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‘New Year Blues’ brings back year-end holiday spirit

From left: Lee Dong-hwi, Yeom Hye-ran, Kim Kang-woo, Yoo In-na, director Hong Ji-young, Yoo Yeon-seok, Lee Yeon-hee, Sooyoung and Yoo Teo pose after a press conference at Lotte Cinema in Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, Monday. (Acemaker Movieworks)
From left: Lee Dong-hwi, Yeom Hye-ran, Kim Kang-woo, Yoo In-na, director Hong Ji-young, Yoo Yeon-seok, Lee Yeon-hee, Sooyoung and Yoo Teo pose after a press conference at Lotte Cinema in Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, Monday. (Acemaker Movieworks)
Hong Ji-young’s romantic comedy “New Year Blues” was originally set to reach viewers during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. But like many other movies last year, it had to delay its release schedule due to COVID-19.

“To be honest I am rather grateful (and not regretful). This release makes me feel like we have one more holiday. I am thankful that we can release our film amid COVID-19,” Hong said Monday during a press conference at Lotte Cinema in Gwangjin-gu, Seoul.

The movie follows four couples during the seven days before New Year’s Day.

“When making a film with many protagonists with their stories, I think diversity is the key concept that should be considered,” Hong said.

Hong’s movie depicts Paralympic athlete trainer Hyo-young (Yoo In-na), who wants to get divorced. She asks for a week of personal protection from police officer Ji-ho (Kim Kang-woo), who has been divorced for four years.

Jin-ah (Lee Yeon-hee) is a part-time worker who cannot even get a weeklong holiday without being scolded by her boss. After being dumped by her boyfriend, Jin-ah decides to go on a spontaneous trip to Argentina, where she meets Jae-heon (Yoo Yeon-seok), who moved to Argentina because he was exhausted from working in Korea.

“I felt a sense of freedom,” Lee Yeon-hee said during the press conference when asked about the footage from Argentina. “Iguazu Falls looked refreshing.”

She added that she hoped viewers could get vicarious pleasure from watching the movie.

Yong-chan (Lee Dong-hwi) and his Chinese girlfriend, Yao Lin (Chen Duling), are about to get married. Although Yong-chan’s sister Yong-mi (Yum Hye-ran) was frustrated by the language barrier when communicating with Yao Lin, everything was fine until Yong-chan’s employee embezzled all his money and run away.

Paralympic snowboarder Rae-hwan (Yoo Teo) proposes to his girlfriend, O-wol (Sooyoung). What seemed like a perfect relationship slowly falls apart after Rae-hwan signs a contract with a new agency.

“This is the first time that I saw script with a Paralympic player as the protagonist,” Yoo Teo said when explaining why he decided to take on the role.

As an ex-basketball player who had to change his career path due to injury, Yoo Teo said he tried hard to understand the character as much as possible.

“I could assume some part of his emotion. But still, I thought that it is not easy for me to fully understand what Paralympic players are like,” Yoo Teo added.

“New Year Blues” will hit local theaters Wednesday.

By Song Seung-hyun (ssh@heraldcorp.com)
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