Almost Love (2006)

Korean title: 청춘만화 (Cheong-choon-man-hwa)

What’s popping:

Kwon Sang-woo – he can do melodrama (Stairway to Heaven), action (Running Wild) and comedy so well. Is there anything this versatile actor can’t do?

The chemistry between Kwon Sang-woo and Kim Ha-neul is explosive. It is so fun to watch them together. Their roles call for them to be chummy buddies, and they do that extremely well here. (These two were paired up in the popular 2003 rom-com My Tutor Friend).

Childhood friends Ji-hwan (Kwon) and Dal-rae (Kim) are the bestest of friends, OK BFF. The duo even have their own secret handshake.

They tease each other like nobody’s business, get into squabbles all the time but are friends who care very much for each other. Like that time when Dal-rae played lookout while Ji-hwan and her boyfriend both took a bath in the public toilet.

Knock, knock: Rub-a-dub-dub…

The ribbing between Ji-hwan and Dal-rae is a hoot – bushy armpits, anyone? And Ji-hwan’s physical comedy does tickle the funnybone. You’ve just got to check out the pair singing karaoke and that “chest bump” dance.

Singin’ & dancin’ machines: Ji-hwan (Kwon, right) and Dal-rae (Kim)
show us what they’ve got

The story is well-written and when the flick veers into melodrama territory, it doesn’t feel too dragged-out but nicely keeps up with the flick’s original pace.

The main characters are nicely fleshed out through flashback sequences showing how close they were as kids.

A throughly enjoyable watch, and to think I wasn’t too keen on watching it in the first place because Kwon Sang-woo has “mushroom head” (tung ku tau – Cantonese) in the movie. That bob hairstyle ala Jackie Chan’s early years is hilarious, no?

The plot:

College student Ji-hwan is an action star wannabe who takes on jobs as a stuntman. His dream is to become an action star like his idol, Jackie Chan.

His best friend Dal-rae is an aspiring actress who usually fails auditions because she shakes like a leaf when speaking in public.

Good friends: ‘BFF! Hwaiting!’

While others think the pair of childhood friends are so right for each other, both Dal-rae and Ji-hwan are actually seeing other people.

However, when a tragedy strikes, the pair begin to realise that maybe, just maybe, they are meant for each other after all.

Watch it:

I raided a friend’s DVD stash while at his house one day. Muah ha ha ha ha…please, get the DVD. I think I will get a copy for keeps.

Pics credit: HanCinema

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