100 Days With Mr. Arrogant (2004) Korean Movie Summary & Review: An Endearing Cringe-Fest

100 Days With Mr Arrogant (2004) Korean Movie Review
  • Cast
  • Cinematography
  • Music
  • Storyline
  • Rewatch Value

I am not ashamed to say that I am one of those people who is easily influenced by YouTube reels, and after watching one about this very old romantic Korean movie, I knew I had to check it out.

And of course, since it’s very old, I’m much more forgiving of the inclusion of certain themes than I would be if I came across them in more contemporary Korean movies.

But even so, as I’ll explain later on, some things were borderline wrong and incredibly creepy. It was hard to get past that to appreciate the movie for what it was, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t enjoyable.

Actually, it’s rather funny, and I like that the producers and cast put a lot of effort into making it feel as authentic as possible. That’s something to appreciate, no matter how you look at it.

What Is 100 Days With Mr. Arrogant About?

First of all, we get the usual introduction to our leads. Our female lead, Kang Ha Young, is a high school student, while our male lead’s age isn’t explicitly stated, but he’s older since he has an apartment and doesn’t need his parents. Ahn Hyung Joon is an arrogant playboy who doesn’t care about anybody apart from himself.

One day Ha Yeong is walking home, annoyed about something, and when she kicks a can, it flies into Hyung Joon’s face as he’s driving by and this causes a small accident, but his car suffers the brunt of it.

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Annoyed, he tells her that she needs to pay. When he calls for a hefty price, she distracts him and runs away, not knowing she left her ID card behind. He then decides to track her down and make her pay by calling her and following her up and down.

When he finally confronts her, he demands his money, but she admits she can’t pay since she’s just a poor high schooler. He then suggests she become his maid for 100 days instead.

Hyung Joon works for her for a few weeks, but then Ha Yeong later finds out that he had lied about the estimate of the damages on his car, so she decides to pay him back. After pulling some pranks on him, he pulls the ultimate prank on her by pretending to be a math tutor and getting her mother to hire him.

Soon enough, they are spending a whole lot of time together, and they soon start having feelings for each other. But then one day, he kisses her and she doesn’t react well. But, when she goes home, she’s flustered and in love. The next day when she meets him, he tells her that he had just been playing with her all along.

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Hyung Joon does this so wickedly, and she’s very heartbroken. She decides that she’s going to get into university and she’s going to do this and she’s going to do that. She applies herself to her education and even gets a new tutor. Eventually, she finds out that she didn’t get into the university she wanted.

That night, while Ha Yeong is reminiscing with her tutor, the other woman walks away, and that is when our male lead appears again. Then he tells her that he actually had feelings for her and that she actually got her admission, but he had begged the vice-chancellor of the school to help him prank his girlfriend.

This is when we find out that her mother had witnessed the ill-fitted kiss that night and had warned him off. Instead, he had promised that he would make sure she got into university and then come back for her.

Then they kiss, they cry, everywhere looks super romantic, they hug each other, and the curtains close.

My Review

To be very frank, I think only someone with a strong constitution would watch any of these older Korean movies and not feel inclined to become violent with the male leads. Sometimes it feels like that’s the only thing they deserve.

Our male lead in this Korean movie is very patronizing, insulting, violent, and disgustingly arrogant. It was a little painful to even watch him. Because of this, the romance in the movie felt too much like an abusive situation for me to really flow with it.

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In fact, as far as I’m concerned, the love, especially from her end, came out of nowhere. It was a little odd, and I can’t wrap my head around someone being deliberately drawn to another person who is deliberately mean to them. But then again, if you’ve been around the K-drama community for a while, you know that this particular trope was a staple around this time.

I mean, how else would we have gotten Boys Over Flowers or Playful Kiss, along with many other Korean dramas with this trope? Let me not be mistaken; I dislike it, no matter who is playing the role, because I know that some people let down their opinions depending on which of their biases appears in a drama.

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Our leads have a very cat-and-mouse relationship, and it was very fun to see their initial hatred suddenly move into love, even though it was abrupt. I still appreciate it because that simple dynamic gives depth to the story.

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Another thing I want to touch on is that I was very surprised about the direction the story went in because I assumed the entire drama was going to be about the 100 days since that is literally the name of the movie. But as I said earlier, the ruse under which the contract started was discovered earlier on in the story, and we continue that way.

You guys, this movie basically has every single stereotype you can imagine. But very surprisingly, our female lead isn’t meek, gentle, or soft-spoken. In fact, I would say she’s very rowdy and a little boyish, and I loved that because it made the role feel fresh, even though she did make some bad decisions eventually.

While I would like to give it up to the screenwriters or the producers for this innovation, I know that it primarily has to do with the actor who is playing that role. Our female lead, who is played by Ha Ji Won, is one of the OG Korean actresses who has played some of the biggest roles in history. No matter what genre of drama she finds herself in, she always plays an outspoken and fierce character.

To put it simply, she is basically one of the “it” girls of the 2000s, and I especially love that she’s such a natural comedian. If you have watched some of her other works, you might not see this come into play because, as far as I know, they’re usually much more serious. But some light-hearted ones like Secret Garden show her intellect and her perfect comedy timing, which I know everyone is going to enjoy.

This is an incredibly old movie, so I didn’t have any big expectations on cinematography and the OST, and I’m happy I didn’t because if not, I would have been incredibly devastated by what went down in this movie.

For one, it felt like the person handling the camera had shaky hands because it always felt as if the camera itself was wobbling. I am tempted to credit this to perhaps the many years of piracy and the number of subbers it has gone through, but that doesn’t look like it’s the case here.

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Even more weird was how it felt like there wasn’t much music in the background. If you watch Korean dramas or movies, you know that music is usually a big part of the drama because everything is literally being engineered to evoke emotions in the viewers. And my emotions will not be evoked if something very emotional is happening but there isn’t an accompanying tune.

Now that I watch more Chinese dramas, I’m slowly getting used to the lack of background music, but even at that, it still feels a little off, no matter how I sit with it. But one thing that did surprise me and that I really, really loved was the inclusion of a Korean rendition of Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive – I wasn’t expecting it, and I loved it so much.

As I said earlier, there were some weird things in this drama. For one, our male lead was incredibly creepy, as I talked about just above, and the discussions about weight and weight loss were so disturbing to listen to.

The more I watch older Korean productions, the more I see the heavy hand of the Korean government when it comes to censoring issues that get into their drama because this is something you would scarcely see in any contemporary drama.

Finally, you guys, the ending was so weird and a little confusing, but you just have to watch it to see what I’m talking about because I don’t want to spoil it totally, but just know that you are going to be incredibly confused.


Watching older Korean productions is usually a toss-up, but this one wasn’t too bad, and I sort of enjoyed it if you can overlook the many things I mentioned in my review.

I have compiled this list of some old Korean dramas and am making my way through them. If you would like to join me on this journey, check them out and let me know what you think in the comment section below.

I always appreciate recommendations, so don’t be shy and let me know. I’ll be waiting to hear whatever you say. In the meantime, check out this list of the best romantic Korean dramas on Netflix you need to watch.

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