I’m Sorry I Love You (2004) Kdrama Review


I don’t know how many of you like to go back and watch older dramas that you haven’t seen before, but periodically, I really enjoy watching older dramas.

“I’m Sorry I love You” has been on my radar for quite some time, but I had been avoiding it, waiting for the right time where I felt I could handle it emotionally. I had been warned that it was sad, so I didn’t know if it would be worth it or not.

There are certain dramas and movies that have really been upsetting, yet beautiful at the same time; so you ask yourself, is it worth it? Well, I’ll be honest – I’m not sure why, but some of the most endearing love stories to me are rather depressing because the love is really tested. It also seems heightened due to tragedy.

This drama could be compared to the emotional roller coaster of the 1970 movie “Love Story“. That’s what you’re in for. I’m not saying the stories are the same, but in terms of my emotional response, it was very similar. Now that I’ve frightened you, and made you never want to watch this, keep in mind “Sorry I Love You” is a fantastic, romantic, classic melodrama. If you can handle it; it’s worth watching and has strengths that outweigh the bad.

Quick Synopsis


Cha Moo Hyuk (played by So Ji-Sub) was adopted as a child to an Australian family, but they were abusive and he grew up mostly alone, fending for himself. He did all kinds of crooked things to survive. His girlfriend (Choi Yeo-Jin) leaves him to marry a wealthy mafia man. A life changing incident makes him decide to go back to Korea and search for his birth mother. Before the incident, he meets Song Eun-Chae (played by Lim Soo-Jung) while still in Australia. She is stranded there, with no luggage or money. At first he tricks her, but then changes his mind and goes back to save her. He protects her, and she remembers that dearly. Song Eun-Chae is in love with the famous Kpop Star, Choi Yune (played by Jung Kyoung-Ho).


The Chemistry


Our main characters have a beautiful connection and understanding of each other. There affection towards each other happens gradually in a believable way. Cha Moo Hyuk, who has experienced so much pain in his life, recognizes Eun-Chae’s kind, loving nature. He’s attracted to it, as something that he’s been greatly missing in his life. She becomes a real source of comfort for him. But despite this, she also keeps him in line. She doesn’t let me get away with bad behavior.

The Character Development


Not all dramas take the time to fully develop the secondary characters as well as the main ones. I really felt like we strongly understood everyone’s back stories and motives. Even though some characters were less likable than others, as a viewer, I could place myself in their position and understand their choices (even if they weren’t ones that I would personally make).

Lee Hye-Young as Oh Deul-Hee


I want to mention what a fantastic performance Lee Hye-Young shows us in this drama. She plays Yune’s mother. Like her role in “Boys Over Flowers” she can be a “You know what” but, we really get a good understanding of her and see she is more than just a rich, spoiled mother. I felt her pain. There’s this really precious moment towards the end of story, where she starts to cry and she doesn’t even understand why. It’s while she’s washing Moo Hyuk’s bowl. She’s not a fan of Moo Hyuk, but her heart begins to break, and it really affected me. The actress did it so flawlessly.

So Ji Sub as Moo Hyuk 

*Contains Spoilers*


It’s always a challenge when an actor has to portray he’s dying. His character has to deal with not only that fact, but the understanding that he was abandoned by his birth mother, unwanted, betrayed by his girlfriend, responsible for the suffering of others, going to leave the one he loves and it goes on and on. He feels like this unwanted piece of garbage that’s been thrown away and left to rot. So, So Ji Sub,  shows us this character, dealing with these feelings, with a bullet stuck in his brain, but still manages to morph into a loving, caring individual, even though his injury can make him react in fits of anger. The character is complex, but well executed.

Lim Soo Jung as Eun-Chae

*Contains Spoilers*


So, at face value, she’s a very sweet individual who would help just about anybody. She also isn’t afraid of speaking up and telling you what she thinks. What makes her performance stand out though, is her inner turmoil as she deals with the reality that she is going to lose the one person that she loves more than anything in the world. Moo Hyuk sees her for who she is, and not just as someone that can do things for her. She goes through a period of psychosis, which is just… sigh.. so unsettling. You want to pull her out of it, but her love runs so deep, that she becomes consumed by it and she could care less about herself. There ‘s scene where she tells Moo Hyuk that there’s so much that she wants to give him, but all she can give him is pain. She’s crying and completely broken as he’s trembling in pain, lying on the bathroom floor, suffering. It’s so sad, because they love each other so much, yet there they both are, in complete and utter misery, being dealt a bad hand in life. A love that gets cut prematurely with no hope.

Slight Critisms


I felt there was a fair amount of abusive behaviour in this drama. I don’t really like seeing women getting yelled at, children being slapped, people going on rampages and other negative, unacceptable behaviour. I do understand it in terms of the circumstances, but at times it felt like a little much.

Threats of Suicide

Yune was the worst for this; he kept threatening to kill himself like it wasn’t a big deal. It didn’t even seem so much that he was depressed, but rather wanting sympathy and using it as a weapon against people to feel bad for him.


Now, I did find humor in this, but I thought they over did it a bit with the pictures of the mother and her son, Yune. I know she loves him, but there were pictures of them together all over their house. It was kind of creepy. They’re close, but they laid it on really thick.


More than most dramas, I noticed some things happened over and over. I wish I had counted how many times the following occurred:

  • Number of times Cha Moo Hyuk chewed gum
  • Number of piggy backs (more than usual)
  • Number of times someone was standing or sitting waiting outside

If you have the courage to dive into this love story, it really is a good one. The connection of the main characters is undeniable.


Overall Rating: 4.5/5

18 thoughts on “I’m Sorry I Love You (2004) Kdrama Review

  1. i have a question i was watching this in Russian translation so maybe i missed smt but was Moo Huik brought up by a clown for 5 years who abondendend him for a blond girlfriend ? And did Moo Huik save his first girlfriend from being raped by her brother? Thats what i read in the old charecter description at saturn soompi and it was writen in first person


  2. I surprisingly liked the Turkish remake better though the hero is unresonably stuborn there and unlike here he has chances but just doesnt want an operation cause he wants to punish his mum im shere if Moo Huyuk had even the slightest chance to change his situation he would have used it im also a bit curius abought Galchis dad no one knows a thing abought him im shere the sister was raped but this storyline isnt delved into,Grand father is an arse he isnt taking good care of the sister and nephew and only cares abought the book acting as if evrything that hapens to the sister is ok i hated him i agree abought Yun he didnt know what real tragedy is and acted as a spoiled brat with his death threats i found the mother annoying too they both treated Enchhe Moon Huyuk and his sister like undersurving people and not even realy people

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Its funny cause I don’t feel like rewatching this drama but I still remember scenes even though I watched it years ago. I remember the mom giving him noodles (I think I cried) I do remember the many scenes of him standing outside covering his face with his hat. I remember crying while he rode off in his motorcycle in what I thought was the final scene. I remember thinking SJS was hot :p It seems I blocked out her ending though. Great review as usual dear Z 🙂


  4. MASSIVE SPOILERS ahead! This show was TRAGIC. I think Moo Hyuk caused Eun Chae’s suicide. He was dying but if he had allowed them to spend even a little time together in his last days instead of pushing her away, she would have grieved for him for a long time but maybe could be able to survive because she had a little finality. Relatedly, I read somewhere that there is no closure in death, only more questions, unfulfilled things..


    1. More spoilers: It’s possible. I think maybe she still would have still killed herself, but it would have given her some hope at least. In kdramas they always seem to push the one they love away when they are sick. It always makes everything worse, but I get that they do it for dramatic effect. The reason I think she still may have never gotten over the loss is because of how she reacted when she found out he was dying. She went into a complete daze and started hearing and seeing things. The news changed her. What I’m curious about though is what her year was like after he passed away. At the end, they show her well put together so I assume she’s been doing OK to some extend. So maybe you are right. Hmmm.


  5. It’s in my plans to watch it, especially due to Im Su Jeong and So Ji Sub, but also Jung Kyung Ho lately since i like the way he plays in Endless Love! Well written, although i didn’t read the spoiler sections for obvious reasons ;p


  6. I do love to marathon older dramas…in fact, in my starting days, I used to watch all classics and only after that, I started watching dramas live…
    Thanks for the review…I might not watch it as I’m not a K-drama melo fan but it was a nice read 🙂


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