Newly released on Netflix, 20th Century Girl is a trope-filled Korean romance exploding with massive desktops, Casio-reminiscent watches, an incessant pager/payphone connection and piles of oversized clothes. It whisks us back to a time when Nostradamus’ predictions and a sense of uncertainty were buggin’ everyone out.
And though Y2K was the worry of businesses around the world, for some, it was secrets with your foreva home skillet and a hope for romance if they survived the New Year. For boy-crazy Yeon-du, all she can think about is her new love-at-first-sight, even as she’s jetted from Korea to the US for planned heart surgery rather than heading to high school with her friends.
Armed with only a name, friend-for-life Bo-ra, who doesn’t really get the whole crush thing, promises to track Hyun-jin, reporting every detail so Yeon-du can catch up by email from her recovery room. Bo-ra is committed to creating an experience as if Yeon-du hadn’t missed a thing.
When Bo-ra starts tracking Hyun-jin, everyone starts to believe she’s got a thing for him, especially Hyun-jin himself. She may be a bit surprised and flattered, but this is her best friend’s guy. She would never betray her like that.
So she does her mightiest to discourage him, explaining all of her bad habits. Meanwhile, having been using her broadcast club-mate and Hyun-jin’s best friend Woon-ho to gather data, they begin to quietly catch feelings for each other.
When Yeon-du returns post-surgery, the girls are happily reunited. But Bo-ra had hesitated to tell her about her feelings for Woon-ho. And lucky she didn’t, as it turns out that Yeon-du had the guys mixed up, and her crush is actually Woon-ho. Uh-oh.
Before the girls are able to sort themselves out, Woon-ho tells Bo-ra he’s returning to New Zealand. He confesses but she holds back, denying her interest in him, in deference to her friendship.
In a letter, Woon-ho had promised to return for Bo-ra but he doesn’t give it to her, dropping it in the rainy streets instead.
Eventually, Yeon-du figures out that Bo-ra does indeed have feelings for Woon-ho. And on the day he’s meant to leave, she plots with Hyun-jin to give the couple one last opportunity to talk things out, racing her to the train station.
After an emotional confession where Woon-ho promises to return, the couple keeps in touch over email. But he eventually stops responding to messages and their relationship evaporates.
After several years of pining, Bo-ra tells herself it’s time give up. But one day receives a package by post that includes Woon-ho’s movie and an invitation to an exhibit.
There, she meets Woon-ho’s baby brother, now a grown man. He tells her that Woon-ho had always kept her in his heart. And that Woon-ho tragically died all those years ago.
She moves on with her life but doesn’t have a significant other. So, she’s moved on but hasn’t really moved on, and from a romantic perspective is still stuck in the 20th Century. After hearing about Woon-ho’s tragedy she feels able to let go of her anger, and to celebrate the golden time they’d had.
Read More: 20th Century Girl Movie Review
Atleast they could have explained why he died!!!
The movie was good up until the last. We needed to know what type of death took Woon-ho away. I was just left hanging with no closure. What happened to the other two best friends? Did they end up together? Why was Ba-da rushed to the hospital? What happened in Woon-hu’s family life? They didn’t develop a lot of things and this hurt my enjoyment and review of the movie.
Had to come and get closure from other viewers cause like others I was left with the feeling of emptiness and saddenesss like my girl gets with no one at the end, we don’t know any information about the boy and how he died just a horrible ending genuinely falling Inlove with the story (love the female lead) and wasn’t expecting that ending AT ALL wouldn’t have watched it if i knew the ending was sad because I hate sad dramas (I cry to much) I feel like I was tricked into watching something that was supposed to be cute and light hearted and end up leaving with emptiness
Beautiful movie I must say , sad ending though, really wanted those two to have a fruitful life ,hey what can we say.thank u Netflix for a great movie I cryed many times
It is not a K-Drama but K-Trauma. The ending is tragic, yes but it could have been satisfying, but it did not.
Hate the movie! And hate the way in how the movie ending was made! Partly because of Poong Woon-ho’s early death! But mainly because it’s not been explained in the movie! About what happened in the events! Leading Poong Woon-ho to his death! So that’s why i hate the movie! And why i will never ever rewatch the movie 20th Century Girl ever again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
it left me with tearing eyes and I dont know what cause his death? whyyyy do I need the feel of emptiness on this film. I just felt myself in their shoes and I was able to absorbed all the emotion they have.
So glad you enjoyed it – I did too. Thanks for commenting!
this movie left me in tears it’s so nostalgic and heartwarming
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