PICK: 10 K-Movies About First Love

best korean romance movie

Edited by Hong Hyun Jung
Translated by Yu Jin Kim

My Sassy Girl (2001)
best korean romance movie
Credit: Cinema Service

An ordinary college student named Kyun Woo encounters a heavily drunken woman on the subway. Her extreme behaviors throw Kyun Woo’s life into chaos, but he finds out the sad story behind her eccentricity. Reactions for My Sassy Girl were sensational as it was a huge turning point for Korean rom-coms. In particular, ‘the girl’ became the unprecedented character in Korean film history, and after, Jun Ji Hyun rose to top stardom.

The Classic (2003)
best korean romance movie
Credit: Cinema Service

Ji Hye discovers her mother’s diary while organizing her belongings. The diary contains the story of her mother’s first love. Amidst the romance movie boom in the 2000s,  The Classic brought tears to the eyes of many moviegoers and remained one of the top first-love movies. Son Ye Jin and Cho Seung Woo, who received attention as rising stars back then, were praised for their delicate acting.

A Millionaire’s First Love (2006)
best korean romance movie
Credit: Lotte Entertainment

Jae Kyung heads to a high school in the countryside to inherit his grandfather’s legacy. There, he gradually grows closer with the class president, Eun Hwan, despite their constant squabbling. A Millionaire’s First Love is the movie from the time when Hyun Bin rose to stardom with My Lovely Sam Soon, allowing viewers to enjoy his youthful and fresh acting presence again.

Finding Mr. Destiny (2010)
best korean romance movie
Credit: CJ Entertainment

Gi Jun opens up an office to find people’s first love. Ji Woo, who rejected her boyfriend’s proposal, had no choice to request Ki Jun to find her first love due to her father’s pressure. Finding Mr. Destiny is a rom-com which adapted a musical of the same name into a road movie format. Gong Yoo and Lim Soo Jung‘s performances left a strong impression as they portrayed the complex characters in an entertaining way.

Architecture 101 (2012)

Seung Min, who majors in architecture, falls in love at first sight with Seo Yeon, a music student he meets in an architecture class. The two grow closer, but a small misunderstanding drives them apart. However, they reunite as an architect and a client 15 years later. Lee Jae Hoon and Suzy take on the role of the younger Seung Min and Seo Yeon, while Um Tae Woong and Han Ga In play their older counterparts. Thanks to the movie’s success, Suzy instantly became the iconic visual representation of someone’s “first love” in Korea.

C’est si bon (2015)
best korean romance movie
Credit: CJ Entertainment

Geun Tae (played by Jung Woo) joins a music trio after being spotted by a musician named Jang Hee (Jin Goo). While preparing for his debut as a singer, Geun Tae falls in love at first sight with Ja Young (Han Hyo Joo), the aspiring actress who was everybody’s muse. C’est si bon brings memories of our first love by suitably placing the delightful sounds and history of nostalgic folk music from the 60s and 70s in between.

On Your Wedding Day (2018)

Woo Young (Kim Young Kwang) falls head over heels in love with a transfer student named Seung Hee (Park Bo Young). Although he wins her heart after much effort, they break up as Seung Hee abruptly gets transferred to another school. On Your Wedding Day portrays the repeated meetings and partings of the two protagonists from their high school days to early adulthood. It is known as one of the defining first-love movies alongside Architecture 101 which are cult classics of this love genre.

Tune in for Love (2019)
best korean romance movie
Credit: CGV Art House

Mi Soo and Hyun Woo encounter each other for the first time at Mi Soo’s bakery. They grow closer by working together, but their happiness soon falls apart as Hyun Woo leaves. Although they reunite afterward, they keep missing each other in between and are constantly seperated by a cruel twist of destiny. Kim Go Eun and Jung Hae In star as tender lovers with great chemistry that wowed audiences.

Ditto (2022)
best korean romance movie
Credit: CJ Entertainment

Yong, the man from the past, and Moo Ni, the woman from the present, begin to communicate through a walkie-talkie and build up their friendship by sharing worries about their unrequited love. Yeo Jin Gu, Cho Yi Hyun, Kim Hye Yoon, Na In Woo, and Bae In Hyuk appear in the 21st century-version of Ditto, which stars Kim Ha Neul and Yoo Ji tae, showcasing their fresh energy as actors and revitalize the already beloved storyline.

20th Century Girl (2022) 

The 17-year-old Bo Ra (Kim Yoo Jung) volunteers to become cupid in order to make her bestie Yeon Doo (Roh Yoon Seo) achieve her chance at first love. While observing every moment of Yeon Doo’s crush, Hyun Jin (Park Jung Woo), Bo Ra starts to grow feelings for his friend, Woon Ho (Byeon Woo Seok). Byeon Woo Seok, who rose to stardom for starring in Lovely Runner, makes viewer’s hearts flutter once more with his gorgeous appearance and superb acting.


Edited Hong Hyun Jung: I am a K-content guide who publishes various articles for people to enjoy Korean movies and dramas deeper and richer. I’ll introduce you to the works that you can laugh, cry and sympathize with.

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