Here are my top three favorite Asian tearjerkers when I want to detox from work-related stress.
I just let it all out in one big sobfest.
1. Save the Last Dance for Me (2005)
This site did a good synopsis: Save the Last Dance
It’s the only kdrama with double amnesia that I would tolerate. While suffering from amnesia, the rich city guy met the poor girl at her pension in the country. They fell in love and married. When he regained his memory, he forgot the girl. She followed him to Seoul and hung around him, taking on menial jobs, waiting for him to remember her. He thought she was sticking around him because he reminded her of her “dead” boyfriend.
I skip almost all the episodes but Episodes 14 and 18 are my Kleenex moment.
Rating: 4.5/5 tissues
2. Wanida (2010)
One of my favorite sassy girls is Wanida. I like it that she’s strong enough to take the flak from her mother-in-law and her husband’s girlfriend. Yup, you read that right: her husband has a girlfriend. lol.
It’s an arranged marriage. The guy’s from an old rich family who needed money quick and the girl’s father is the loan shark who wants to marry her off to him so she can have raise her social standing. Of course, the two hated each other on sight but went along with the wedding. They were supposed to live separate lives. But pretty soon, everybody began falling in love with Wanida, everybody except for his mother and his girlfriend. These two made life hard for her but also comical for the viewers. I thought it was fun watching those occasions when they harassed Wanida because she proved herself to be spunky, determined, resourceful and mischievous. You slap her, she slaps back harder.
The guy realizes that he’s fallen in love with his wife just as his rich father-in-law decides to remove his daughter from the evil mother-in-law’s company. He tries to stop her from leaving but gets detained at work. He follows her to her home and begs her not to divorce him yet until he’s settled his issue with his girlfriend.
I know it sounds bizarre: wife versus girlfriend. But as I said, their union was for convenience only and they were planning to separate anyway.
This was a fun lakorn to watch. It helped, too, that actor playing the husband wasn’t bad-looking. His character was such a push-over whenever his mom and girlfriend guilt-tripped him, and a stick-in-the-mud whenever Wanida tried to make him have fun.
Episode 14 is my Kleenex moment.
Rating: 3/5 tissues
3. Reply 1997 (2012)
In Episode 12, the girl jokingly/cruelly begs to be given a ring from the guy who’s been crushing on her for years…YEARS!
Guy: You’re really so cruel. How can you ask me for that?
Girl: Why not? I’m too stupid to know why not.
Guy: Because I like you. I’m really into you. (awkward silence) I’ve been at your side since we were born. We’ve seen each other everyday. I even remember your first period. But I still see you as a woman. The first day of high school was the first time I thought you were pretty. After that day, I always gave you a hint. I liked you. I wanted you to like me. But you didn’t notice. Fine! Maybe you had only ever seen me as a friend so I should confess. So I told you to meet me after the college entrance exam. I told you to meet me at the school playground at eight. That it was my D-Day. But my older brother said, ten minutes before, he told me…he liked you. What should I do? There are only two people I love. One is my older brother who gave up everything for me. And the other is you. It’s you…but…my older brother likes you. A lot like I do. What should I do? What do you want me to do? I said what do you want me to do?
Then, they’re interrupted by a friend. When that friend leaves again, they pick up the conversation:
Girl: YoonJae-ah, can we just go back to being good friends again? Like you said, we’ve always been together since we were born. I’m not that smart. You know that. But I do know that you’re the friend who means the most to me. So…you’ll still be my friend, right?
Guy: If a man, if he tells a girl who doesn’t like him…like a pathetic fool…if he confesses everything, it means he never wants to see her again.
Then he stands up and places a small box in front of her. It’s the ring that she’s been whining for. He walks to the door and opens it.
Guy: A friend? Are you kidding me?
(I’m not sure. I think he might have even cursed in Korean, “Fuck that!” but the subbers opted for a clean version.) He closes the door.
Ugh! His parting shot is as good as Rhett Butler’s goodbye in Gone With the Wind. “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
Rating: 3.5 tissues
What are your top 3 tearjerkers?