Screenshot of Jang Keun-suk (left) and Yoona (right) in TV series "Love Rain" [KBS]
"We aren't...it's not like that," In-hae (Jang Keun-suk) said, as he firmly rejected the innkeeper's suggestion to stay a night at the motel near the station. He and Yoon-hee (Yoona) just missed the last train back to Seoul. Because his feeling towards Yoon-hee is a pure love without physical affection, the drama strictly aparts the pair's feeling of first crush from physical thirst. To find out Yoon-hee's feeling towards him, In-ha kisses on her cheek, instead of kissing on her lips. Just like how many people have pointed out, their pure first love seems to be a story that has been told many times before. A love triangle that is disguised in friendship; the wrong timing of confessing one's love; an impulsive decision to join the military after being heartbroken; and a young couple that rides the overnight train to see the East Sea. One can say that "Love Rain" is cliche but it is not exactly right to say that this storyline was a mistake. The drama is intentionally aiming to present a "cliche" love story.
It has been a while since director Yoon Suk-ho drew a love story that transcends time. His past four-season-themed features focused on Yoon's message that love never dies and it always comes back. "Love Rain" is drama that the climax of his message, by portraying a couple reuniting 30 years after having a crush on each other. Without a doubt, first love in "Love Rain" had to be cliche enough to bear that 30 years of time and bear all the likely elements of first love that are familiar to the public. The classic mellow film "Love Story," which In-ha and Yoon-hee decide to watch after checking each other's feelings, was intentionally put in the storyline to provide the basic element of first crushes. The drama tried hard to depict the atmosphere of 1970s for the same reason. Thus, it is pointless to ask why “Love Rain” is cliche. The drama was made to portray the purity and tenacity of that cliche kind of love. It is now up to the viewers to decide whether they will be joining director Yoon's perspective of love or not.
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