Klaesik (2003)

Run Time - 132 min.  |   Countries - Korea, South  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Josh Ralske

Writer/director Kwak Jae-yong followed up the phenomenal success of his influential debut feature, My Sassy Girl, with The Classic. Ji-hyae (Son Ye-jin of Chihwaseon) is a shy college student who has a crush on theater student Sang-min (Jo In-seong). Unfortunately, her friend Soo-gyung (Lee Sang-in) has already begun dating the guy. Ji-hyae helps her friend compose romantic e-mails to Sang-min and sometimes socializes with them, but feels like a third wheel. Sang-min seems to like her, but Soo-gyung insists that it's only because Ji-hyae is her friend. Ji-hyae is clearing out her family's home when she finds a box of love letters and an old journal and begins reading about her mother, Sung Joon-hee (also played by Son), the granddaughter of a wealthy politician, and her forbidden dalliance with Oh Joon-ha (Cho Seung-woo of Chunhyang), a poor boy from the same hometown. The two developed a romantic infatuation, but Joon-hee's father had already planned for her to marry Tae-soo (Lee Gi-woo), the son of a business associate. The situation grew more complicated when Tae-soo befriended Joon-ha at school, and asked his help in winning over Joon-hee. This tale is intercut with Ji-hyae's story, set in the present day. The Classic was shown at the 2004 New York Korean Film Festival.