Sorry, that was lame, but I couldn’t figure out what to title this post. I wanted to simply say “Screw you, this is a YOO AHHHHHHHHHHH IN post”, but that seems a little unbecoming for my reputation. Hehehehe. Also, I just love the picture above, to heck with what he’s wearing. Is that even a top???? But whatever, don’t you just love the eyebrow action?
Well anyways, thanks to Sungkyunkwan Scandal, I have officially admitted Mr Yoo Ah In into the League of Flower Boys of My Heart. If you must know, existing inhabitants are: Jung Ilwoo, Kim Hyunjoong, and Lee Seunggi. But hey, I am merely one of the thousands fangirls who are currently under the Guhro’s spell, because of that one freaking drama. Likewise for Yeorim’s Song Joongki and Garang’s Mickey Yoochun. Plus there are probably a few of us and fanboys who are mooning after Daemul’s Park Minyoung.
If I am being brutally logical, Guhro is such a typical character. The bad boi on the outside, but a total softie on the inside. Scruffy look, deep voice, the ‘I’m Against the World’ attitude, the ‘I’ll Die for You’ attentiveness, Moon Jaeshin is THE quintessential romantic hero. Girls just LOVE this type, it seems, that’s why they keep churning out a mold and we just keep showering them love. The difference in that in SKKS, he’s not the main lead and thus not getting the girl. But who cares about that when we are all swooning at the sight of him and secretely happy that he’s NOT getting the girl.
In this respect, I must say that Guhro is also NOT my favourite character. Strangely, despite this, Yoo Ah In is actually the only one that I gravitate to. He’s the one who appeals to me the most that I wanted to see more of, beyond SKKS. Thus started my quest for his earlier projects.
At 24, Yoo Ah In has quite a resume for his age. I mean he’s no Dakota Fanning or Shim Eunkyung, but his resume certainly goes for more than 4 lines. Which actually took me by surprise. While researching for his movies, I didn’t expect him to have had this many projects. I have seen him before in the movie Antique Bakery and drama The Man Who Can’t Get Married prior to Sungkunkwan, and I knew he was in Strongest Chilwoo with Eric which I haven’t watched. But apparently, he has a few other movies and dramas that go back to even 2003! Heck, he was already holding fanmeeting in 2004. So he’s been around the showbiz longer than I had previously thought.
I recently got to watch some of Yoo Ah In’s earlier project. First one I watched was the 2006 movie Boys of Tomorrow/There’s No Tomorrow for Us , which according to the world wide web, won quite some accolades. If you want to watch, it’s in Veoh. It’s even English subbed over there! To be honest, this movie was a bit trying for my faint heart. It was kinda depressing and some scenes were disturbing for me. This movie was thick of teenage rebellion, I liked how the title really captured the essence of the movie. The movie about barely mature boys who have neither the time nor the qualifications to plan their lives. These people can only dream and in the mean time, try to survive their day. It was almost obligatory to have a hopeful ending, otherwise the movie would’ve been too depressing.
Then there’s Shim’s Family/Skeleton in The Closet in 2007 where Yoo Ah In got to work with actors like Kim Hyesoo, Jung Yoomi, and Jeon Hojin. You can watch this at Yellow Cinema with english subtitles as well. I’m a sucker for family movies, so this one was right up my alley. Yoo was one of the central characters and I really really liked his character. He was a total dork, a teenage on the brink of adulthood, questioning his identity and the people around him. But they played it off in a funny way, rather than a somber thing like Boys of Tomorrow. Didn’t have chemistry with Jung Yoomi who was supposed to be his ‘love interest’, yet he had lots with Kim Hyesoo who played his aunt and Hwang Bora as his sister.
Before the F4 rage courtesy of Boys Over Flowers, Yoo Ah In was part of an earlier F4 movie, Antique Bakery in 2008 with Joo Jihoon and Kim Jaewook. I guess this is his most popular movie with the mainstream audience and one you can find everywhere. I remember when I first watched this, I watched it for the two main leads above. But I ended up focusing more on Yoo’s character, the hot tempered ex boxer with a weird obsession for cakes, lol. I loved the whimsical tone of Antique, which they used to contrast with the darker plot, plus I love that Kim Jaewook’s character is gay but so unabashed and proud of it. Although I don’t know how believable Yoo is as a boxer, given that he was still on the scrawny side, hehehe.
And more recently, Yoo was in that mega flop movie called Sea and Sky with Jang Nara. The trailer actually looked interesting, but whew, it’s HARD to find that movie. No luck so far. Hopefully it’ll be available soon. I’ll keep looking for sure.
He also had a little part in a Drama City episode called Shieun & Sooha (kiss scene, WOOT!). I was just watching it the other day (thanks to Hanjae at Soompi!) and it was okay, nothing special. His character name was Minsuk I think, but he might as well just go by Sulky Boyfriend. He barely had ANY lines, lol. Sometimes he was just there, standing and sulking. The drama had a typical terminal illness story, surprisingly quite touching. But again, it wasn’t anything special.
An observation from the movies and dramas I’ve seen. Yoo seems to be at the risk of being (or already is?) typecasted as a rebel. It’s true that none of the characters he’s played are complete copy of each other, but many of them have a common thread, a hotheadedness trait. Even when he was playing a happy go lucky guy in He Who Can’t Marry, there was still that element of, I don’t know the word, agressiveness?? Of course, I haven’t seen ALL of his projects, but that’s an observation from the ones I have actually watched. As a younger actor, this translates into that teenage rebellion, whereas now that he’s more mature, that role becomes a rule breaking heartthrob.
There are two sides to this. I love that he doesn’t take lukewarm characters, those that are pretty to look at but ultimately meh. I can’t deny that his roles tend to be the more interesting one and certainly grab your attention. On the other hand, I do wish to see him in a more laid back, mature character like his role in Sharp 1. I only caught bits and pieces of his scenes there, but I thought it would be interesting to see this type of role played by Yoo Ah In, almost a decade later.