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Indie film I Love You sweeps the nation

Lately, the talk of the town in Korean cinema isn’t a huge blockbuster with megastars or even a Hollywood import, but a little indie film that could, about finding love and happiness even at the tail end of your life. The heartwarming romantic comedy I Love You [그대를 사랑합니다] opened six weeks ago without much ado, but has slowly spread by word of mouth and critical praise, becoming a box office success and cultural darling among industry peers.

The small story about the inevitability of the things we face at the ends of our lives and the choices we make in spite of (or maybe because of) them has caught the best kind of buzz an indie film could get, shooting it up the box office ranks past big-budget fare. A film that once couldn’t secure financing to be made is now recouping four times its cost in just a few weeks.

The film stars the always fantastic Lee Soon-jae (My Princess, every drama ever) as a grandpa who falls in love for the first time in a long time, and finds himself out of sorts in the dating game. His character is a milkman with a stubborn streak, who swears a lot. I already love him. Yoon So-jung (I’ll Give You Everything) plays his love interest, Song Ee-peun, whose name literally means “pretty.” Much of their courtship is light and funny, and full of heart.

Song Jae-ho (Believe in Love, Sign) and Kim Sumi (Dangerous Meeting) play a married couple who face new challenges in their growing age, and their journey is basically going to make me cry buckets, I can tell. Song Ji-hyo (Crime Squad) also stars as Lee Soon-jae’s granddaughter, who advises him in the ways of love.

The average age of the main cast is 69, which you can imagine is extremely rare. These actors have been relegated to playing other actors’ grandparents for a good portion of their careers now, but are experiencing a revival with these roles that have put them back in the spotlight. For example leading man Lee Soon-jae, 76, has been in…wait for it…176 dramas and films in his career. I mean, WUT. Do you also bend space and time?

At the helm is writer-director Chu Chang-min (Lost in Love, The End of April) who is earning much of the praise for his delicate and humorous touch. The tone is something I can already tell that I like, because it isn’t sad for the sake of sad. It’s funny and poignant, which are the kind of tears that I don’t feel cheated out of. In the trailer below, Lee Soon-jae asks his granddaughter if Grandma Ee-peun will like his romantic overture, and she answers, “Yes, because she’s a woman too.” Movie, can I hug you?

The film opened quietly in mid-February, but has steadily been gaining praise from critics and celebrities alike. In six weeks’ time, it shot all the way up to number two at the box office last weekend, making the total audience count over 1.2 million people. But the reason it’s of particular interest is the relative scale of the production, which was initially very difficult to finance (because nobody thought it’d do well, hur). It was shot with a 1-billion-won budget, and then marketed with another 1.1 billion won (Point of contrast: Sector 7‘s budget is ten times that amount.)

To put it in relative terms, it cost a little over $900,000 to produce (and another $900,000 to market), and the film has grossed $8,189,246 (US dollars) to date, just domestically. So…if something cost 2 million to make but makes 8 million in six weeks, that’s a helluva movie, math-wise.

Am so looking forward to a sweet, life-affirming movie with humor and heart. And NO, I totally did NOT cry, just from watching the one-minute trailer!

Via Joongang, Osen

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this will make me cry

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The trailer almost made me cry at the end but it looks so good. As soon as its available for DL...can someone inform me? Because the chances of this reaching the U.S. is uh...no chance (especially since I don't live in CA or NY where they show international movies occasionally). Haha.

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Trailer made me cry. And I was scoffing at girlfriday. That'll teach me!

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my favorite oldies in one movie <3

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Agh I love old people! I'm sure I'll end up in tears over this. :)

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sweet

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To grow old together is just a sweet and beautiful thing.

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i hope my life would be like that..grow old together~the sweetest thing ever..

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awwww!
i want to watch this movie now!
at the end of the trailer, i got goosebumps just from lee soon jae saying "i love you,"
;) *tear tear*

(btw, 176 DRAMAS AND FILMS? :O
i think my favorite drama from him is stars falling from the sky.)

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oh God.
i'm crying.

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Me too.

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oh my! In that photo they are holding hands and asking their family to let them marry? The 7th photo after the trailer. ♥

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they're already married actually - it's the other couple that is dating.

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Man, I was getting choked up just watching the trailer. I'll definitely be watching this when it comes available with subs.

I remember Kim Sumi as Jung Jae-min's mom in What Happened in Bali. She's actually only 59.

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^ that's the only way i remember kim sumi as well!!! hated her makeup in that movie!! but it might have just been the sign of the times... :P

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But, kaedejun, since it's been several years since WHIB aired, her makeup is probably making its way back. You should be the trend setter and start sportin' it...bring it back into vogue! And don't forget the ahjumma hair style...it's the whole package! LOL ;)

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My kind of romantic comedy. I would love to see this!

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wow... I want to watch this..

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This film looks beautiful. I can't wait to see it!

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it's showing in CGV LA!!! Woot!

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Lucid Fall's wonderful voice!! <3

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I love the poster, it draws you in. <3

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This is just so sweet.

I was thinking a while back that the vast majority of movies have hot, young people in the leading roles, and how much of a loss it is because of all the older talent out there ... so I've got to watch this one!

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so so cute!

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omg this isn't me crying either, really. good thing no one's home right now. that trailer was just so sweet, cute, and incredibly earnest.

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Me too. I totally did NOT cry. Nope. I didn't.

And I totally don't have denial issues like Kang-ah.

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well i DID cry simply watching the trailer. stories of enduring love simply makes me tear up. now i want to fly to korea just so i could watch it asap.

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For anyone interested: It's playing at that theater in Korea Town in LA that plays all the GREAT korean movies.

It's also going to play black mini dress in a few weeks. EEK

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I am so jealous of West Coast folks! No chance of that down here in Texas.

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Just me or the poster looks like every rom-com indie film evar?!!

haha, or maybe just antique :P

I really like these kinds of stories. Will check out.

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::snuffle, snuffle:: no...didn't make me ::snuffle:: cry.

This looks so sweet.

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Wow I want to watch this, I already love it the actors are some of my fave actors, and i was already getting emotional towards the end of the trailer.

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OMG this looks beyond adorable!!! *quickly adds to the already growing to-watch list of 2011 movies*

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awwww!! I want to see this so much! I'll have to wait til it comes out on DVD and order it, because it looks too well-made to stream online =p

I wonder if it'll play in any indie festivals in NZ

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my deepest respect to all of the casts..at average age of 69 and able to remember so many lines!...I wish I'd be like them when I get to that age..

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this looks really cute. :)

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lee soon jae! i love that man. this looks really heartwarming. awww who doesn't love old people!

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Geez, just reading the summary and looking at the pictures made me cry. GAWD! I want to watch it. I love heartwarming stuff like this. These are the kind of tears I'm willing to cry.

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YY, it's your Oppa!! Aren't you jealous?

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omygoodness. I just teared up watching a one-minute trailer with a language I do not understand. I'm so looking forward to this. Hopefully someone sub this movie.

I study people at the end of their lives and will probably work with them for a living, and it makes me so happy to see more films and media addressing the older generations, instead of just young, teenage love and angst.

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strange, isn't it? The film as a medium is pretty powerful. The trailer also made me teary eyed and like you, I don't know Korean. I'll watch out for this movie. I love movies that celebrate love whatever the age.

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Looks so good.

Now I just have to be patient until it show up online.

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okay, I DID NOT just cry.

who are we kidding honestly?!! lol!

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Yeah!!! We all love wonderful, sweet, and life-altering surprises.

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SOOO CUUTE! I love the end of the trailer, when Lee Soon Jae says "I love you"
AAAHHH!

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OMG Grandpa is back!!! YY is gonna be sooo happy!

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Oh my gosh...I was squealing from the start to the end of the trailer.

I thought I would only do that with Hyun Bin.

Haroboji.....ahh.I need to go call my Grandpa Ki now.

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Cuteness over-load. Makes cry just thinking about my own grand-parents who loved me more than anyone in this world.

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Just seeing the trailer and hearing about it makes me wanna cry :') Gotta watch this now

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Oh gees, I TOO DID NOT CRY '(> , <)" watching this movie trailer... I'm dicing onions so it's the onions, yeah, preparing dinner while multi-tasking online. (Goes and grabs a tissue napkin w/ no intention of eating dinner.)

When my man grows that old, I too hope he can still give me a piggyback ride like these amazing senior actors. I wonder where do these men work out. Ttt-yah~

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Gives me hope that I might fall in love (at least once) before I die.

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me too. I meant, i'm still hoping to experience that sweet romance even when i reach that age =)

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I don't even understand Korean and felt something welling up! Jeez, the power of cute old people :)

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Who needs some spoiled chaebols and damsels in distress ?

*tissue*

This is too cute.

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u r absolutely right!

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Kudos to those who believed in the movie and invested in its production so we can all see it! I was just thinking the other day how sad it is that older actors are often relegated to playing the parents of the young main characters.

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I love oldies! This is just too cute!

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Omigosh, they look so cute! Old people in love! *wiffle*

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I don't know about anyone else, but the trailer made me teary. I totally hope my independent movie theaters/film centers get wind of this movie so I can see it. I'll wait for however long it takes! Or until a DVD with subtitles is released!

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OMG the trailer made me go 'aww...'

The MV made me teary.

Thank you for the link.

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Lucid Fall?? LOL. Indie artist meets indie film. NICE. :D

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this looks AMAZING
i've loved everything the two men have been in, and probably have seen the women a lot too here and there.
such a movie is bound to move me.

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I was surprised when the original author was not all mentioned! This movie is based on an original webcomic made by Kang Full, one of the greatest tear-jerkering comic artist in Korea! All of his works are just simply amazing: it either tugs at your heart or keeps you on the edge of your seat, from his first chapter to the last. http://cartoon.media.daum.net/webtoon/view/iloveu

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you weren't kidding! I am laughing at myself because I am totally tearing up after that trailer. It looks wonderful and I really want to see it! I love it when people who are older get to take the spotlight--there's so much life and wonderful things to appreciate and learn at every age!

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