Beom-soo is a traffic control officer who aspires to become a baseball umpire. By chance he meets Hyun-joo, a theatre major who crashes her car into a tree while he is on duty. Instead of fining her, Beom-soo gives her driving lessons and they soon become friends, exchanging letters with each other when Hyun-joo returns to university. When they next meet in person Beom-soo declares his love for her, only for Hyun-joo to reject him as she plans to go overseas to study.
Three years later, Beom-soo is making his debut as a professional baseball umpire, and his feelings of love are reignited when he realises that up-and-coming actress Yoo Ha-rin is none other than Hyun-joo. The two are eventually reunited via the baseball field and resume their relationship, though Hyun-joo's affections are also pursued by Ji-min, the president of an advertising company for which she has appeared in a series of commercials. Hyun-joo eventually rejects Ji-min and shows up at the opening game of the Korean Series to throw the first ball, where she kisses Beom-soo in the middle of the field.
Im Chang-jung ... Beom-soo
Ko So-young ... Hyun-joo/Yoo Ha-rin
Cha Seung-won ... Ji-min
If the Sun Rises in the West opened in South Korea on 19 December 1998, and received a total of 145,752 admission in Seoul.
Andrew Saroch of Far East Films compared the film favourably to Richard Curtis' Notting Hill, and said, "[If the Sun Rises in the West] accomplishes its modest directives and creates two characters we quickly warm to throughout their moments together. Lee Eun utilises tried-and-tested genre techniques, but it is hard to be too resistant to these when the story moves along so effortlessly." He also praised lead actress Ko So-young, saying that she "illuminates this popularist fable and lends her character some much needed humanity."