Starring: Ha Ji Won (The King 2 Hearts, Damo, Hwang Jin Yi, What Happened in Bali, Secret Garden, etc.), Yeon Jung Hoon (East of Eden, Love in Magic, Jejoongwon, Vampire Prosecutor, Snow White, etc.), Hyun Bin (Secret Garden, My Name Is Kim Sam Soon, The World that They Live in, Nonstop 4, etc.), Park Eun Hye (Yi San, 18 vs. 29, Exhibition of Fireworks, etc.)
Twinkies: 4 out of 5
Synopsis: Based loosely on the American novel, Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster, this movie is Korea’s rendition of the timeless classic. It tells the story of an orphaned girl Yeong Mi (Ha Ji Won), who receives the aid of a “Daddy Long Legs” as she struggles to survive without parents. She eventually obtains a job at a radio station and a comfortable house in which to live. She suspects that her “Daddy Long Legs” has pulled some strings.
While at the house, she discovers an email that takes her on an unexpected journey through the house’s owner’s tragic love life (the two characters are portrayed by Park Eun Hye and Hyun Bin). Meanwhile, at work, she meets and develops feelings for a fellow co-worker named Kim Jun Ho (Yeon Jung Hoon).
This tender love story that parallels another one Yeong Mi discovers through emails leads to an unexpected ending as she realizes just who her “Daddy Long Legs” is and how much she’s actually been loved all this time that she was growing up alone.
Musings: I thought that with Ha Ji Won’s recent hit, The King 2 Hearts, I would introduce to you (or in some cases re-introduce :)) this charming and timeless movie from 2005. At the time, I think I saw the movie more for Yeon Jung Hoon than for Ha Ji Won, but her gentle and Pollyanna portrayal of Yeong Mi soon won me over.
The parallel/frame narrative of this story took me on a journey of discovery, right alongside Yeong Mi, and likewise blindsided me; the shocking realization of her “Daddy Long Legs” left me aching for her yet relieved that she was able to find someone to love…before it was too late.
I don’t want to give away too much of the movie because I personally think stories should be personally experienced, and so I’ll simply say that I thoroughly enjoyed this sweet tale of a young girl’s discover of love and its profound influence in her life.
For those of you who are quite taken with Ha Ji Won’s portrayal of Kim Hang Ah in The King 2 Hearts, you’ll find another persona that Ha Ji Won portrays beautifully in this movie–the angelic ingenue. If you are looking for a sweet love story, albeit at times tear-inducing, you may want to check this movie out. I personally adored it, and its story has stuck with me these 7 years since I’ve seen it. So many beautiful and adorable scenes….