a moment to remember is just yet another example of how depressive a South Korean movie can be. Seriously, after the tear-jerking sad movie (2005) I thought I had seen it all. I was wrong. Nevertheless, a moment to remember, which was released a year earlier, substitutes many sad endings by a unique endless sad ending. The effect is still the same, though, and turns the John E. Lee second attempt to please the audiences into an enormous melodrama.
Oddly, I could not tell where the story was going. It starts with serendipitous encounters between Su-jin (Son Ye-jin) and Cheol-su (Jung Woo-sung, who played the firefighter in sad movie). She is an upper class young woman recently dumped by a married man she was having an affair with. He is a shrewd carpenter constantly laughing at life. Funny situations and even some slow motion for a pseudo-action shot. But everything, including the tone of the story, changes when she is diagnosed with Alzheimer.
And that is just the beginning of a succession of events that do not hide Lee’s intention of firing sad bullets at you. And not only that, each of them could have tied up the story, but does not. Thus, we have several pseudo-endings, one after the other until there is certainly no room for more.
The approach works while the love story is the absolute protagonist of what is going on. It is honest, and even though one is familiar with the story portrayed it does not hurt. How many times have we seen love triumph over social differences? But then the melodrama starts and stretches for too much and too long. Nevertheless, it manages to ask you a question. Does the love you feel for your significant other rely on your memories? Lee manages to throw arguments against and in favor but taking, in the end, a position somehow closer to the former, both more romantic and less logic.
Jung Woo-sung and Son Ye-jin are both charming as Cheol-su and Su-jin while they are falling in love, but too worried about showing themselves sad towards the end. In any case, they manage to carry a movie filled with beautiful landscapes and the usual trade marks of South Korean cinema.
All in all, an interesting reflection about love, deep love, through a devastating disease that unfortunately steals memories from us, and with them, something else?
For the deadhours of those who look for love within their memories and those who for whatever reason feel like crying with a movie.
official site | imdb