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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

[K-Drama Review] I Need Romance (2011)



Apparently tvN has some kind of theme when it’s coming to their original drama production. Just after I fell in love with ‘Reply’ series, this TV cable channel making me falls in love all over again with another of their so-called theme drama, “I Need Romance”. I decided to watch this drama since everyone is now talking about how good “I Need Romance 3” drama is. As much as I tempted to be watching that drama first, I know I have to watch it from the first series so I would be able to judging objectively (this came as a result of my bigger love for Reply 1994 than Reply 1997 because I watch 94 series first). 


So after I watch I Need Romance, I’m a bit shock from knowing that Korea also has a drama who talks about their sexual life openly. But since I’m old enough to watch it so I kind of like it. It’s not as open as how Hollywood series though, just some part who used to be a “Taboo” thing in few Korean drama I watched, seems to be normal in this series. Have to salute the screenwriter which from my perspective gave us a fresh air in comedy romantic drama. Anyway, shall we moving on to the review?



PLOT:

I Need Romance tells a story of three women in 30 something age with all of their confusion in life, especially when it comes to romance.


Jo Yeon Jeong as Sun Woo In Young
 
Kim Jeong Hoon as Kim Sung Soo
Choi Jin Hyuk as Bae Sung Hyun
 The lead role is 33rd year old women name Sun Woo In Young (Jo Yeo Jeong) who finds her life stuck in a 10 years old relationship with her first love Kim Sung Soon (Kim Jeong Hoon). Never met another man in her life beside Kim Sung Soon, In Young thought she will end up marrying him and aged together in countryside. Sadly, marriage never came up in Kim Sung Soo’s mind. In Young’s anger get even bigger after knowing that a young actress name Yoon Kang Hee (Ha Hyeon Ju) is having a crush to Kim Sung Soo who just turn into a successful movie director after 10 years living under In Young’s expenses. Rage creeping in In Young’s body when she knows that what Sung Soo felt for her is not the same anymore. For the first time in her life, In Young feel the needs to experience romance she used to have with Kim Sung Soo. Then she met Bae Sung Hyun (Choi Jin Hyuk), her ex co-worker who turns out to be a chaebol. Just like a Cinderella story, In Young start her fresh new romance with Bae Sung Hyun. What she doesn’t know is that deep in her heart there is something and someone she wouldn’t dare to give to another hand.


Choi Song Hyun as Kang Heon Joo
 Just like In Young who has parted with her first love after 10 years in love, her best friend Kang Hyeon Joo (Choi Song Hyun) also has to experience the most embarrassing moment in her life when her groom is not showing up on her wedding day. As a divorce lawyer, Hyeon Joo refuse to feel depressed and vulnerable, she decided to take a disposable man to step up perform the wedding ceremony as her fake husband. 33 years old, still a virgin and dumped on her wedding day make Hyeon Joo who always learns from a book about everything determine to live casually as a single woman and sleep with a random guy. What she doesn’t know is that her decision will bring her to a new romance journey of her own.


Choi Yeo Jin as Park Seo Yeon
Unlike In young and Hyeon Joo, out of the three, Park So Yeon (Choi Yeo Jin) is the most free spirit soul. She does not believe in the word love and never truly attached to a serious relationship. Not until she finds her first love is actually married to another woman who pregnant in time of she dating him. Caught up on her love affair by the man’s wife, So Yeon open her new chapter of life when she be charged as an adulterer. 

Together in their 33, they are experiencing what they desperately needs: romance.


COMMENT:


Korean version of Sex and The City. That’s what came up in my mind when I first watch this series. Even though it’s not as vulgar as how Carrie Bradshaw and gang showed in their series, it’s still having their vibe. It feels different though to the other series I have watched. Like what I said before, I never thought that there is a Korean drama who will give an open sex life scene although it never shows the private area. How unmarried couple live together, a one night stand lifestyle, and kissing someone who is not your boyfriend/girlfriend are the main thing in this series.


 The reason why I fell in love more with tvN drama is because each drama has distinct characteristic which differentiate them from the other. Same thing happen with I Need Romance. The distinct mark from this drama is when there is a capture photograph of the cast expression when they felt something inside.  So from that reason I think from now on I would be devoting my time to watch more tvN original drama series.


STORY:


start of a romance
start of (new) romance
This is what I’ve been waiting for from Korean drama series. You know how almost all Korean drama always gave their viewers the story of love-hate relationship (from enemies turn into lover), matchmaking, and all kind of romantic comedy scents. It goes differently with this one. I need romance gave a fresh idea in romantic comedy world. They start the story with an already build relationship which sadly fall through times. It is fun to see the main character try to forget her 10 years old relationship while trying to find romance again in her 30 something age. Not to mention how she always thought of him and realize that everything she does with him is actually has turned into her habit.
 
Park Seo Yeon and her complicated love-life

As interesting as the story of main character, my heart goes thumping for the story of Park Seo Yeon. I don’t know why but So Yeon’s story of finding her own romance is catchy and more real. I feel bad for her because the ending of her story is not like what I expected. But after giving more thinking, this was another reason why I Need Romance became more enticing. The happy ending is not always happen in real life, right?

the most heartbreaking scenes.
The title is certainly reflect the story of three middle age woman who desperately in need of having romance. Whilst it tells a story of a 30 years old romance, the writer is not forget to put in few sweet scenes and conversation that can make their viewer’s heart flutter. Though some scenes seems a bit unreasonable. But after all, I salute I Need Romance story which something out of Korean drama stereotype and gave viewers new perspective of romantic comedy vibe.


ACTING:

love her expression
This is my first time watching Jo Yeo Jeong’s acting. I like her. She succeeds in giving a desperate yet cute role as Sun Woo In Young. Her expression when she has to let go her one and only love is marvelous. 
 
never thought that Prince Yul can be a jerk too

On the other hand, I glad to see Prince Yul once again as Kim Sung Soo. I remember falling in love with Kim Jeong Hoon while he playing the role of crown prince in ‘Princess Hours’. I’ve been waiting to watch him again on another romantic comedy production.  Fortunately I find him in here and when he plays the lead actor, so yeay! I love how he portray his character as a jerk/confuse man in this production. Never thought that Prince Yul has becoming more mature and playing the role of a grown up man.

I'm officially Bae Sung Hyun team!

But anyway what caught my attention the most is definitely one of my favorite actor, Choi Jin Hyuk. Though he still looks like a kid in this series, Choi Jin Hyuk’s act never disappointed me. After watching him as a loving Gumiho in ‘Gu Family Book’ and a serious chaebol in ‘The Heirs’, his character in this movie as a jealous and noona boyfriend is interesting. I can see that his acting is still not as good as what he gave in ‘The Heirs’, so I thought he developing his acting skill. I’ve been watching him in ‘Emergency Couple’ now.  He gave more jealous ex-boyfriend vibe than what he does in this series.


OST:


Pink Martini’s songs and variety of songs (latin + hindi) as the OST? I thought the director did a good job by picking songs that giving the 30 years old romance atmosphere. Although near ending they still gave Korean language songs which still fit perfectly. My favorite OST from this movie is 2:1 by Elastica and Donde Estas Yolanda by PinkMartini.  I definitely will think of I Need Romance while I’m listening to those songs. In fact, I already think of I Need Romance while hearing Donde Estas Yolanda in Sherlock  the other day.


SCORE:


Finally I will put 8,5 out of 10 for I Need Romance.


“We haven’t given up on romance. I dont’t think we’ll ever give up on romance. We can’t give up on it because romance makes life sweet and enchanting. At times, even heartwarming. It will always be with us.” – Sun Woo In Young ( I Need Romance)

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