Netflix’s ’20th Century Girl’ is a romantic comedy film set in South Korea in 1999. Directed by Bang Woo-ri, the movie tells the story of Na Bo-ra, a seventeen-year-old girl who spies on her best friend’s crush. However, she gets swept into her own love story that will define her ideas of friendship and love.
The film’s plot hinges on a massive misunderstanding that constantly changes the dynamic between the characters and ends on a bittersweet note. Therefore, viewers must be wondering about the fate of Bo-ra’s romance and friends. For those looking for an explanation about the heart-touching ending of ’20th Century Girl,’ here is everything you need to know! SPOILERS AHEAD!
20th Century Girl Plot Synopsis
’20th Century Girl’ follows Na Bo-ra, a simple and bright girl who values her friendship with Yeon-du. The latter has a heart ailment and requires surgery. However, before going to New York for her surgery, Yeon-du meets and falls in love with Baek Hyun-jin, a student attending their new high school. As a result, while Yeon-du is gone, Bo-ra agrees to gather all the details about Hyun-jin that will help her pursue a romance with the boy. Yeon-du leaves for New York while Bo-ra prepares for her first day at her new school. However, both girls keep in touch over emails.
At the school, Bo-ra sees Hyun-jin and tries to get close to him. She joins the broadcast committee t spend more time observing Hyun-jin. Meanwhile, Bo-ra learns of Hyun-jin’s friendship with Poong Woon-ho. She recruits Woon-ho’s help to spy on Hyun-jin and gather details about him for Yeon-du. Meanwhile, both Woon-ho and Hyun-jin start falling for Bo-ra after an incident on a school field trip. The charming and confident Hyun-jin asks Bo-ra out on a date. However, Bo-ra turns him down for Yeon-du’s sake.
On the other hand, Bo-ra’s friendship with Woon-ho naturally blossoms into a romance, and they start dating during the summer break. Bo-ra keeps updating Yeon-du about the progress in her research about Hyun-jin but keeps her own relationship hidden. During the summer break, Yeon-du returns from New York and meets Bo-ra and the boys at the ice cream shop where Woon-ho works. However, before Bo-ra can tell Yeon-da about her relationship with Woon-ho, Yeon-du clarifies that she is in love with Woon-ho. Due to a chain of events, Woon-ho wore Hyun-jin’s school jacket to Yeon-du’s shop, causing a misunderstanding about the boys and their names.
After learning that she is in love with the same boy as her best friend, Bo-ra stops spending time with Woon-ho. She arranges for Woon-ho to go out with Yeon-du while she works with Hyun-jin at her family’s farm. Eventually, the four friends go to an amusement park where Woon-ho tells Bo-ra she makes him happy, and he likes her. As a result, Yeon-du learns the truth and is heartbroken. She confronts Bo-ra, and the two girls have a fight that leaves Bo-ra depressed. Meanwhile, Woon-ho reveals that he is removing to New Zealand, leaving his relationship with Bo-ra in flux.
20th Century Girl Ending: Do Bo-ra and Poong Woon-ho End Up Together?
In the aftermath of her fight with Yeon-du and the news of Poong Woon-ho moving away, Bo-ra becomes distant from her friends. Meanwhile, Yeon-du reads the unsent email from Bo-ra in which she professed her feelings for Woon-ho but never shared them with her. As a result, Yeon-du realizes her friend’s genuine feelings for Woon-ho and does not wish to stand between her happiness. She understands that by being upset with Bo-ra, she is being selfish and decides to help Bo-ra reunite with her love.
On the day Woon-ho is moving to New Zealand, Yeon-du fakes a heart attack in the class, leading to Bo-ra carrying her to the nurse. However, Yeon-du reveals that she fakes the attack to get Yeon-du out of class. She explains that her friendship with Bo-ra is precious to her and does not want it to be ruined because of a boy. Moreover, she wants Bo-ra to be happy and see Woon-ho before he leaves the country. Therefore, she has arranged for Hyun-jin to drive Bo-ra to the station.
At the station, Bo-ra finds Woon-ho just in time. The two meet, and Bo-ra professes her feelings for Woon-ho, who reciprocates them. Woon-ho explains that since moving to Korea after his parent’s divorce, he has been very depressed. However, whenever he is around Bo-ra, he smiles and feels happy. The two share a romantic embrace before Woon-ho leaves Bo-ra with the promise of reuniting in the future. In the end, Bo-ra and Woon-ho only end up together briefly as fate has other plans for the teenage sweethearts.
What Happened to Poong Woon-ho?
After leaving for New Zealand, Poong Woon-ho and Bo-ra continue their relationship through emails. The two regularly update each other about their lives and make plans to meet in the future. Woon-ho and Bo-ra apply to the same school in Seoul to go to college together. The two are excited about their plans and anticipate a great New Year at the turn of the century. However, as Bo-ra welcomes the new year, she soon loses contact with Woon-ho. He stops replying to her emails, and his phone number also goes out of service.
Bo-ra is left heartbroken and struggles to move on from Woon-ho. However, after going on a blind date with a guy also named Woon-ho, she decides to move on. Eventually, Bo-ra grows up into a strong and capable woman but continues to wonder about Woon-ho. One day she receives a VCR tape and a letter in her mail at her own house. Bo-ra returns home and learns the letter from Woon-ho’s brother, Joseph. He has organized an exhibition in memory of Woon-ho, who passed away fifteen years ago.
In the end, Bo-ra watches the VCR tape, which contains Woon-ho’s final message to Bo-ra. In the video, Woon-ho professes his love for Bo-ra. The video implies that Woon-ho passed away shortly before he was slated to return to Korea and meet Bo-ra. As a result, Bo-ra finds closure and her high school romance ends on a bittersweet note. Although Bo-ra and Woon-ho do not get to live their lives with each other, the ending confirms that they always cherish each other more than anything else in the world.
Do Yeon-du and Baek Hyun-jin End Up Together?
In the film, Bo-ra’s love story starts because of her best-friend Yeon-du’s interest in the new boy in town. Yeon-du confuses the boy to be Baek Hyun-jin but later learns that the person she is in love with is Woon-ho. Nonetheless, Yeon-du sacrifices her feelings for her friend’s sake and works with Hyun-jin to help Bo-ra reunite with Woon-ho. However, after Woon-ho moves away, Hyun-jin, Yeon-du, and Bo-ra start hanging out together.
During this time, Hyun-jin and Yeon-do get to know each other and learn they share several interests. In one of her emails to Woon-ho, Bo-ra mentions that watching Hyun-jin and Yeon-du together is nauseating. Bo-ra’s words imply that the duo is a perfect match for each other. While the film does not confirm their fates, it is safe to assume that Yeon-du and Hyun-jin ended up together. Hyun-jin and Yeon-du dating would make sense given their similar personalities and gives a nice closure to Yeon-du’s arc in the movie, which starts with her falling for the person she believes to be Hyun-jin. However, getting to know the real Hyun-jin, Yeon-du likely realizes that she was meant to fall in love with him.