Call It Love
사랑이라 말해요
Disney+ (2023) 16 Episodes
Romance, Revenge
Grade: B+
Korean Drama Review by Winnie, USA
(Edited by Jill, USA, Some Spoilers)

Call It Love (2023, Disney+) was an intriguing revenge and romance drama that was very artistically done but for me it dragged on for too many episodes. Twelve episodes, instead of sixteen, could have told the same story without many repetitive scenes, particularly flashbacks. I decided to watch the drama when I saw that actor Joon Sung (Madame Antoine, Hyde, Jekyll and I, I Need Romance 3, Gu Family Book, Can We Get Married?, Lie To Me, Flower Boy Band, White Christmas) was in it. Like kdramalove host Jill, he's been one of my favorite Korean actors for a long, long time. He had finished his military duty and was signed up as second male lead in this drama. I kept wishing he was cast as the first male lead character! His great, long acting experience was kind of wasted in this drama, playing the non-romantic male friend of the lead female character. Even in the above official poster he (far left) looks kind of bored! I can't wait to see his next drama when he is cast as the lead male character again.

Our two main leads did give very good performances, and had nice chemistry together, especially lead actress Lee Sung Kyung (It's Okay That's Love, Cheese In The Trap, Doctors, Shooting Stars). In the past I've sometimes had trouble feeling close to her characters, but not here in Call It Love! I sympathized with her terribly hurt character so much! She glowed when she had romantic scenes with leading man Kim Young Kwang (Good Doctor, D-Day, Pinocchio, Love Rain, Can We Get Married?, White Christmas), and I think he gave one of his best performances in this drama, too.

The Story:

Reclusive Sim Woo Joo's (Lee Sung Kyung) personality has become emotionally harmed because of her self-centered father Sim Chul Min (Ahn Nae Sang) who had divorced her mother Hyun Joo (Kim Hee Jung), and married his narcissistic mistress Ma Hee Ja (Nam Gi Ae). When her father suddenly dies unexpectedly Sim Woo Joo confronts the mistress / second wife during his funeral. Hee Ja sells the father's house quietly, pocketing the money for herself, and Woo Joo has to leave abruptly, taking her younger siblings (Kim Ye Won, Jang Sung Bum) with her. Her best male friend, a pharmacist named Yoon Jun (Sung Joon), helps find them a safe place to live.

Woo Joo decides to take revenge on Hee Ja. Woo Joo applies for a job at an artistic company called Best Fairs, which is owned and operated by the mistress' son Han Dong Jin (Kim Young Kwang). After she is hired Woo Joo follows him around like a stalker, watching him carefully, planning her revenge against Hee Ja by targeting her son.

However, as she slowly gets to know him she realizes that Dong Jin is a kind person and carries his own pain, a lot of it stemming from his own strained relationship with his selfish mother. Woo Joo begins to fall in love with Dong Jin, who is a lonely workaholic with no real friends. At one point a betraying manager at work tries to hurt Dong Jin but Woo Joo is able to save him. They become even closer and a romantic relationship begins to develop.

Other minor characters weave in and out of the story but it is the growing relationship between these two hurting people that is the most intriguing part of the drama to watch. They even seem to come to a place eventually where they can forgive Dong Jin's mother, who does manage to mellow a little over time. Peace through forgiveness, and not achieving revenge, is a nice alternative to watching a more standard revenge drama.

Woo Joo begins to realize that the real person she disliked and mistrusted the most was her own father, who had hurt her mother so deeply by his affair and abandonment. Can she finally forgive him, too, even after his death, and move on to find ultimate happiness with Dong Jin? She comes to realize that a bitter heart will never result in happiness. There's a lot of personal growth seen in this story.


The cinematography in Call It Love was soft toned, often with a rosy color. I loved it. The OST was surprisingly upbeat for a drama with a lot of tense and sad scenes. I would definitely watch this drama again in future. Maybe with my boyfriend, or a girl friend. It's the kind of story that is fun to discuss with others after you watch each episode, especially since divorce sadly affects so many families today.

As far as I know this drama is only available on Disney+, but I am sure if you did a search online you could find it streaming elsewhere as well. Good luck!