A fairly standard Korean meller, but shot in a controlled way and distinguished by good lead performances, “Scent of Love” has few legs beyond Asian markets and hardcore aficionados of the genre. First feature by helmer Lee Jeong-uk, based on a bestseller about a young man who falls for a slightly older woman, drew a fragrant 900,000 admissions this spring, just south of the novel’s readership.
It’s love at first sight for U.S.-raised In-ha (Park Hae-il) when he watches Heui-jae (Jang Jin-yeong) berating a train passenger one day. When the two later meet at the university book club, they pal up, only to split when he declares his love. A year later, her parents and fiance (Kim Yu-seok) are killed in a car accident and Heui-jae turns into an emotional recluse. Six years on, In-ha, now a radio producer, finally makes contact through her friend (Song Sun-mi, good), and tries again to woo her. Park, good as the withdrawn lead in “Jealousy Is My Middle Name,” is more animated here and strikes sparks with Jang (“Sorum,” “Over the Rainbow”) in the livelier first half. Visually, pic is immaculate.