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Tragic Korean Film 'Love Phobia' Broke My Heart And I'm Still Not Okay

love phobia movie

If you loved ~classic~ Korean dramas from the 2000s, you might remember the 2006 film Love Phobia. I'd been able to watch this movie as a teen, and had completely forgotten about it until a commenter on Cosmo Community said it was one of the films that made her completely "hagulgol!"

What's the plot of Love Phobia

As a child, Jo Kang (Cho Seung Woo) meets his first love Ari (Kang Hye Jung), a girl in a yellow raincoat who tells everyone she's an "alien" and that she has a curse: Anyone who touches her will have bad luck. Even though the other kids are scared of her, Ari and Jo Kang quickly become friends, but one day, she suddenly disappears! After 10 looong years, Jo Kang receives a call from Ari and they reunite. 

Why you should watch Love Phobia

If you're a fan of tragic love stories, this movie will have you reaching for those tissues for sure. It's also a good idea to have a person (OR A CAT OR A PILLOW, LOL) to hug while watching the movie. Trust me, you'll need a ~hug buddy~ for this.


I love how all the seemingly childish stories Ari told Jo Kang when they were younger suddenly made sense, especially the reasoning behind her yellow raincoat. The fact that the movie followed the pair from their elementary school days to their teens to their young adult days really got me invested, too. Like most romantic melodramas, the first half of Love Phobia is light, cute, and romantic, but the second half will HIT YOU HARD. And, yes, the plot is a little predictable, but that doesn't make it any less emotional!

Just some fun facts about Love Phobia

  • The two leads were actually a real-life couple when Love Phobia was released. Sadly, the couple broke up in 2007
  • The movie's Korean title is Domabaem, which actually means "Lizard." The lizard in the movie actually plays a *significant* role! 
  • The child actor who played the younger version of Jo Kang is still active in the industry! His name is Park Gun Tae and he appeared in the dramas Jung Yi Goddess Of Fire (2013) and Orange Marmalade (2015). 
  • Love Phobia also features a special cameo from Park Shin Hye as a character named Byeon-ja. 
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