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40 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

Just wonderful.

Author: pHo
18 February 2004

I sat down tonight, in order to watch Christmas in August. It's at the top of some peoples Korean film list, and is supposed to be, quite simply brilliant. But instead, another film on the pile (yes, the infamous pile of everlasting movies is still with me) caught my attention, and I decided to watch just the first 5mins.

5 mins turned into the first 10.

10mins turned into the first half.

The first half turned into the whole movie.

A simple storyline, but as they so often are, so wonderfully told. A girl with a terminal disease falls for the boy who lives downstairs from her. Nothing more, nothing less. But the acting ability, and the brilliant writing keep this movie moving along with joy, even tho deep deep down, you know its going to end in tragedy.

The cinematography, is beautiful. Some of the scenes are so lovingly shot, and the subtlety as to which the girl's (Mina) disease is dealt with far surpasses virtually any documentary about someone in ill health. The characters writing for each part is done so well, and even tho there's literally only a handful of people in the film (which is great for newbies to asian cinema!) each one is crafted so well, especially the male and female lead.

Its a funny film, with plenty of laugh out loud moments, as it always is with asian movies. Maybe I'm one of only a few, but the humour in some of the smallest jokes sometimes makes the experience for me, and luckily these translate really well (an example, in one of the scenes the word "sacks" is misheard for "sex" causing embarrassment) and overall the subtitles are pretty well done with few, if any, errors.

I tend to watch as many films as I possibly can, and so far this year I've not really been enticed by anything "new" to watch, and have settled for rewatching some favorites, and older films I've missed out on. Therefore, "" has risen very quickly to the top of the pile of movies i've enjoyed so far this year. If in theory you're attracted to a romantic comedy but the western efforts seem so tacky and lifeless, then this might be the film for you. A great film for anyone who wants to try asian cinema without getting into something either too complex or badly translated, a great film for those already submersed into the world, a great film for those who enjoy rom-com's with "that little bit extra"... a great film.

The sad thing is, it's been out (in cinema, and from a few days ago, on dvd) for several months, and I was the 8th person on iMDB to give it a mark. If you're sick of films like National Security or Haunted Mansion even GETTING marks in the first place, then its time to ignore Western commercial cinema, and give something else a try. You can start here.


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28 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

afraid to watch it again...

Author: phillyX from Denmark
4 July 2004

Telling the story of a teenage girl who lives with her mom we follow the life of Mina who has only a couple of months left to live in because of a disease. Her mom is trying her best to encourage Mina to live life to the fullest and enjoy herself and be happy. One day a guy moves in downstairs and Mina is about to experience love for the first time.

The story seems so deceptively simple but still its like this movie is pure magic and that everything just seems perfect: the mood, the setting and the characters and also featuring a gorgeous soundtrack to accompany the movie.

Since this is a romantic movie there are of course ups and downs and heartfelt laughter and warmth and also VERY emotional scenes. while watching the events unfold the viewer knows deep down inside that it is in the end a tragic movie. I have rarely (if ever) shed my tears to a movie but everything in this movie comes across as being perfectly natural and none of the emotional scenes look forced or fake (lord of the rings as an example). The relationship between the mother and daughter looks truly genuine and the love teenagers experience also looks genuine (by korean standards anyways) and shows just how deep the characters really are.

after watching i could not hold back my tears... when my eyes had dried up i reviewed some of the scenes...and the tears all came back! this is the first movie that has ever done that to me and I'm afraid if i watch it again i wont be able to hold back.

truly a korean masterpiece. watch it!


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26 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

A Modern Day Masterpiece.

Author: NuKu-NuKu from UK
27 February 2004

It's not often i cave in to pressure to see a movie, but on this occasion i did. I decided to give this baby a go, and boy was i not disappointed!!! tells the story of Mina, a young girl who is very sick and loveless. Mina struggles to cope with her life and loneliness after being in hospital for most of her life. Then one day a young man moves in to the apartment below and Mina and Jun become good friends. Although Mina is still insecure and distrusting, she finds a friend in Jun and their friendship blossoms, much to the delight of her friends and her mother.

This movie is a bitch! It tears with your emotions horribly. One moment i was happy, the next i was genuinely about to burst in to floods of tears. This movie carries a simple romantic story, but is executed on an almost masterly level. From the moment the movie opens with it's beautiful acoustic opening song, through each and every beautiful camera shot, to the powerful ending; is an emotional and exhilerating rollercoaster. It's engrossing, addictive, highly watchable and overall an incredible movie. Pure and Simple. is proof that Asian cinema is in a league well and truly of it's own. It offers some of the best acting and directing talent and has it's own unique style that simply cannot be replicated or remade ANYWHERE else (are you LISTENING America?).

Quite simply - and i feel pretty bold with my labelling here - is a modern day masterpiece. To call yourself a movie fan and to go through life without watching this would be dealing yourself the greatest, most catastrophic dishonour ever.

One of the most unmissable, engrossing and frankly brilliant movies i've ever had the pleasure to see. To the director of, Eon-hie Lee, thankyou. Thanks a million.

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21 out of 23 people found the following review useful:


Author: vincent.vega-2 from vienna
30 March 2004

One of the few asian movies (that I know of) that will appeal to a wide audience. is truly an unforgettable movie.

The story's about a lonely girl whose illness kept her from making friends. Now in her teens attending school is about the most socializing thing she does. And even there she sits quiet in class. Her mother, knowing that her daughters decease will kill her sooner than later, keeps encouraging her daughter to live her life to it's fullest, getting a boyfriend and having fun. As one day a young photographer moves in in the flat under them and falls in love with her, she slowly learns to come out of her shelf...

The story is quite simple but it's really well written with GREAT characters and funny ideas and translated professionally onto the screen. It almost feels like an Hollywood movie if there wasn't the fact that this is much more wittier and more original than Hollywood will ever be.

If you're in for a heartwarming movie and prepared to shed some tears watch this movie. I highly recommend it!

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13 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Simple, subtle, quiet, but extremely effective.

Author: sain11 from Australia
19 July 2005

Korea has a long tradition in the romantic melodrama, and the concept of a young woman with a serious illness has been done countless times. However, rarely has this topic been covered as delicately and emotionally as it is in "".

The cast is superb all around. Su-jeong Lim and Rae-won Kim have great chemistry as Min-a and Yeong Jae, but the show stopper is Mi-suk Lee as the mother. Her quiet desperation and struggle for her daughter to enjoy "quality of life" rather than "quantity of life" is just heart breaking.

The director, Eon-hie Lee, does an excellent job of engaging the audience with what is a very simple love story, but then as the third act gets going you slowly realise that there is much more going on than you first thought. This is not to say there are any real shocks or surprises, but this film takes the viewer to new emotional depths very subtly and unexpectedly.

Well worth seeing if you are in a quiet and contemplative mood, or if you need to exercises your heart-stings or tear-ducts.

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

A thing called love

Author: ( from Hong Kong
13 March 2006

I love the movie so much. I guess it has to do with me, a hopeless romantic. I guess I would understand why Min-a's mother has to do such thing. I think all parents wanted the best for their children. As for Min-a, she did well as the lead actress of this movie and Kim Rae Won, I think he's not just a good looking actor but he could act pretty well. It was quite touching to see the photo of both Mina and her mother's hands holding holding eah other which was exhibited. One thing that brought me to tears was when Min-a's mother handed Kim Rae Won a compilation of Min-a's drawings and in the first page was their photo with a a dedication: "to my dear youngjae, for sharing the happiest moment of my life." Love comes in an unexpected places and time, I guess that was what happened to Kim Rae Won in the movie. The songs are truly good. I recommend this movie.

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A short review.

Author: Meg Mee from Australia
12 November 2005

I watched this for the first time with my south Korean house mate.The video had no subs for me to read but that didn't matter because the acting was so great and the story so well written that you knew what was happening. I did have to ask my house mate to translate a few things here and there but for the most part i just loved watching the film with out the distraction of subs. I especially loved the scene in the ballet school and the scene in the hospital. Both these scenes are beautifully shot.

I loved the way the two lead characters interact. There is non of the usual sloppy, fuzzy, cheesy romance that south Korean films do so well. There is a sophistication or maturity to the relationship developing during the film.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Another Korean Classic

Author: nitin_kushwaha001 from India
20 June 2009

If you are a fan of Korean movies. Then you must see i bet you'll cry your heart out at the end of movie. Korean film makers are miles ahead of Hollywood film makers when it comes to romantic movies. they actually show what true love is. Its disappointing to see a very few comments on this gem of a movie. so I Decided to post my first comment on this one. Everything about this movie is awesome. Acing, Screenplay, and the selection of actors is just perfect. Music of the movie is quite good too. The pace of the movie is pretty decent. You Hardly realize that the movie is heading towards its end. Watch this one if you wish know what true love is. Highly Recommended. 10/10.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

a quaint movie

Author: chaoticnirvana from India
8 December 2006

though am quite new to Korean cinema, introduced to the same in Singapore, have liked quite a few of them. being one of the primary ones. the story line is very simple and the director keeps the use of situations, extra faces to the bare minimum, which in my opinion enhances the depth of the script and makes one focus on the storyline. the story of a girl about to die, and who is sort of shunned by most of her peers finds love in the boy-next-door, was quite appealing. Mina came across as a rather melancholic high school girl in the initial part of the movie, who opens up to stupid and sometimes downright hilarious advances of yeoung. there were moments in the movie when the expanse of human relationship was aptly expressed and the momentary nature of life made evident. simply loved the movie!

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

excellent movie - everyone should watch (

Author: ghajiniblue from India
18 October 2009, excellent movie and definitely one of my favorite movie in Korean side. am not a Korean, but really like this movie very much This story is all about daughter-mother relationship as well as daughter-her lover relationship..

A simple storyline, but as they so often are, so wonderfully told. A girl with a terminal disease falls for the boy who lives downstairs from her. Nothing more, nothing less. But the acting ability, and the brilliant writing keep this movie moving along with joy, even tho deep deep down, you know its going to end in tragedy.

If you are a fan of Korean movies. Then you must see i bet you'll cry your heart out at the end of movie. Korean film makers are miles ahead of Hollywood film makers when it comes to romantic movies

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