Romance has apparently all-but disappeared from Korean films these days. It is something of a time-honored rule of thumb to include some love interest among the main characters of a Korean movie, regardless of genre. As recently as last year, box-office hits such as “The Thieves” and “Masquerade” all featured romantic tugs-of-war, or characters with a burning passion for someone. Even if the romance was not at the heart of the movie, it was always there to add spice to the plot.
However, this trend now seems to be on the wane. With the exception of the romantic comedy “Very Ordinary Couple” and disaster movie “The Tower,” most of the films in the top 10 at the box office so far this year do not deal with common forms of love and romance.
For example, the thriller “Cold Eyes” featuring actor Jung Woo-sung and actress Han Hyo-joo eschews romance in favor of camaraderie between the main characters. The movie is still sweeping box office and recently attracted 5 million moviegoers.
“Miracle in Cell No. 7” focuses on parental affection using a correctional facility as a backdrop, while other recent hits like “New World” and “Fist of Legend” have no room for female characters as they center on the world of men.