Korean Drama Review: The Woman Who Still Wants to Marry/ Still, Marry me

Still, Marry Me or The Woman Who Still Want to Marry is available on DramaFever and HULU

WED/THURS - MBC - THE WOMAN WHO STILL WANTS TO...

WED/THURS – MBC – THE WOMAN WHO STILL WANTS TO MARRY 아직도 결혼하고 싶은 여자 (2010) (Photo credit: withhyunbin)

The focus of the drama is  Lee Shin Young (Park Jin Hee), a 34-year old woman reporter, who is just returning to South Korea.  When she left to study abroad, her long-time boyfriend, Yoo Sang Woo (Lee Pil Mo), broke up with her. Upon her return, Shin Young finds out that her ex is engaged to someone else. The woman Sand Woo is engaged to is a family friend and several years younger than Shin Young.  Additionally, Shin Young’s career is in stall mode because people perceive her as old. This includes her petulant male chauvinist co-worker, Choi Myung Suk, who wants to keep Shin Young down, because he sees her as competition. Luckily for Shin Young, she has two friends to keep her company Kim Boo Ki (Wang Bit Na) and Jung Da Jung (Uhm Ji Won).

Kim Boo Ki is a restaurant consultant and lives a “wild” lifestyle (a korean drama much more toned down version of Samantha from Sex in the City). Boo Ki has sworn off serious relationships. Book Ki outlook on love stems from a long-time boyfriend, who never proposed, and who she waited on hand and knee. Boo Ki was her ex-boyfriend’s family servant, instead of a girlfriend. After a period of self discovery and learning martial arts, Boo Ki finds that there is a fierce woman within her. Boo Ki gives great advice, based off the lessons she has learned from her past relationships.

Jung Da Jung is a korean-english translator.  Da Jung meets Shin Young, when they both discover that they have both are dating the same guy.  In addition, the guy who Da Jung and Shin Young are dating, just asked Shin Young to get married. At the time, Shin Young finally believed that her life was coming back together. However things quickly fall apart, when Shin Young goes on assignment and sees her fiance attempting to jump from an apartment building, which was on fire, with another woman in sleepware. In shock, Shin Young went back to her ex-fiance to confront him, but Da Jung beat her too it. Shin Young and Da Jung met outside their former lover’s apartment,  where Da Jung was yelling insults outside his window and attracting the attention of all the neighbors. This incident  was the last straw for Da Jung, from that point on Da Jung began to treat marriage like a science project (specific formula needed to get an optimal result). In this respect, Da Jung is the complete opposite of Book Ki, let’s call her a Charlotte.

Given the many ups and downs of Shin Young’s love life, Shin Young returns to putting her work first. Whereas her boss still believes that Shin Young will eventually get married, since she is a middle aged woman (and what else is there for woman in their mid-thirties to do?). Therefore, her boss takes steps to prepare for Shin Young’s imminent departure from the workplace, and puts her on a special projects team.  Though skeptical, Shin Young plans to make the most of it.

While on assignment, Shin Young goes to a college campus to do a report, but cannot record due to loud music from one of the buildings. Shin Young goes to the building to ask the person playing the loud music to temporarily cease the sound, and comes face to face with the cute college student Ha Min Jae (Kim Bum, part of F4 from Boys Over Flowers). Shin Young believes after talking with the kid, she will be able to record her spot, but when she gets downstairs, the music starts again. Shin Young returns and this time Shin Young takes matters into her own hands. Shin Young cuts the cord of Min Jae’s guitar and quickly leaves.

Min Jae is disturbed and cannot seem to forget about the woman who cut his guitar cord. Min Jae decides to write a song about the incident. Eventually, Min Jae and Shin Young meet again, when Shin Young becomes the substitute professor for a class Min Jae takes.  As time goes on a relationship develops between Min Jae and Shin Young. Min Jae agrees to help Shin Young with tips for her assignments at work. While providing Shin Young with help, surprisingly Min Jae proves himself as someone that Shin Young can depend on.  At the same time, Min Jae becomes more mature and focused around Shin Young. This change helps Min Jae’s career as a singer-musician and his career starts to take off.

Min Jae’s mother, Choi Sang Mi (Park Ji Yeong),  also notices the change in Min Jae. After some investigation, Min Jae’s Mom finds out that Min Jae is dating the much older woman Shin Young. Min Jae’s mother also has another big problem, her cheating husband. Min Jae’s mother is at the point of no return with Min Jae’s father’s continuous frolicking, so they decide to get a divorce. Now divorced, Min Jae’s Mom has become even more lonely and vulnerable. Min Jae’s Mom does not like Shin Young, because she has taken away her only child.

There is now a rift between Min Jae and his mother. The rift is so strong, that Min Jae moves out of his parents house and stays with an older male friend, Na Ban Suk. Na Ban Suk is a doctor and works in the hospital that Shin Young visits frequently. Due to the stress at Shin Young’s job, Shin Young has what I can only diagnose as facial muscle spasms. Her symptoms seem more serious than what would occur in the real life; Shin Young makes a face in anger and her face gets stuck like that (impressive comedic acting). Ban Suk uses acupuncture so that her muscles will relax and return to normal. While treating Shin Young, Ban Suk starts to develop feelings for her. Prior to Min Jae and Shin Young exclusive relationship, Min Jae finds out about Ban Suk’s feelings and become rivals. Ban Suk and Min Jae bet on who will date Shin Young. Quickly, Ban Suk realizes the extent of his young friend’s feeling and decides to move on.

However, during one of Shin Young’s visits to the hospital, Da Jung accompanies Shin Young. Da Jung cannot believe that Shin Young is ignoring this eligible bachelor, who is a doctor, and falls for Ban Suk. Luckily for Da Jung, Ban Suk is also in love with the determined Da Jung. Although, Da Jung has one problem, Ban Suk’s overbearing family. Thus, Da Jung is still unable to achieve the fairytale love her heart desired.

In the mean time, Yoo Sang Woo, Shin Young’s ex-boyfriend, realizes that he made a big mistake. Yoo Sang Woo wants Shin Young back, but Shin Young’s heart is elsewhere. Though there is still hope, since Shin Young cannot fathom that her relationship with Min Jae will last, since Min Jae is more than ten years younger. Shin Young believes that the romance between her and Min Jae is just a fling. Sang Woo knows Shin Young’s dilemma and says that he will wait.

While Sang Woo is waiting, he meets Min Jae’s Mom, and they find out that they have a lot in common from traveling to heartbreak. In light of these commonalities, they fall for each other, but they face the same problems of Min Jae and Shin Young, due to the large age gap. Min Jae’s Mom, begins to understand Shin Young, but still cannot accept Min Jae and Shin Young’s relationship. Min Jae’s Mom believes that Min Jae is still far too young and has not lived life. Min Jae’s Mom wants Min Jae to experience life and freedom, unlike her, who got married at a young age, due to an unexpected pregnancy, to a man who never loved her. For these same reason, Min Jae’s Mother does not feel worthy of Sang Woo’s love.

Questions to be answerd: Can Min Jae and Shin Young can really work with given the age gap, because they have very different outlooks on life? Will Min Jae’s Mom accept her son and Shin Young. Will Min Jae Mom enter in a relationship with Sang Woo? Will Boo Ki ever settle down? Will Ban Suk and Da Jung live have a fairy tale ending?

REVIEW:

Girl’s Night Cinema-therapy: This drama focuses on the challenges that Shin Young, Book Ki, Da Young, and Min Jae’s Mom face as women in their early 30s and 40s in relationships. It will also appeal to a younger crowd, because of the flashbacks to the character’s late teens and early 20s years (+ there is Kim Bum). The message is universal; you cannot change the past, but can learn from future relationships based on the past experience of your earlier relationships. Heartbreak, anguish, tears, and newfound love, it is all in there.  The writers did a very good job of showing the growth of girls to women, and how your ideas about how love changes as you get older. It’s a great Mother-Daughter drama, but probably won’t be appreciated by those who are not 16+ and mature.

Park Jin Hee as Shin Young: The ultimate question for Shin Young is whether to choose the safe route with Sang Woo or go out on a limb with Min Jae. Given that Shin Young is 34, she knows that she has to be more serious with her relationships and should be with someone dependable. Thus, when Min Jae did not come home on time, because he was out with his friends and a girl his age, Shin Young battled with whether Min Jae was the one for her. Shin Young felt as if she was taking Min Jae’s youth and  began to understand the feelings of Min Jae’s mother. Park Jin Hee was made for this role and portrayed Shin Young. Jin Hee played the role so well that I never felt uncomfortable about her and Min Jae dating, because you could feel the internal struggle of her character. As a viewer, I felt that I was struggling with her. It should also be noted that Jin Hee has a youthful spirit and never looked that much older than Kim Bum.

Kim Bum as Min Jae: I thought Kim Bum really stood out in Boys Over Flowers, but here he really shines. He plays a guy that really does not know how to act in a relationship with a woman, since it is his first relationship. Min Jae has nothing else to go on other than he really likes Shin Young, and wants to do his best by her. The best example of this are towards the end, when he meets someone that is his age. In addition, his portrayal of a boy becoming a man was also very gratifying, especially when you see the struggles he has when he chooses between his mom and his girlfriend. I can definitely say that I love Kim Bum after this drama, he is very talented, and I expect a very bright future for him as a leading man. Plus Kim Bum sings, plays guitar, and looks very cool.

Park Ji Yeoung as Min Jae’s Mom: Normally, you hate the evil mother, but it was really hard to hate this one. This was one of the few dramas where the Mother’s attempt to thwart Min Jae and Shin Young’s relationship could actually be attributed to a mother’s love. Min Jae’s Mother saw the parallel between her and Shin Young and her husband and Min Jae. Min Jae’s Mom did not want Min Jae to feel pressured into marriage that he would later regret, because Shin Young was older and wanted to get married. In a way she was trying to protect Shin Young from the pain she experienced. Viewers also understood why Min Jae’s Mother was reticent with Sang Woo. Min Jae, as a young mother, felt that she didn’t deserve to be loved, no less by someone who was a lot younger than her. In addition, she felt that she would ruin another person’s future, because Sang Woo already had a girl who was his age, Shin Young. Moreover, if Sang Woo and Shin Young got back together, her son would be safe. I give Ji Yeoung credit for playing a hard-nosed beautiful but fragile character. I almost cried when she went to her husband’s hotel room, reminded me of My Lovely Sam Soon.

Writing: One of the best written dramas period. Each character had a background story that was well presented, but even better, viewers were able to connect each character’s background story to their actions in the drama. There was no point in the drama, where I was like they would never do that. Also, there were some very serious issues, like Da Jung’s past, that were dealt with in a very forthcoming and unoffensive manner. I also enjoyed the light moments, they reminded you that it was still a romantic comedy, when the issues adressed could have clearly made it a melodrama. Note: I don’t want to cry all the time (this is the reason why I still cannot complete 49 days, even though I thought it is very good.  I almost had to stop watching Scent of A Woman. It is in my personality to get too attached.) My only real complaint is that it seemed as if the writing for Boo Ki’s character just stopped.

Highlights

  • Really cute couple, say what you want about age difference, but Park Jin Hee and Kim Bum made it happen (even better than Lee Min Ho and Son Ye Jin in Personal Taste, where they were supposed to be the same age and about the same as Ha Ji Won and Lee Seung Gi in King2Hearts)
  • Good portrayal of women in the workplace
  • Clean finish (very rare to clean 90% of issues up)
  • Ladies singing at Karaoke
  • Kim Bum as a Rock Star
  • Sang Woo and Min Jae’s Mom bed scene –> Whoa there!
  • Book Ki, can I have your job?
  • Da Jung Eating the Pavement
  • “Eating sweet potato in the cold” love.
  • Shin Young’s team at work
  • Shin Young’s stuck face
  • Sang Woo in airline uniform
  • Sang Woo’s scarf present for Min Jae’s Mom (I want one!)
  • Kim Bum and Shin Young’s date at the cafe
  • Min Jae’s Mom wearing Sang Woo’s present constantly–> cute

Ughhhh!

  • Really slow beginning, like the first 4 episodes.
  • Flamenco dancing… no can do. I’m sorry, it just wasn’t that great.
  • Min Jae go back home to your Shin Young
  • Stop singing Ban Suk, just stop
  • Ban Suk and Da Jung almost got really annoying, luckily the drama ended before that point
  • What about Boo Ki? No really, what about Boo Ki!
  • Myun Suk must have graduated from Slytherin a.k.a. the School for Pompous Jerks
  • Ban Suk’s sister needs to get out of their house and take care of your own kid

That’s a 4 out of 5, only because I was really not crazily attached to any of the characters and it had a slow start, but I still recognized the quality of the work as whole. So,  find your Mom or your girlfriends and go watch it.

Next Up: King2HeartsCity Hunter, or I Do I Do.

2 comments

  1. Pingback: Korean Drama Review: I Do I Do « Public Investigation
  2. Pingback: Upcoming Dramas I’m Really Excited About. Ahhhh!!!! | Public Investigation

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