With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, there’s never a better time to pop in a good old rom-com! And if you’re feeling nostalgic, how about revisiting some old school K-drama rom-coms from the 2000s?
Here’s a list of old school rom-coms that are guaranteed to make you laugh and squee and fill you with all the warm and fuzzies.
Joo Yoo Rin (Lee Da Hae) is a lovable con artist with an exceptional talent for lying. She is hired by Seol Gong Chan (Lee Dong Wook), a cool and serious businessman, to impersonate his cousin. However, things get complicated when they start developing feelings for each other.
Written by the famous Hong sisters, who have also penned many other popular Korean dramas such as “Hotel Del Luna” and “Master’s Sun,” “My Girl” has the duo’s signature quirky, witty plot and dialogues. It’s entertaining with lots of laugh-out-loud moments.
As for the romance, it’s a classic case of opposites attract. Our female lead is bubbly and witty, and it plays off well with our male lead’s serious demeanor. He appears to be cold but he’s quite the warm-hearted fellow. Add to the picture a sweet second lead, played by Lee Joon Gi, with an unrequited love for our female lead and you have a perfect rom-com for the ages!
Check out “My Girl” now:
Kim Sam Soon (Kim Sun Ah) is a talented pastry chef who works at Hyun Jin Hun’s (Hyun Bin) restaurant. Jin Hun is a callous hotelier with a tendency to keep people at arm’s length due to his traumatic past. The two don’t see eye to eye and fight like cats and dogs. In order to get his mother off his back about marriage, Jin Hun gets into a contract relationship with Sam Soon because he believes they will never fall for each other. But we all know how that will go!
Kim Sam Soon is not your typical female lead. On top of carrying some extra pounds and being 30, she’s hot-tempered and strong-willed. She’s also independent, great at what she does, and craves love. All of these make her a complex and three-dimensional character. She is relatable because she feels like a real person.
“My Lovely Sam Soon” is a rom-com that will make you swoon but more importantly, it will make you care and root for Sam Soon in her journey of self-discovery and love.
Check out “My Lovely Sam Soon” now:
“Princess Hours” reimagines monarchy in modern Korea. The drama follows the relationship between Crown Prince Lee Shin (Joo Ji Hoon), and his bride, Shin Chae Kyung (Yoon Eun Hye), an ordinary art student. The two are forced to marry due to an old pact made between their grandfathers. As she adapts to her new role and life in the palace, the two of them gradually fall in love.
A mix of school drama, palace intrigue, and contract marriage, the setup for “Princess Hours” is compelling and intriguing. The blend of modern and historical influences in the set design and costumes are a feast for the eyes. The gorgeous soundtrack also immerses viewers in the romance and majesty of modern monarchy.
The well-developed romance between the leads remains the most effective part of “Princess Hours.” The drama takes its time to develop their relationship, so by the time Lee Shin and Shin Chae Kyung realize their feelings for each other, it feels well-earned and authentic.
Check out “Princess Hours” now:
“Full House” follows Han Ji Eun (Song Hye Kyo), a bubbly aspiring writer, whose friends sell her house in a bid to settle their debts. She comes home to realize that a famous movie star, Lee Young Jae (Rain), has bought her house. Though they can’t stand each other, they eventually enter into a mutually beneficial contract marriage. The contract marriage trope might be overused, but it never fails to serve up some fun and cute cohabitation hijinks. How else would you keep two characters who hate each other in such close proximity?
Our female lead is bubbly and warm-hearted while Young Jae is the classic arrogant male lead. What sets him apart though is that he is also hilariously petty at times. The couple’s constant bickering and childish antics are definitely the highlights of the drama!
And of course the star power! With two huge stars anchoring the drama, “Full House” is definitely one drama you shouldn’t miss.
Check out “Full House”:
A remake of the Hollywood film “Overboard,” “Couple or Trouble” is about the unlikely romance between a snooty heiress and a hardworking handyman. Anna Jo (Han Ye Seul) loses her memory due to an accident and meets Jang Chul Soo (Oh Ji Ho) who she previously had several unpleasant encounters with. Chul Soo decides to get back at her by pretending she’s his girlfriend so he can bring her home to do household chores and babysit his nephews.
The amnesia trope is employed here as a setup for our haughty female lead’s character development. While Anna softens and becomes less selfish as the drama progresses, I love that she stays true to herself and retains her confidence and honest personality. Just like the audience, Chul Soo eventually sees beyond her brusque exterior and falls for her.
“Couple or Trouble” is another Hong sisters’ drama, but it is lighter and less angsty than their other works. The drama has plenty of funny and wacky moments, so if you’re looking for something light-hearted and fun to watch, “Couple or Trouble” is perfect for you!
Check out “Couple Or Trouble”:
Go Eun Chan (Yoon Eun Hye) is often mistaken for a man due to her boyish appearance. Thinking that Eun Chan is a guy, Choi Han Gyul (Gong Yoo) hires her to work at his cafe. They start developing feelings for each other, with Han Gyul still believing that Eun Chan is a guy. If you’re a fan of rom-coms, then you have to watch “Coffee Prince.” The unique and heart-fluttering romance will have you glued to the screen. What’s more, the leads have natural chemistry and really one of the best I’ve ever seen!
Plus the actors are remarkable in this drama. It’s hard to imagine that Eun Chan is played by the same bubbly and girlish Shin Chae Kyung in “Princess Hours.” Yoon Eun Hye fully embodies Eun Chan, from her mannerism to the way she talks. Gong Yoo is also splendid in his nuanced portrayal of Han Gyul grappling with his emotions and gradually coming to terms with his feelings for Eun Chan. The way his face lights up with joy when he’s in love is just so swoon-worthy. A smitten Gong Yoo is the best Gong Yoo!
Check out “Coffee Prince”:
The cast also recently reunited to share their experiences working on the drama and revisited some of the famous scenes in this two-part documentary “My Dear Youth – Coffee Prince.”
Don’t miss it! Catch the cast’s reunion here:
What do you think of the list, Soompiers? Do you have any other old school K-drama rom-coms to recommend? Let me know in the comments below!
Bellyfull is a pop-culture junkie.
Currently watching: “Mr. Queen”
Looking forward to: “Kingdom 3”
How does this article make you feel?