What will you do if you keep on receiving anonymous romantic short poems every time you visit a cafe?
Well, for a young man named Jongin, it tickles his curious heart. But he doesn’t stop there. In fact, he decides to take an investigative journey to find out who his secret admirer is. Think it’s cute? That’s pretty much what ‘One Last Order’ is about.
‘One Last Order’ is a Korean short film released in 2019. It’s an endearing story of a blooming young adult romance, but also a showcase of how queer confession can be romantic and adorably ingenious at the same time.
Read on to know how this queer cafe love story unfolds.
The bells chime, and a customer enters the cafe. It’s Jongin, and one of the staff alerts one of the baristas named Kyungsoo to take his order. Jongin orders an Americano before settling himself on a nearby table to work. As he starts to busy himself, his cup of coffee arrives, and he initially appears to expect something else other than his order. He even sighs in disappointment when he can’t find what he’s looking for.
Jongin hastily sips on his cup, oblivious to how hot his coffee is, and he spills some onto himself. He grabs the napkin but gets distracted when he finds a sticky note beneath them. It’s what he’s looking for a small note, a short anonymous poem. Turns out, he has been frequenting this cafe, and every time he orders a coffee, he receives a note of a short poem, the writer admiring him from afar. He can deduce that it’s one of the baristas of the cafe, but which barista is still a mystery. Until that day.
Jongin has kept all the poems in his notebook — he’s received three so far — and using those poems, he tries to get more clues about this secret admirer. He concludes that this person must 1) enjoy reading and writing, 2) introverted and kind, 3) likes love songs, especially ballads, and 4) likes the beach. With these characteristics in mind, he begins an investigative journey in the cafe while he’s still there.
At first, Jongin just observes and listens. He takes note when Kyungsoo, the male barista, changes the cafe’s music to a ballad love song. He also makes a comparison between him and the other female barista who appears to be “kinder” and “more introverted.” When another female staff arrives, Jongin gets a lot more confused — he now has three people to choose from. In an attempt to fish for more information, especially about those who like the beach, he walks up to one of the female staff, and feigns a “survey.” Unfortunately, he ends up in just an awkwardly embarrassing situation when she foils his fake survey and asks him if he’s hitting on her (she says she isn’t romantically interested in any of that).
Although awkward, Jongin manages to get back on track. With the other staff now out of the equation, he focuses on the remaining two — the new female staff and Kyungsoo. At the counter, the two talk about the beach. The female staff says she wants to go to the beach, and Kyungsoo agrees, although he says that he likes it more in the winter, especially with the seagulls around because it gives him a sense of “freedom.” It’s a little too poetic (and cheesy).