Friendship Blossoms Into Something Else in ‘A First Love Story’

A young man begins to see his childhood best friend in a new light without understanding how or when it began and decides to give it a try before the other departs for the military. Check out ‘A First Love Story‘ to see what happens.

Strongberry, the makers of ‘Long Time No See’ and ‘Secret Spectacles,’ offers ‘A First Love Story,’ a two-episode short series starring Kim Hyeongwon as Jae Sung and Jung Jaewoon as Mingyu. It tells the realistic story of childhood friends falling in love with each other and how their relationship goes after. Set in South Korea, where male citizens serve in the army, it also depicts bits and pieces of what it’s like to date one.

 

Warning: Spoiler alert! Read at your own risk.

 

Episode 1. Why are you talking about that now?

It’s strange how a normal face he used to see every day suddenly starts becoming unfamiliar the more he looks at it, how a usual poker face started making jokes with him, and how he notices him looking during soccer practice. Since when did this start or did he just eat something bad?

Mingyu reflects on these thoughts while hanging out with his childhood friend, Jae Sung, and is surprised when the latter unexpectedly announces that he will be enlisting in the military in two months. Shocked by the unexpected news, he questions why he is only learning about it now and receives a nonchalant response from Jae Sung that everyone goes anyway. The older man even confirms his guess that he has not yet informed his parents and would just do so at least a day before. Mingyu contests the sudden choice, but his friend responds humorously that he only wants to avoid seeing him. Jae Sung teases him, saying that Mingyu will certainly miss him even if he refuses to accept it. Despite his unconcerned demeanor, Mingyu tries to stop Jae Sung from enlisting soon by telling him that it will be chilly during the time he enlists, knowing that the latter is sensitive to cold, but is rejected. Realizing that his friend has finally made up his mind, Mingyu asks dejectedly if Jae Sung will be comfortable spending the next two years without him. When he gets a questioning look instead, he tries to shift the conversation by ordering Jae Sung to return all his comic books. In his thoughts, he begins to question himself about what he is saying.

Meanwhile, Jae Sung thinks the embarrassed Mingyu is cute and teases him, which leads to the two of them playing on the bed. When Mingyu gets on top of his best friend, they end up staring at each other, only stopping when the former’s mother knocks. Jae Sung asks Mingyu if he will accompany him to boot camp (similar to a send-off), who accepts with the claim that he will take a photo of the former with the shaved head and put it on Instagram, but Jae Sung tells him to keep it for himself.

Mingyu gets called ”cute” by Jae Sung after the latter criticizes his working out habit. Internally, he complains about the fact that Jae Sung keeps carelessly calling him cute. As Jae Sung begins to walk away, Mingyu realizes he can’t let him go so easily and pursues him. To Jae Sung’s surprise, he hugs him and urges him not to go. He admits that he likes the elder man and embraces him once more. Jae Sung threatens him with death if he flirts with another guy while he is serving, then kisses him and walks away cheekily.

Episode 2. The reason I fell in love with you.

A First Love Story 

The now-boyfriends meet in a cafe during Jae Sung’s day off, where they argue before conceding that they enjoy spending time together. When Jae Sung asks Mingyu how his school has been, the latter enthusiastically recounts that he is popular at his major and is constantly getting asked to attend drinking parties; the former interrupts him by asking if he misses him. Mingyu shyly admits that he missed his boyfriend a lot before inquiring how he’s been. He pulls a frown when Jae Sung tells him that a senior looks after him nicely and has been near him while he is asleep. Mingyu’s jealousy is only relieved when his boyfriend assures him he’s kidding.

Over drinks, Mingyu admits to feeling empty after not going home with Jae Sung since he enlisted, because they have done so since they were children. His partner tries to lighten the mood by asking if this means he misses him, but Mingyu interprets it as Jae Sung not having as much difficulty with their relationship as he does. Recognizing the younger person’s seriousness, Jae Sung assures him that he is constantly thinking of him. He recalls Mingyu asking him to watch his national taekwondo match with his parents and running towards him instead of his parents when he won, which surprised him. He mentions worrying a lot about Mingyu, who began to converse or laugh less when they were teenagers, and while he assumed it was due to puberty, it was the former starting to like him. He realizes later that the child he used to be concerned about has grown fearless and even has the guts to proclaim love for him. It makes him happy because it means he no longer has to hide his emotions. Jae Sung kisses an embarrassed Mingyu. They return home and make love to each other.

The following day, Mingyu tries to convince Jae Sung to let him stay instead of going to school, but the latter just sends him out the door. Before he walks out of the door, Jae Sung pulls him aside and tells him he loves him, to which Mingyu responds that he loves him too.

 

Writer’s Thoughts:

South Korean production company Strongberry proves once more that some stories don’t need a full series to make the audience feel satisfied. The simplicity of ‘A First Love Story‘ as your usual best friend to lover’s troupe becomes its strongest point with how the modest lines begin to build up the background of the characters’ friendship. Even Mingyu’s internal discussions throughout Episode 1 are relatable points to any audience who has experienced liking someone; if you feel this way about another person, this movie could be your sign. It also helps that Kim Hyeongwon and Jung Jaewoon have an impeccable chemistry that even the two of them just staring at each other with small smiles on their faces was able to reflect the great adoration that their characters must feel. If you’re looking for just a feel-good movie to make your heart flutter, ‘A First Love Story’ is a go to.

 

Watch ‘A First Love Story’ on GagaOOLala.

 

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