man you won’t regret committing infidelity if you are currently in a relationship.  He’s just so manly in an I-want-to-throw-myself-in-your-arms-kind-of-way.  Su-Ae has such an expressive eyes and her blithe nature in this love movie complements the endearing character of Byung-hun oppa.

A television staff was forced to promise she can feature a famous professor in their TV program to compensate for her abysmal performance.  The aloof professor declined at first to remember his long lost love but was eventually persuaded and took a trip down to the memory lane to reminisce the girl she loved one summer.

Suk-young and his fellow classmates decided to visit and extend help to a small suburb village and from there he met at a local pretty girl, Jung In, who tended the town’s library.   Jung In thought he was a pervert when she noticed his presence while she was scratching her shapely leg.  They met again at night when Jung In was put on the spot by Suk-young’s friends and was asked to sing a song which she forcedly did in her amusing off-tuned rendition.

Suk-young teased and grew fond of her over time and their sweet moments felt like a love binge which will remind you why you like the beginning part of all those romances you’ve had.  There was that scene when Suk-young eavesdropped as she reads a book to the old men.  Not realizing that it was an erotic book, she tried to change the ending to the disappointment of the oldies who were really anticipating a steamy story and to Suk-young’s amusement.

When Suk-young saw Jung-In off to have a trip to the town, he followed her and tried to pester her.  When the rain caught them on their way home, they killed time at the abandoned house they first met, and from there he learned that it used to be Jung In’s house and that she was an orphan.  The city boys set up an outdoor big screen to stream a movie, and Suk-young scored a point in Jung In’s heart when he prepared a back seat so they can view it alone.

The situation in Seoul was getting worse as protests against the administration were surging high so the city boys decided to leave.  On board the train, Suk-young battled with his heart and reason, but his heart prevailed and claimed her in his arms.  They go to the city together but he lost her when they stopped by at the school.  The rebel students staged another uprising and they were caught by the police. 

They were both jailed but his father pulled his strings to get him out of it but he was advised to deny that he knew Jung In.  He begged his father to help his girl, and she soon was also released.

That moment when they were both standing and facing each other teary eyed was my favorite scene.  I was feeling what Suk-young eyes was saying at that moment… “I only wanted to love her and not cause her pain”. 

Unaware that she will not stay long by his side, Suk-young bought some medicine for her, and when he got back to the spot he left her, she was not there anymore.

Suk-young and the TV staff were able to trace Jung In’s location when he found a cypress leaf on the letter of encouragement the TV staff gave him.  When they arrive at where she stayed, they learned that she already passed away and as he stared at the cypress tree she planted, we see a flashback of Suk-young visiting the place Jung In once told her to place fish-shaped stones… and then we see Jung In crying while she held the stones he has collected for her.



A felicity filled tale that will leave you fetching and at the same time agonizing.  It was a sweet melancholic movie of finding love and holding on to it even if it has long been gone.

Images Source:  asiabeam


One thought on “Once In A Summer Korean Movie Quick Review (2006)

  1. I remember watching this movie last year. I winced when Byung-hun’s character got slapped repeatedly. Ouch. But yes I enjoyed this movie, and I happen to be a fan of his and Korean Movies and Dramas. I’m even getting the language down.

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