Stellar cast in 'A Year-end Medley' promises mix of nostalgia, escapism

Stellar cast in 'A Year-end Medley' promises mix of nostalgia, escapism

From left, actors Ko Sung-hee, Kim Young-kwang and Han Ji-min attend an online press conference for the film, “A Year-end Medley,” Wednesday. Courtesy of CJ ENM, Tving

By Kwak Yeon-soo

The romantic comedy film, “A Year-end Medley,” promises a mix of nostalgia and escapism for viewers during the Christmas season after the pandemic blighted last year’s festive period.

Directed by Kwak Jae-yong (“Colors of Wind” and “My Sassy Girl”), the year-end romantic drama film weaves together multiple stories of Korean celebrities who cross the lobby of the Hotel Emross in the middle of Seoul during Christmas.

It brings together a stellar cast that includes Han Ji-min, Lee Dong-wook, Kang Ha-neul, Lim Yoon-a, Won Jin-a, Kim Young-kwang, Seo Kang-jun, Lee Kwang-soo, Ko Sung-hee, Cho Jun-young, Won Ji-an, Lee Hye-young and Jung Jin-young.

“Love is deemed by everyone to be one of the most important things in life. But some fail to realize that love is just around the corner. Seven different kinds of love are shown in the movie. Hopefully, this movie will allow the viewers to escape [from reality] during the amount of time we’re giving them,” Kwak said during an online press conference for the film, Wednesday.

Han, who plays hotel manager So-jin who has had crush on her best friend for 15 years, revealed she had wanted to work with Kwak.

“Of course, I loved the script, but I had always hoped to work with Kwak one day because I was obsessed with his romantic comedies. He pulled off this balance by focusing on the details and crafting an authentic romance drama. I mean, he’s much older than the majority of the cast, but he has impeccable sensibility,” she said.

Stellar cast in 'A Year-end Medley' promises mix of nostalgia, escapism

Actors Lee Dong-wook, left, and Won Jin-a attend the online press conference for the film, “A Year-end Medley,” Wednesday. Courtesy of CJ ENM, Tving

Lee Dong-wook, who portrays Hotel Emross CEO Yong-jin in the film, reflected on his absence from the big screen since 2015’s “Beauty Inside.”

“It’s been six years, but I didn’t take a break from acting. I’ve continuously appeared on the small screen. I’m glad I got to work with amazing actors. After I heard about the casting lineup, I literally said I would take a pay cut to be in this movie,” Lee said with a laugh.

Kang explained that he plays hotel guest Jae-yong, a young man who failed on five attempts to pass the civil service exam, in “A Year-end Medley.” Lim plays hotelier Soo-yeon, who works at the customer service office. The two communicate over the phone.

“We rarely meet in the movie, so it was almost like dating her over the phone,” he said. “Not everything about the movie is realistic, but a lot of it is.”

On acting opposite Kang, Lim said, “We didn’t have a lot of chances to meet on set and act together in a scene, but when we met in real-life, Kang was so friendly and approachable. Thanks to him, I felt comfortable working together.”

Stellar cast in 'A Year-end Medley' promises mix of nostalgia, escapism

From left, actors Lim Yoon-a, Lee Kwang-soo, Cho Jun-young, Won Ji-an and director Kwak Jae-yong attend the online press conference for the film, “A Year-end Medley,” Wednesday. Courtesy of CJ ENM, Tving

Lee Kwang-soo, who plays Sang-hoon, a road manager for an aspiring singer songwriter, shared his excitement about acting alongside Seo, who joined the military on Nov. 23.

“Seo and I had been friends since we worked together in 2016’s drama ‘Entourage,’ so it was really fun to work with him again. I wish he could join us today, but he’s fulfilling his mandatory military service. I really hope he stays healthy,” he said.

“A Year-end Medley” will simultaneously hit theaters and streaming platform Tving in December.

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