“Happy New Year”, a fairytale-like movie, there are still many things to be disappointed about but still…

[Review] “Happy New Year” is a light and comfortable year-end fairytale-like movie. 

Amid such a heavy atmosphere due to the aftermath of the pandemic, a healing movie that can decorate the end of this year announced its release. It is the romance master Kwak Jae-yong’s new film “Happy New Year,” who directed the movies “The Classic” and “My Sassy Girl”. The movie is typical, but it depicts a fairy tale that the audience can enjoy without any burden, and presented them with a time to forget the harshness of reality for a while.

Hotelier So-jin (Han Ji-min), who has been hesitant to confess to her male friend for 15 years, and Seung-hyo (Kim Young-kwang), who announces a high-speed surprise marriage with his girlfriend without knowing his friend’s feelings for him. Yong-jin (Lee Dong-wook) is the representative of the hotel who has everything but suffers from obsessive compulsion, and Lee Young (Won Jin-ah) is the housekeeper who gave up his dream of becoming a musical actor and jumped into this harsh life to survive. Jae-yong (Kang Ha-neul) is a hotel guest in despair because nothing turns out the way it should be for him, but then he got caught in an unexpected wake-up call.

Review Happy New Year K-Drama

There are also stories about singer Lee Kang (Seo Kang-joon) who is in his heyday after a long period of being unknown and his manager Sang-hoon (Lee Kwang-soo), ex-lovers Catherine (Lee Hye-young) and Sang-kyu (Jung Jin-young), who met again as guest and doorman for the first time in 40 years and Jin-ho (Lee Jin-wook), a man who is waiting for a new relationship at the hotel lounge every week. The last stories of the year, sometimes dizzying, sometimes affectionate, and sometimes happy, begins at Hotel Emross.

The movie “Happy New Year” (Director Kwak Jae-yong) depicts the story of people visiting Hotel Emross with their own stories, creating their relationships in their own way. Director Kwak Jae-yong of the films “My Sassy Girl” and “The Classic” was in charge of directing, and the movie stars actors Han Ji-min, Lee Dong-wook, Kang Ha-neul, Lim Yoon-ah, Won Jin-ah, Lee Hye-young, Jung Jin-young, Kim Young-kwang, Lee Kwang-soo, Ko Sung-hee, Cho Joon-young, and Won Ji-an.

Review Happy New Year K-Drama

There is this sentimental atmosphere that pushes the cringe index to the highest. Typical Cinderella stories, which are now difficult to meet, naturally appear, and the way the characters are shone, the process of them falling in love and welcoming the end of the year are just cliché. There is also an impression that all the basic romantic comedy scenes that anyone has watched at least once are gathered together in this movie.

The composition, directing and story can be boring, but “Happy New Year” would hardly cause a negative reaction for some reason. It is not burdensome as it is neither heavy nor light, and the boring story with a happy ending is somewhat satisfactory. Cheesy scenes that people would not normally be able to look straight at also come out pleasantly and smoothly.

Review Happy New Year K-Drama

It may have been director Kwak Jae-yong’s thorough intention, but the movie seems to have accurately met the needs of the audience when they are currently enduring the heavy reality due to the pandemic. These days, it seems difficult to enjoy a happy end-of-year as social distancing has been strengthened again, but “Happy New Year” took away the shadow that filled the audience’s life by drawing a pure and cute fairy tale so that they can forget all about the current dizzy world.

Of course, as mentioned earlier, there is room for likes and dislikes to be clearly divided because both the story and the directing cannot hide its outdated aspects. In particular, the love story of Yong-jin (played by Lee Dong-wook) and Baek Yi-young (played by Won Jin-ah) makes the audience feels like they are watching a popular drama 20 years ago.

However, “Happy New Year”‘s warm and pretty visuals as well as the actors’ passionate performances not only make you forget the cliche but also amplify the movie’s charms. In particular, Han Ji-min and Kang Ha-neul attracted attention. Han Ji-min caught the audience’s eye with her pure and bright portray of a character who has been hesitant to confess to her male friend who is also her crush for 15 years, and Kang Ha-neul evoked sympathy as an infinitely frail yet supremely realistic young man.

Review Happy New Year K-Drama

There are so many things that can be improved that it is difficult to list them all, but the movie is still okay. Even if it seems old-fashioned and boring, warm fairy tales that can make you forget the cold reality are necessary at times like these days. If you are a viewer who wants to end the year happily with your family, friends or lovers, it would be a good idea to watch this movie at least once.

Release date: December 29th / Age rating: 12+ / Director: Kwak Jae-yong / Cast: Han Ji-min, Lee Dong-wook, Kang Ha-neul, Im YoonA, Won Jin-ah, Lee Hye-young, Jung Jin-young, Kim Young-kwang, Seo Kang-joon, Lee Kwang-soo, Ko Sung-hee, Lee Jin-wook, Jo Joon-young, Won Ji-an / Production company: Hive Media Corp. / Distributed by CJ ENM, TVING / Running time: 138 minutes / Star review: ★★☆

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