Are you feeling all Christmassy yet? Is Mariah Carey playing on your shower playlist yet? If not, this might just be the film to get you feeling festive. Christmas in August (1998) comes across as a bit of an old-time classic, at this point.

The melodrama directed by Hur Jin-ho follows a portrait photographer in his mid-30s, Jung-won (Hang Suk-kyu) and his evolving romance with parking agent Da-rim (Shim Eun-ha). However, Jung-won is diagnosed with an unnamed illness, and he is set to die soon. Instead of living extravagantly, he continues to go about life as normal, going out with his friends and spending time with his family, and of course, Da-rim.

The film doesn’t get bogged down in sentimentality, which means that it stays heart-warming yet sad. The characters may be flat and simple, but it matches the simplicity of the plot well. We’re never really told how characters feel, but the stellar performances mean that this is apparent to the viewer. The film does what it says on the tin, and offers a great moment of reflection in a time that is all about caring and giving.

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