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Rom-com ‘Love, Again’ begins at divorce

Sept 18,2019
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From left; Actors Kwon Sang-woo, Lee Jung-hyun, Lee Jong-hyuk and director Park Yong-jip pose for the cameras holding up signboards that promote their upcoming romantic comedy film, “Love, Again.” The film is scheduled to hit theaters on Oct. 17. [NEWS1]

Marriages need work, people say, and relationships are almost always complex and difficult. This less romantic side of romance is the focus of upcoming romantic comedy “Love, Again.”

Hyun-woo and Sun-young (played by Kwon Sang-woo and Lee Jung-hyun) are a freshly divorced ex-couple who even held their very own “divorce ceremony,” inviting all their close friends to witness their divorce and declare each own’s freedom.

Although the two seem to enjoy their single lives at the beginning, they somehow continue to cross each other’s paths. Any hopes of them starting afresh are thrown into disarray when Hyun-woo reconnects with his old high school friend Sang-chul (played by Lee Jong-hyuk), who introduces him to his new love interest, the very same Sun-young that Hyun-woo just divorced.

“Before I read the script, I was worried that the plot setting of holding a divorce ceremony wouldn’t be natural,” said actor Lee Jung-hyun.

“But [after I read the script] I came to understand how the two had to hold the event. Hyun-woo and Sun-young didn’t have a proper wedding and Sun-young never really wanted a divorce. But seeing Hyun-woo wanting to get a divorce so badly hurt her pride, and she struck a deal with Hyun-woo that she will give him their divorce if they hold a proper ceremony to announce their separation.”

Lee Jung-hyun also thanked the director Park Yong-jip for casting her in her first rom-com. “I was mostly cast and portrayed as dark or complex characters that have their own distinct stories,” said the actor.

“So I’m so excited about how the film will come out, and the three of us had such good chemistry. Kwon and Lee were already veterans of the genre, so I was able to work comfortably with them.”

Kwon and Lee Jong-hyuk met on the set for the first time after 15 years since they last worked together on “Spirit of Jeet Keun Do” (2004).

“As Hyun-woo and Sang-chul are high school friends, we have a scene parodying a scene from the ‘Spirit of Jeet Keun Do,’ because our former characters also met each other in high school,” Kwon said.

“Both of us were newbies at the time, and I think just the fact that we are able to meet and work on another film together is really meaningful.”

Meanwhile, Park commented that although the idea of holding an official event to make a divorce seems far-fetched, he thought that audience members involved in any kind of relationship would find the characters relatable.

“After doing some research on the divorce rate, I found that over 60 percent of the reasons were ‘irreconcilable differences in regard to personality,’” said Park.

“The reason behind Hyun-woo and Sun-young’s divorce is the same. All of the insignificant disagreements accumulated over the years, ultimately leading to their separation and they wanted to mark it official through the ceremony.”

Kwon has mostly appeared in thriller or action films over recent years, such as “The Accidental Detective” series in 2015 and 2018.

“[I think] one of the most popular genres for actors - regardless of their gender or age - is romance,” Kwon said.

“Everyone can relate to falling in love and working on a relationship, which is why I believe the film can be sympathized with by audiences from all kinds of relationships - whether they’re deliberating upon marriage, are married, divorced, or just broken-up. I can assure that they won’t be bored while watching the film for two hours.”

BY LEE JAE-LIM [lee.jaelim@joongang.co.kr]