[Review] Finding Kim Jong Wook – 김종욱 찾기


I had to go back and re-watch this movie as it has been several months since I first saw it in the theaters.  However, I couldn’t resist not writing about it because I simply adore romantic comedies.  At film school, a lot of the boys would scoff at romantic comedies as mere chick films and the fact is they don’t get much love at the Oscars (except Sense and Sensibility).  Still, writers of romance, like Jane Austen, pay careful attention to nuance of gestures or particular selection of words that make a grand difference between, “You can tell me anything,” to “Surely you and I are beyond speaking when words are clearly not enough.” (from Mansfield Park)  It takes an extremely talented actor to be able to deliver such a line or give a shy glance and make it convincing.

Finding Kim Jong Wook stars Gong Yoo and Im Soo Jung.  I immediately liked this pairing.  Knowing they are friends in real life, I had no fears about their chemistry. The movie was originally a musical by playwright Jang Yoo Jeong.  She made the move to director in order to bring the story from stage to the big screen.

Gong Yoo plays Han Gi Joon, a nerd who is fired from his travel agency job because of his over-thoroughness.  He decides to open his own business: finding people’s first loves.

His first client is Seo Ji Woo who is dragged to the office by her father.  He wants her to get married but is frustrated when she keeps turning men down.

When he hears that she may still be hung up on her first love, he hires Gi Joon to track him down.  She doesn’t have any information except his name: Kim Jong Wook, and the fact that they met during her trip to India.

Kim Jong Wook is a popular name in Korea akin to John Smith in the States.  Passionate and stubbornly meticulous by nature, Gi Joon aims to track this Kim Jong Wook down even if it means pursuing every Kim Jong Wook in Korea.  As they travel the country, Gi Joon finds himself falling for his client instead.

It’s been two years since we last saw Gong Yoo as he went off to serve his army duty and my, my, how he’s grown since Coffee Prince.

Gong Yoo is charmingly funny as the square Han Gi Joon and similarly Im Soo Jung is adorable as the unkempt tomboy.  Like your typical romcom, they play opposites attract but it is delightful to see how they clash in different ways with each new Kim Jong Wook they find.

Along those lines, we are graced with some really hilarious cameos by Jung Joon Ha, Shin Sung Rok, Oh Man Seok, Choi Il Hwa and more.  While not hilarious, Uhm Ki Joon also makes a cameo, who is presently playing Dr. Poopy-Seok in Scent of a Woman.

They don’t break any barriers in the romcom world with this movie like say 500 Days of Summer.  The cinematography and music style is your classic, jazzy score that accompanies the style of a lot of romcoms.  Despite that, the movie is frothy, fun entertainment that is totally swoonworthy.  This will definitely go in my romcom replay list along with Sex and the City and You’ve Got Mail.

For an added dose of swoon, Gong Yoo adds his voice to the OST for the title song.

Gong Yoo – 두번째 첫사랑 (Second First Love)



3 thoughts on “[Review] Finding Kim Jong Wook – 김종욱 찾기

  1. How do I regard you as? Chunkee?
    Anyway, I read this review months ago and just got time to watch it few hours ago. I love the cinematography, especially those shot in India. And both leads’ acting are really good!
    I just wanna ask your thought on the double casting. I’m kinda confused why did Jiwoo imagined Kim Jongwook as Gong Yoo, not Uhm Ki Joon?

    Looking forward to your reply! 🙂


    • Hi! You can call me CM for short.

      As for Kim Jong Wook, forgive me since it’s been awhile since I last saw this movie and I might not remember all the details correctly. I think the conclusion that I came to was that it’s Gi Joon imagining Jiwoo’s story. He’s the one with KJW’s file and trying to formulate a profile. I believe that one or maybe two of the flashbacks does technically come before GJ and JW officially meet but I just took that as the movie playing with time. JW knows the story already but GJ is the one that needs to track down KJW but because he doesn’t have a photo he imagines the only person that’s readily available to him, himself. Also, GJ is kind of the girl in this romcom up until the airport scene. He’s the one that crushes on JW first and as he begins to fall for her, he wishes that he were the KJW aka the hero that she’s searching for.


  2. Nice to meet you, CM!

    Thank you for the explanation. I finally can put my brain on rest now after spending my night trying to understand this part. LOL.
    Also, thank you for the review. I always try searching for your review before decide to watch any movie or drama.

    Have a nice day! ❤


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