There’s absolutely no substance, whatsoever, to cotton candy but we enjoy every bite and love it anyway. I think of Autumn in My Heart as a big, fluffy bunch of cotton candy. It’s as sappy as sappy can get, in fact we’re up to our noses in it, but we don’t care because – well, I don’t really know why – just because, I guess.
If you are a love story fan this one is a must. I cried all three times I watched it. My brain realizes that’s silly but my heart just doesn’t seem to care.
Here is my attempt at a plot synopsis without giving away too much…
Yoon Joon-Suh and Yoon Eun-Suh are not only brother and sister, they are best friends who share an extremely close bond and absolutely adore each other. They tease, play with, and comfort one another almost to the extent of sharing one heart. One day, Eun-Suh is hit by a car and needs a blood transfusion. It is then her parents find out there was an accidental switch at the hospital when she was born and she is not their daughter. She is really the daughter of a very poor single woman and she has a very abusive older brother. Of course Shin-Ae, the real daughter, is delighted to find out she really doesn’t belong in such a horrible situation and decides to go live with her wealthy, loving, birth-family. Eun-Suh’s kind heart makes her feel she should go live with her biological family, after all, how could she leave the woman who gave birth to her alone in such poverty with a horrible son? So the girls switch places and both Joon-Suh and Eun-Suh are heartbroken they are no longer together. The pain of being NEAR Eun-Suh without being WITH her is so hard on the Yoon parents they decide to leave Korea and go to the States, forcing Joon-Suh to leave his precious little “sister” behind to live a life of misery. Fast forward 10 years and Joon-Suh is back in Korea with his fiancé and runs into Eun-Suh. They are overjoyed to be together once again and realize that being separated only made them love each other more. The sibling love quickly turns into a romantic one, much to the horror of the Yoon parents and the sorrow of Joo-Suh’s fiancé and the man who loves Eun-Suh. I can’t tell you any more without taking the risk of saying too much, so you’ll have to watch it to find out what happens.
Song Seung-Heon plays Joon-Suh as an adult. His character is a sensitive man who teaches art at a local college. He is a loving son, a good brother, an attentive fiancé, and a dependable friend. Just an all around good guy. And did I mention he’s good-looking?
Song Hye-Kyo plays the adult Eun-Suh. She is a tender-hearted, self-sacrificing young woman who works hard as a receptionist and housekeeper at a hotel to help her poor mother make ends meet. Although she has a very rough life, she doesn’t complain. She kind of reminds me of Cinderella.
Han Tae-Seok is played by Won Bin. Tae-Seok and Joon-Suh met in the States and have been close friends for years. Tae-Seok met Eun-Suh while she was working at the hotel and fell in love with her at first sight. He comes from a very wealthy family but isn’t really close to them.
Han Na-Na plays Shin Yoo-Mi, Joon-Suh’s fiancé. She is a very selfish, insecure person who resorts to lies and blackmail in order to control Joon-Suh.
I’m not sure who I would say loves Eun-Suh more – Joon-Suh or Tae-Seok. Joon-Suh is more passive in his love, whereas Tae-Seuk is more aggressive. They both love her, that’s for certain, just show their love differently. Personally, I would have been happy with either one. They are both great characters.
The soundtrack has sad, romantic ballads and there’s a lot of acoustic guitar music throughout the show. I recognized a famous classical piece in it but have no idea what it’s called. I’m sure you’ll know it once you hear it. You can also hear John Denver singing Lady in the background while Joon-Suh and Eun-Suh are at a restaurant. It’s a perfect song for that scene.
The scenery is absolutely exquisite! There are many, many outdoors shots and the brilliant autumn colors are phenomenal. Rivers, mountains, a farm… simply breathtaking! The location scouts outdid themselves.
Autumn in My Heart is the first of the four season-themed Endless Love Korean dramas. It is pretty much the grand-daddy of melodramas and was loved throughout South Korea with ratings reaching as high as 46%. Just a little less than half the country watching the show! Wow! That’s a huge following! It’s a 16 episode love story released way back in the year 2000 and stars Song Seung-Heon, Song Hye-Kyo, and Won Bin – big stars now but not widely known back then. The show was so loved that there was an Indonesian remake of it in 2005, a Philippine remake in 2010, and a Tai remake in 2013. I’d sure like to see them to compare them with the original.
Maybe Autumn in My Heart isn’t really all that ridiculous. Let’s see… You love your sibling for a dozen years and then find out they’re not your sibling after all. You’re separated from them for 10 years and when you finally reunite you, of course, still love that person and know they’re not part of your family. Now it’s a non-related adult love that could easily turn into something romantic. Does that sound impossible? Just allow yourself to go with the idea for 16 hours, especially if you’re a romantic at heart. After watching this Kdrama, Autumn just may turn out to be your favorite season.