Everyone needs to watch a romantic movie that will induce stream of tears, at least once a while. If you are a fan of South Korean movies, you will know that you have plenty of options in this department. One of the greatest examples is a movie entitled A Millionaire’s First Love. This movie was released back in 2006 and received warmly by public. Even if years have passed, many people still watch this movie from time to time. Its fame is not limited within the home country, but also worldwide.
A Millionaire’s First Love was directed by Kim Taekyun who is well-known for directing movies of drama and romantic genres, such as Temptation of Wolves in 2004 and Crossing in 2008. The script was written by Kim Eunsook. Two main actors in this movie were Hyunbin and Lee Yeonhee. Hyunbin at that time was already a powerful name within the industry after acting in a romantic comedy drama, My Name is Kim Samsoon. Meanwhile, Lee Yeonhee was still relatively a newcomer. Other actors participating in the movie are including Lim Juhwan and Cho Yongjoon.
What is the story of this movie and its impact to viewers worldwide? Let’s look closer into the movie.
The Plot of A Millionaire’s First Love
A Millionaire’s First Love revolves around a character named Kang Jaekyung (played by Hyunbin). Jaekyung is a teenager who comes from wealthy and affluent family. He lacks of good mannerism and often creates trouble for him and people around him. He is confident since he will be inheriting his grandfather’s wealth by his eighteenth birthday. However, seeing how ill-mannered his grandson is, Jaekyung’s grandfather sets up a new rule: Jaekyung must graduate from Boram High School in Gangwon Province. If he does not manage to do it, he would only get 0.1% of his entire inheritance.
Feeling awful about his grandfather’s decision, Jaekyung moved school thinking how he is going to hate the countryside. He is unable to enjoy his usual privileges such as credit card and luxury vehicles so he has trouble to adjust with life in Gangwon. There, he meets a strong willed girl named Choi Eunhwan. Eunhwan is different from other people living there and not intimidated at all by Jaekyung. Jaekyung becomes very intrigued by the girl.
Just as promised before, A Millionaire’s First Love is a romantic but sad story about one’s first love. Jaekyung and Eunhwan continue to build up their relationship until Jaekyung no longer cares about his inheritance. But it turns out later that Eunhwan has terminal illness and might not be expected to live for long. The real problem starts from then on. Both main characters are struggling to come to terms with their feelings with imminent sad future looming over their heads.
The Impact of A Millionaire’s First Love
Critical reviews on A Millionaire’s First Love were not all favorable. Most critics stated that the movie relied too much on the charm of its actors and not at all into storyline. Some of the harsher reviews commented on the fact that cliché plot of a rich man meeting an ordinary woman then learning to love under difficult circumstances is so overused. They further said that such plot was not developed well in this movie in order to bring out freshness to the story. However, both main actors were praised for their acting, particularly Hyunbin.
Despite mixed reviews, A Millionaire’s First Love is still very much enjoyed by viewers around the globe. Many people voted this movie as one of the most romantic movies in 2000s. Viewers said that the movie is able to bring them to tears no matter how many times they have watched it. They feel like they can truly relate with the characters in this movie. This movie successfully converted people who previously did not know anything about Korean movies. It is especially famous abroad, even more than in its home country. It further sealed Hyunbin’s position as an A-list actor in South Korea. His popularity grew even bigger abroad thanks to this movie.
A Millionaire’s First Love was adapted into few different versions in various countries. In Nepal, a 2009 movie entitled MeroEutaSaathiChha was created loosely based on this movie. There is also a Turkish version which was released in 2011. Up until today, this movie is still referenced in pop content from time to time.