An Unexpected Marriage Proposal Happens in ‘How To Get Low Income’

What do you do when a close friend suddenly asks for your hand in marriage?

How To Get Low Income

How To Get Low Income’ follows the story of two friends, Soo-jin (played by Hwang Seung-hyun) and Jung-hyeok (played by Yoon Sang-hyeok). Soo-jin and Jung-hyeok are hanging out in silence at what seems to be a cafe slash library. Jung-hyeok is busy munching on his snack when Soo-jin breaks the silence and suddenly asks him to marry her. Jung-hyeok is gobsmacked and drops his food. 

Days later, when he is out drinking with his friend Hee-sung (played by Park Hyo-won), Jung-hyeok recounts what happened with Soo-jin. Jung-hyeok tells his buddy that it was three days ago when Soo-jin proposed to him. Hee-sung asks if she’s in love with Jung-hyeok which he denies. Hee-sung asks if it is Jung-hyeok who is in love with her which he vehemently denies, even going so far as saying he’s making him lose his appetite. Jung-hyeok claims that he is not Soo-jin’s type, besides, he already likes someone else. (Insert googly eyes from this writer.) Hee-sung insists that you can’t really know for sure because why else would Soo-jin ask for marriage if she doesn’t like him like that? Jung-hyeok recalls the moment. 

Back at the library, Soo-jin confessed to him that she needed it for the national scholarship. Jung-hyeok asked what it was for and Soo-jin answered that if they were to get married, their resident registration certificate would be separated which meant their household would get changed as well. However, they both don’t have a lot of savings, so their income fraction would be measured low thus increasing their scholarship. Basically, she’s asking to marry so they can change their income bracket which would afford them a higher scholarship.

How To Get Low Income

Jung-hyeok remarked that she had enough money to get through college so what changed? Soo-jin said that things just happened that way so she might suffer for the next semester. Soo-jin looked pensively at the window.

Back to the present, Hee-sung confidently claims that Soo-jin is totally into Jung-hyeok. Hee-sung says that her reasoning is weak so Soo-jin definitely has feelings for Jung-hyeok because even if it’s for money, would someone talk so lightheartedly about marriage like that? Jung-hyeok remarks that she’s just complicated. Besides, people will confess if they like someone and not use scholarship as an excuse for marriage. Hee-sung nods but looks entirely unconvinced. He comments that Jung-hyeok must know Soo-jin so well so why didn’t he go out with her? Jung-hyeok answers that she doesn’t like him and vice versa. Hee-sung asks if he’s just playing with her which Jung-hyeok denies since he likes someone else. Hee-sung opines that Soo-jin must be weird if her reason is truly the scholarship. Jung-hyeok asks for a change of topic. Hee-sung fiddles with his phone as Jung-hyeok recalls what happened next in his conversation with Soo-jin.

At the library, Soo-jin told Jung-hyeok that they could divorce after graduating since they wouldn’t need a registration for marriage in Korea. Jung-hyeok asked what was in it for him and Soo-jin answered that he could apply for a newlywed house and probably more if he searched for it. Soo-jin packed up her things and moved to leave for a job interview. But before leaving, Soo-jin asked him to reconsider her strange request and that she would pay him back in the end.

 

Watch ‘How to Get Low Income’ on GagaOOLala.

Back to the present, Hee-sung looks up from his phone and eyes Jung-hyeok. Hee-sung asks if it’s true that Soo-jin is pregnant. Jung-hyeok is just as shocked as he asks what that is about. Hee-sung says he was sure the father was Jung-hyeok but his reaction said otherwise. Hee-sung continues interrogating Jung-hyeok about Soo-jin’s alleged pregnancy— does he know the father? If not, then who is?

Hee-sung remarks that Soo-jin is an outsider because of her quiet personality. However, one day, she was caught wearing the same clothes for two days straight. Jung-hyeok says she must’ve been busy. Hee-sung counters that what’s weird is that she was overdressed. Jung-hyeok continues to defend Soo-jin, saying she must have a lover or something, it’s a little too much to infer that she’s pregnant. But it’s not just that. Hee-sung says that she quit university all of a sudden. Hee-sung tells Jung-hyeok that he should know since he’s her best friend and he tells him Soo-jin quit two days after her proposal. Furthermore, a classmate saw her enter a maternity hospital yesterday. It just turned out that way so the rumor spread, Hee-sung says.

Jung-hyeok asks why Hee-sung’s asking him. Hee-sung replies that he’s just curious since they’re close and all. Hee-sung confesses he thought it was him who got Soo-jin pregnant but that he definitely wasn’t the one who spread the rumor that he was the father. He rambles about defending Jung-hyeok from the rumors before landing on a different topic: Jung-hyeok’s crush. Hee-sung inquires about her identity and promises to help Jung-hyeok with her. Besides, that will crush the rumors about him if he starts going out with her. Jung-hyeok answers that they’re in the same department but if he ends up dating his crush, a serious rumor will come out.

Hee-sung starts to chide him about his negativity until Jung-hyeok spots a girl from behind him. He excuses himself and runs after the girl.

The girl turns out to be Soo-jin. Jung-hyeok doesn’t beat around the bushes and asks Soo-jin if she’s truly pregnant. Soo-jin is clueless about the rumor. Jung-hyeok asks why she’s there and Soo-jin says it’s for a job interview and asks what about him. They start walking. Jung-hyeok tells her he’s drinking with Hee-sung. Soo-jin asks if it’s the same guy that Jung-hyeok likes and he answers affirmatively. So, that’s who Jung-hyeok likes. Soo-jin asks if it’s a date but Jung-hyeok says no. Soo-jin adds that it couldn’t have been since it seems like Hee-sung doesn’t really swing that way so Jung-hyeok should just give it up. Jung-hyeok says he’s long given up on Hee-sung but enough about that. Jung-hyeok asks about her quitting the university. Soo-jin confesses that she’s broke and she’d rather die than be in debt so she just quit school altogether. Anyway, she has a plan.

How To Get Low Income

Jung-hyeok asks if Soo-jin left her house and Soo-jin replies that she has since her family kept introducing men to her after coming out. (Oh, Soo-jin swings that way, too. Now, it makes sense that she and Jung-hyeok are best friends. Ha!)

They stop walking and Hee-sung persuades her to continue going to school so the rumors would stop. Soo-jin assures him that she’s okay. She’ll just wait for everybody to graduate before continuing her education quietly. Jung-hyeok asks if she has a place to sleep and Soo-jin answers her lover’s place near the university. Soo-jin and her girlfriend plan to save up and move out soon. Soo-jin tells Jung-hyeok to not keep Hee-sung waiting so he should go back now. She says that Jung-hyeok shouldn’t worry about her because things will get better soon. Soo-jin turns around and leaves. Jung-hyeok watches her walk away before walking back to the eatery. From the outside, Jung-hyeok stands and watches Hee-sung eat, oblivious to Jung-hyeok’s gaze.

 

Writer’s thoughts:

Was Jung-hyeok’s crush unpredictable? Not really. But what this writer can appreciate from ‘How to Get Low Income’ is that despite it being a conversation-heavy film, we actually get a glimpse of the plight queer people. Jung-hyeok not being able to even confess to his friend, Soo-jin moving out of her house after her family’s constant invalidation of her sexuality, and Soo-jin resorting to asking a gay friend to marry her just so she could continue her education are just some of the things that real queer people go through. 

This writer recommends ‘How to Get Low Income’ which is only 11 minutes long and is definitely worth the watch.

 

Watch ‘How to Get Low Income’ on GagaOOLala which is now available to watch on your smart TVs! Just download the GagaOOLala app on Google Play, Amazon Appstore, and Roku.

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