Thursday, September 5, 2013

Finding Mr. Right Review

Chinese Title: 北京遇上西雅图 (literally: Beijing Meets Seattle)
Year: 2013
Genre: romantic-comedy
Language: Mandarin and English

Source: Amazon


Wen Jia Jia (Tang Wei) is a pregnant gold-digging mistress who wants to give birth in Seattle. She meets Frank (Wu Xu Bo), a Chinese driver with a troubled career and marriage. As she gets to know him, she realizes what she really wants in life - him.

Cheerfulnuts' Review:

Finding Mr. Right is one of the few chick flicks that didn't make me cringe. In fact, I had enjoyed this movie a great deal. Set in Seattle (as inspired by the Hollywood movie "Sleepless in Seattle"), you'd get to see how a lone Chinese pregnant woman who speaks and understands little English survives in the city. Equipped with only some cash and her unlimited credit card, Wen Jia Jia is determined to give birth to her son to impress her rich married boyfriend. 

Upon her arrival to the city, she is fetched by a driver named Frank, also a Chinese. He brought her to a maternity halfway owned by a Taiwanese woman. Because of Jia Jia's materialism and feisty character, her roomies immediately dislike her. On her first night in Seattle, I got to see how b*tchy she is (sorry, can't find the perfect word). She's getting on her roomies' nerves and also on mine. 

Despite her poor relationships with the other pregnant women, she is quick to make friends with the kind and gentle Frank. Frank used to be a physician in Beijing. His daughter Julie couldn't fit in with other Chinese kids in school, so he and his wife decided to take her to US. Since his wife earns much more than he does, he quits his job and lives with Julie in Seattle. He has trouble getting a medical license in the US, so he works as a driver. His having a strained relationship with his wife and Jia Jia being lonely, the two somehow become very close.

There's nothing really magical about the Tang Wei-Wu Xiu Bo pairing. However, I like the chemistry between Jia Jia and Frank's character. I think in real life, a person that is too kind (like Frank) will be appreciated more by someone feisty (like Jia Jia). On the other hand, a feisty person needs a kind and patient partner. I've seen a few couples like this and their relationship works.

As Jia Jia spends more time with her new friends, she slowly realizes that money isn't what she really wants. In her late pregnancy, she is shocked to find her credit card blocked. She quickly learns that her boyfriend has been arrested for fraud. Lesson learned: do not depend your livelihood on someone else's credit card. To pay for her expenses, she starts working for the Taiwanese landlady. She also sells all her luxury bags given by her boyfriend. I find this act really meaningful. A lot of women regard their bags as important. Bags are status symbols. Jia Jia's selling her bags somehow means that she is letting go of all these material things that don't really matter to her. She also realizes that she's falling for Frank who has always stayed by her side.

I'd like to point out that despite this being a romantic-comedy movie, you won't hear any "I love you's" from the pair. Sure, the attraction between them is quite obvious. But the lack of verbal confirmation of love sometimes confuses me. On several points of the film, I have been wondering if they're aware of their feelings for each other. In romantic movies, a character realizing that he/she loves someone is usually the climax of the story. Falling in love and knowing that you've fallen in love are two different things. You know, the moment when a guy realizes his feelings for a girl and he immediately runs to the airport to tell her he loves her is the moment we viewers are waiting for. But in this film, there's nothing like this. Or maybe there is, but minus the words of love.

What I like best about this movie is the character development, especially in Jia Jia's character. From a b*tchy and gold-digging mistress, she has turned into a mature and caring woman. It's really a huge transformation. It gives us a message that hardships in life can totally change us.

I have probably made this movie sound a bit too deep than it actually is LOL. It's just a chick flick. But with a nice message. The acting is okay. Don't expect an award-winning performance from the leads though. Do I recommend this? If you simply want a relaxing romantic-comedy movie, go ahead and try it. Don't expect too much. Just enjoy it.

Cheerfulnuts' Verdict:
6 out of 10 stars

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Kyou Koi Wo Hajimemasu (Live Action Movie) Review

Alternative Title: Love for Beginners
Year: 2012
Language: Japanese
Genre: Romance, School

今日、恋をはじめます DVD通常版

Image Credit: Amazon Japan


Tsubaki (Emi Takei) is a very old-fashioned and upright girl. She meets playboy Tsubaki (Tori Matsuzaka) whom she initially hates. Despite their differences, they develop feelings for each other and start dating. 

Cheerfulnuts' Review:

I'm not crazy about the movie Kyou Koi Wo Hajimemasu. It seems that those who have read the manga (where the movie is based on) love the movie though. So I guess reading the manga first will make you appreciate the movie more. Unfortunately, it's too late for me.

At face value, the movie looks good. But after watching it, I JUST DON'T GET IT. It's not the plot that is difficult to understand. I just don't see the point of the movie. The storyline is quite simple. Two teenagers fall in love with each other. The girl is old-fashioned, unpopular, and has a low self-esteem. On the other hand, the guy is a top student, a playboy, and a hearththrob. The only thing they have in common is their name - Tsubaki. I wanted to see how they'll develop feelings for each other. But I was disappointed not to see it at all.

On the first day of high school, Tsubaki Hibino (girl) is shocked to see girls in short skirts and guys with long hair and piercings. She then bumps into Kyouta Tsubaki whom she immediately dislikes. She soon learns that she's in the same class with the guy, much to her horror. Kyouta flirts with her but she tries to stay away from him. However, because of some school activities, the two start to hangout more often. He initially wants to sleep with her, but after Tsubaki rejects his advances, he promises not to force her anymore. I thought, oh wow, he's a gentleman. Maybe this movie is all about showing love is much more than sex! Sadly, in the end, I learned that I was wrong.

Going back to the story, Tsubaki realizes that she loves Mr. Playboy. She confesses her feelings and tells him she will sleep with him. What? What happened to her "no sex before marriage" principle? Perhaps I can understand that a girl in love is willing to do anything for her beloved. But telling such things to a guy whose feelings is still unclear is plain stupidity. I thought she's a much deeper character who would stick to her values 'til the end and this certain trait will make Kyouta head over heels with her. Turns out it's entirely different from what I expected. Kyouta gets angry and tells her "I thought you're different. You're just like her," and walks away.

Tsubaki learns later on that "her" refers to Kyouta's mother. On his 8th birthday (10 on manga), the mother tells the kid she loves him before running off with another man. Great, what a way to love a son. That was the last time he saw her. The poor boy has become allergic to I love you's and stuff like that. He also dreads his birthday. That is why he's afraid of commitments and has become a playboy. I understand that it's traumatic to be betrayed by the person you love. But still, this revelation doesn't make me understand Kyouta's character any better.

As expected, the heroine is determined to change the way Kyouta looks at his birthday. With the help of her friends, Tsubaki gives him a little birthday surprise by sneaking into a classroom at night and decorating it with pumpkins and "Happy Halloween" signs. At the same time, she confesses her love to him (again) while wearing a polar bear suit. It made me cringe a bit. The mascot sure is cute, but it's a weird confession. However, Kyouta doesn't think like I do. He seems touched and they immediately become an item.

One year has passed and they're still together (clap clap clap). But of course, a love story wouldn't be complete without the couple's going through a bumpy road. It makes the love sweeter and in turn makes the viewers swoon. But no matter how hard I tried, I didn't feel the love. 

Life taught me that a guy should make a girl he loves feel special. He should treat her differently from other girls. In the movie, the special treatment is nothing else but holding hands, kissing, and perhaps gift-giving. When an ex-lover comes into the scene, Tsubaki seems to give her more attention than to his girlfriend. It doesn't feel good at all and the movie didn't give me a satisfying resolution!

The trials are too much for the couple to handle. They break up. After some time, they realize that they have become a better person because of each other. So they reconcile, kiss, sleep together beside a telescope (told you it's not about showing love is much more than sex), and live happily ever after. Huh? The credits started to roll in and I couldn't believe this movie got high ratings. Maybe I'm missing something. Maybe I have to read the manga. Yeah, that must be it.

Cheerfulnuts' Verdict:

4 out of 10 stars

It should be 2 stars, but I give it more because it still managed to make me watch from beginning to end.

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Little Thing Called Love Review

Alternative Title: First Love
Year: 2010
Language: Thai
Genre: romantic-comedy, school

File:First Love - from Commons.jpg

Image Credit: Amazon


Nam (Pimchanok Luevisadpaibul) has been crushing on the most popular guy in school named P'Shone (Mario Maurer). The problem is, her plain looks and average intelligence make her virtually invisible. Nonetheless, the strong-willed girl is determined to win her first love's affection. With the help of her friends, Nam works hard by joining clubs and changing her appearance. Sadly, no matter how hard she tries, the only thing she seems to get is nothing more than friendship.

Cheerfulnuts' Review:  

This Thai movie totally melts my heart! A Little Thing Called Love is about an ugly-duckling who develops a crush on a campus heartthrob. The movie depicts the phase that we all have been through. It gave me so many flashbacks from my own life LOL.

The movie starts during Nam's most awkward stage  - adolescence. She has been secretly in love with her senior P'Shone, a handsome, athletic, and kind-hearted guy whom she thinks is out of her league. Well, it isn't entirely a secret because her friends know about it. Because of their plain looks, Nam and her friends make up a group that is considered unpopular in her school. 

It's a typical story about first love and crushes. But as an adult, it still makes me go awww. Several Nam-Shone scenes would remind us of our own sweet moments with our object of affection. It's not hard to visualize our own crushes in Shone's character. I love how the movie captures those sweet moments. The slow-mo effects are spot-on! They're done right when it matters.

Despite being teased about her looks, the love-struck girl is determined to get noticed by her crush. Her very good friends are of course with her. They bought a book called "Nine Recipes of Love" that promises to win a guy's heart. Throughout the movie, they will reveal each recipe or advice which Nam will obediently follow. I pity those girls for wasting their money on a useless book, because none of the recipes worked. I think it should be called "Nine Recipes to Disaster" instead LOL.

It's quite funny, but not to the point where you'll hurt your stomach from laughing (at least that is how I felt when I watched it). Most of my laughter came from Teacher Inn (Sudarat Budtporm). The teacher is Nam's adult version in the movie. Like Nam, she is also lacking in the looks department and is crushing on a co-teacher. However, she is more forward and is not afraid to make advances toward her crush. She plays a key role in putting Nam and Shone closer together even if she does it unintentionally. I love the scene where she is directing her drama class students while eating something that looks like a huge cracker. I don't know why, but it made me laugh!

There are several scenes that made my heart beat faster because of its pure sweetness. I believe most of us can relate to the movie, because seriously, who hasn't have a crush? I especially love the Snow White scene where Nam nearly falls off the stage and Shone catches her. Awww... I couldn't stop swooning! The world seems to have stopped at that moment.

I was wrong when I thought that the entire film would show an ugly Nam with a makeover in the end. After playing as Snow White in a drama play, Nam somehow retains her beautiful looks throughout the second half of the movie. Guys in her school start to notice her, but none of the attention makes her happy because they're not from Shone. Yeah, after all those time, she's still head over heels with Shone. It seems that nothing she does will ever get his attention. Still, even the tiniest things that Shone does for her (like carrying her bag when she twists her ankle) makes her dance inside.

The acting isn't award-winning, but it's quite good. I didn't expect I'd get teary-eyed in some scenes. Or maybe I tend to tear up easily, I don't know. The movie shows a span of over a decade period. I find it really amusing that both Nam and Shone's growing up look so convincing. Shone looks like a real teenager when he was actually in his 20's during the time of the filming.

SPOILER ALERT: I just LOVE the revelation near the end of the movie! I have guessed that Shone likes Nam, but how his feelings is revealed is just perfect. That one final touch makes the total picture a lot more beautiful. I have replayed that part twice because that's how much I love it! The ending itself is not as great though but still okay.

Do I recommend this movie? Of course! If you're not into love stories, it's still fun to watch because of the comedy. As a movie that caters to young people, don't expect a very deep story. Having said that, I appreciate the movie's awesomeness without sacrificing its wholesomeness (hey it rhymes!). It's a feel good movie that can be enjoyed by both teenagers and adults alike. It's about love minus lust and sex and rude teenagers. I'll tell you that I've never been so satisfied with the ending (or rather, the near ending) of a movie as much as I have with this one! One thought that sticks with me after watching - it's so nice to be in love, especially with a good guy.

Cheerfulnuts' Verdict:

10 out of 10 stars

Saturday, July 27, 2013

49 Days Review

Year: 2011
Episodes: 20
Language: Korean
Genre: drama, fantasy, romance

49 days
Image Credit: 49 Days


After a serious car accident, Shin Ji Hyun (Nam Gyu Ri) is pronounced as brain dead. It's not her time to die yet, so her soul remains on earth. She meets the Scheduler (Jung Il Woo) and is given a task to collect at least three tears that are 100% genuine from people that are not blood-related to her. If she is able to complete this mission within 49 days, she gets to live again. She borrows the body of Yi Kyung (Lee Yo Won), a girl who wants to die and lives like a zombie for five years. As the series progresses, the bond between the two different women becomes stronger. Ji Hyun also starts to see her life from a different perspective as she learns about the man who truly loves her.

Cheerfulnuts' Review: 

Watching 49 Days makes me feel like being possessed by a spirit. I became hooked and couldn't get it off my mind. The drama starts with all the characters being introduced in one episode. Before I get to like any of them, a girl dies. I didn't even know that she's the protagonist (I haven't seen the poster). From then on, I became addicted to 49 days. I couldn't wait to see what was next!

The story focuses on Ji Hyun, the nearly-dead girl who has an almost perfect life during her lifetime. She is rich and loved by her parents. She is about to get married to a wonderful man. Her friends love her. But K-dramas seem to hate happy people. Before she can live happily ever after, a woman named Yi Kyung attempts suicide by running into traffic. She doesn't die but she causes a truck to swerve, which leads to several car crashes. Just then, the happy Ji Hyun arrives to the scene and her car crashes to a truck. Her soul pops out of her body and she is shocked to see herself unconscious in her car. She helplessly watches herself being rushed to the hospital and her loved ones crying over her.

She realizes that she's become a ghost. Only one man can see her though. He is known as the Scheduler, which is the series' fancy term for Grim Reaper. He explains that she is not supposed to be dead. Since it's not her time yet, she is given a chance to reclaim her life by collecting three tears that are 100 percent genuine. It means that at least three people have genuinely loved her, making her life worth living again. To do this, she is allowed to borrow the body of Yi Kyung while she sleeps. There are rules though, and the most important one is she cannot tell anyone that she's Ji Hyun.

The girl is relieved to hear it. She is confident that she can retrieve three tears in no time. She believes she can even collect more than that. Little does she know that getting those tears is not as easy as she thinks. And she realizes this painful reality as the drama progresses.

The drama has piqued my curiosity. The storyline may not be very original, but it's very interesting. As I followed Ji Hyun in her mission, I could actually feel that I am her. The emotions are very real. I watched her collapse as she learns about her bestfriend and her fiance's betrayal. I watched her parents trying to be strong for their daughter. I watched her old classmate Han Kang loving her even without her knowing it. It shows the irony of life. Sometimes, life isn't what is seems to be. People whom you think love you may not really love you, and those you think hate you may have loved you all along. It gives me a different perspective about life, love, and relationship. It's sad that Ji Hyun only gets to see who truly loves her when she's half-dead. I came to a conclusion that it's not your status, your career, nor your appearance that defines who you are. It's your soul that counts. And those who can see right through your thick outer shell are the ones who truly love you. We focus too much on superficial things.

Despite the gravity of the plot, 49 Days has it's light and sweet moments too. The Scheduler provides a comic relief in the story. He's one funny Grim Reaper LOL. What's more amusing is he has a story too. I love the love story of this drama. I am definitely a fan of Han Kang's (Jo Hyun Jae) character! I just love the chemistry between him and Ji Hyun/Yi Kyung. Han Kang is one stubborn guy who has been in love with Ji Hyun since high school. Of course, Ji Hyun doesn't know it and thinks he hates her. Another lesson learned: let the woman you love know your feelings.

In terms of acting, most actors did a great job. The Scheduler is the favorite of viewers. While I agree, I think Kang Min Ho (Bae Soo Bin) is the best actor in the series. Ninety-nine percent of a time, he did a decent job. But the remaining 1%, which is when he exhibits strong emotions, is really superb!

This is one of the few K-dramas that make me think really hard. It has made it to my list of favorite dramas of all time. SPOILER ALERT: My only gripe is the ending! Yes, I can deal with Ji Hyun's death. But not telling Han Kang about it, or not even telling him she loves him, is totally absurd! Before Ji Hyun finishes her 49 days, she cries to the Scheduler and says she's willing to give up her three remaining days in exchange for three hours with Han Kang as herself. But when she can finally do it, I don't understand why she has to pretend not to love him! Anyway, the ending got mixed reactions. You may like it or you may hate it.

Overall, this Korean drama is a must-watch! 49 Days made me cry bucket of tears. It has several poignant moments. I really appreciate to see the increasing bond between Ji Hyun and Yi Kyung. Ji Hyun used to be a bit selfish (though she has a big heart). Seeing her starting to care for Yi Kyung is a turning point in her character. It makes me love her more. I highly recommend this drama to everyone.

Cheerfulnuts' Verdict: 

9 out of 10 stars

One less star because of that one gripe.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Itazura na Kiss: Love in Tokyo (2013) Review

Year: 2013
Language: Japanese
Episodes: 16
Romantic-Comedy, School

イタズラなKiss~Love in TOKYO【3000セット初回限定版】DVD-BOX1(4枚組※本編DISC3枚+特典DISC1枚)

Image Credit: Amazon Japan


Kotoko, a not-so-smart girl, finally confesses her love to campus hearththrob and genius Naoki Irie. Unfortunately, Naoki coldly rejects her and tells her he doesn't like dumb girls. As she tries to move on, Kotoko's new home is destroyed by a meteor. With nowhere to live, she and her father moves into the home of the latter's bestfriend. However, to Kotoko's horror, she learns that Naoki is the eldest son of the family. Living with Naoki makes it harder for Kotoko to forget him. She quickly realizes that she still loves him and is determined to do everything to win his heart. 

Cheerfulnuts' Review:

I'm now officially a fan of Itazura na Kiss: Love in Tokyo! I love this Japanese drama to pieces! It's loaded with fun and surprises! I have watched the 1996 Japanese adaptation and wondered what could possibly make the 2013 version stand out. Well, after completing the series, I can say that it has surpassed the original version. Let me explain why. 

I have greatly enjoyed the 1996 version. But 9 episodes are not enough to show how the cold Irie-kun would finally fall for the not-so-smart Kotoko. I'm glad that the 2013 version has successfully filled in the missing holes. Itazura na Kiss: Love in Tokyo stars Honoka Miki and Yuki Furukawa, both of them whom I've never seen before. Furukawa may not be as good-looking as Takashi Kashiwabara in my opinion, but his portrayal of Irie-kun is quite different. He is equally cold, but we get to see how he softens up to Kotoko in each episode, which is exactly what I want to see in this series! Miki is not as experienced as actress Sato Aiko, but her Kotoko is cuter and more girly. A lot of viewers who have criticized Aiko's Kotoko find Miki more lovable and less annoying. I don't dislike Aiko's portrayal, though I can see why many people are annoyed. I kind of missed her though, so I appreciate the drama's casting an actress with big ears like Aiko's! 

Naoki's rival, Ikezawa Kinnosuke, is played by Yamada Yuki. He has more screen time in this version compared to the original one. Honestly, I think he did a good job in portraying Kin-chan. He's goofy, funny, and mushy. So much like the Kin-chan I knew. 

The older version is more funny than romantic, while Love in Tokyo is both funny AND sweet. There are love triangles and yes, we get to see a jealous Irie-kun! Though Naoki's jealousy is very subtle, it makes me jump for joy when he's secretly getting jealous. It's fun to see him falling for Kotoko. 

I'd like to point out that the acting is kind of raw. Thankfully, the drama doesn't need superb acting skills to deliver its message. To me, the message isn't about a girl confessing her feelings to her love interest. It's not exactly about winning a guy's heart either. It's about being optimistic and cheerful, being true to yourself, and loving someone despite his/her flaws. I'm really learning a lot from this drama, especially from Kotoko. I love her. She is naive and isn't good at anything, but I'd love to have her guts and her cheerfulness! 

Needless to say, this drama caters to young audiences, especially females. The good thing is it doesn't contain all the negative elements that you'll find in a typical teeny-bopper show. This is something that I wouldn't worry my own children watching. If you want a fun, entertaining, and sweet drama that isn't shallow, this will definitely make the list. 

Note: If you haven't seen the 1996 adaptation, I highly recommend you to watch it FIRST. It will make you appreciate Love in Tokyo more!  

Cheerfulnuts' Verdict:

10 out of 10 stars

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dinner Review

Year: 2013
Language: Japanese
Episodes: 11
Genre: food, comedy, drama


An Italian restaurant Roccabianca is in its prime when the head chef/owner suddenly collapses, leaving the restaurant to his inexperienced daughter Saori Tatsumi (Kana Kurashina) and his sous-chefs. Despite their hard work in keeping the business running, the restaurant has lost many of its clients. With profits deteriorating, Saori is forced to make a hard decision - to hire a new head chef. The team doesn't like it but is forced to go with the plan. 

The new chef is Motomu Ezaki (Yosuke Eguchi), a very talented man who doesn't seem to go along with anyone. But with some turn of events, Ezaki slowly earns trust and respect from his team. Together, they will make the restaurant bounce back to its original heyday.

Cheerfulnuts' Review:

Dinner is a food drama starring Yosuke Eguchi. He plays as the talented but eccentric chef Motomu Ezaki who is hired by an Italian restaurant after its head chef went into coma. I've seen both of Eguchi's works - Lunch Queen and Patisserie Coin de rue - in which he also plays as a chef, so Dinner doesn't seem foreign to me. I actually didn't really mind watching the drama regardless of the story. I like Eguchi and I like food. Watching a food drama is certainly a feast for the eyes.  I think no other nationality values food presentation as much as the Japanese do. It turns out that the drama didn't fail me. In fact, it has far exceeded my expectations. 

It was truly a joy to watch it! It teaches me about important things such as valuing your clients, loyalty, sense of camaraderie, and having a strong passion. It also has a lot of funny scenes that made my stomach ache from laughing. The plot is simple and the characters are really lovable. Even non-chef viewers can relate with the characters. The more I watch, the more the Roccabianca team grows on me.

The drama is episodic. I was expecting it to have one episode dedicated to each character like in the drama Nihonjin no Shiranai Nihongo, but Dinner only focused on some characters.

Spoiler alert: The ending is a bit of a disappointment. At least that is how I felt as soon as the drama ended. But looking back, I couldn't have thought of a better ending for the drama. It may not be the kind of ending that everyone will like or be comfortable with, but it is meaningful and has made the drama even more powerful about its message.

I highly recommend this to everyone!

Cheerfulnuts' Verdict:

10 out of 10 stars

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Personal Taste Review

Personal Taste
Alternative Title: Personal Preference

Chinese Title: 個人取向
Year: 2010
Language: Korean
Genre: Romantic-Comedy, Drama
Episodes: 16

Image Credit: Amazon

Park Gae In (Son Ye Jin) is a furniture designer who lives in a traditional Korean house, Sanggogae. She is kind but clumsy and terribly naive. In a few occasions, she encounters Jeon Jin Ho (Lee Min Ho), an architect whom she presumes later on as gay. Due to some misunderstandings, the two develop some dislike with each other.

After Gae In's boyfriend Han Chang Ryul (Kim Ji Seok) breaks up with her, she attends the wedding of her long-time friend and roommate Kim In Hee (Wang Ji Hye). To her horror, she finds out that the groom is none other than her ex-boyfriend. As if that isn't bad enough, she gets home and learns that her employee Won Ho uses her house as collateral for loan.

On the other hand, Jin Ho is facing some financial problems in his small firm, making him eager to win the contract in building the Dam Art Gallery. He finds out that the head of the museum is in love with the Sanggogae and initially wants its designer, the legendary architect Park Chul Han (Kang Shin Il) and also the father of Gae In, to design the gallery. The latter, however, turns down his request.

Wanting to learn more about the mysterious Sanggogae and after overhearing about Gae In's debts, Jin Ho pretends to be looking for a new place. He convinces Gae In to rent out a room to him. Due to her dire need of money, Gae In agrees.

After they become roommates, their initial dislike for each other slowly turns into budding friendship. Despite the gay presumption, the roomies start to feel something more for each other.

Cheerfulnuts' Review:
After watching City Hunter, I had an extreme City Hunter withdrawal (or rather, Lee Min Ho withdrawal), so I decided to watch another highly-rated drama of Lee Min Ho – Personal Taste.

The female lead is Son Ye Jin. Though I'm not sure about the pairing, I love her in The Classic and Lover's Concerto. As a romantic-comedy drama, I didn't expect a strong plot in Personal Taste. Granted, the two leads are enough to make me want to watch this.

Personal Taste starts strongly. In the first episode, it immediately gives you the gist of the story and its ending leaves quite an impression to me.

The drama is hilarious. The two leads are really cute and adorable. They totally won me over despite their huge age gap. I thought this drama is something my dad (or some men) could tolerate watching. I changed my mind though after the series progresses. The latter part is more sweet than funny, so it is more fitting for females to watch.

I didn't expect that Personal Taste would have such an emotional impact on me. I enjoy watching Gae In and Jin Ho's growing friendship. It has some poignant moments, like when Gae In opens up to Jin Ho and vice versa. I do get teary-eyed in these parts. Jin Ho acts cool, but it's really sweet when he starts to soften up with Gae In. I really love how he looks at her. His gaze is filled with care and love for a friend. And Gae In, she causes troubles sometimes, but her deep love for her friends is very touching. She's definitely a keeper.

Sang Jun's acting as gay is really hilarious! Gae In thinks that Jin Ho has a lot of boyfriends and mistakes Sang Jun and Tae Hoon as his lovers. With so many fake gays in the drama, my jaw dropped when one character emerges as a real gay. When I least expected it, the respected Director Choi Do Bin (Ryoo Seung Ryong) confesses his love for Jin Ho. Some viewers may cringe at his confession, but when Chang Ryul mocks Jin Ho and the latter catches Director Choi looking at him with sad eyes, it tore me apart. This guy took a lot of courage to admit his love, but it would never be reciprocated (because Jin Ho isn’t gay). I felt sorry for Director Choi.*sniff* This scene (with Chang Ryul, Director Choi, and Gae In waiting for Jin Ho's answer) is truly an emotional moment and very memorable. It makes me think about the social stigma that gay people have to face.

Other than Director Choi’s being gay, most events are pretty predictable. The latter part gets a bit dragging. I’ve read that a lot of viewers complain about their disappointment with the last two or three episodes. I agree that they’re not as good as what the drama promises. Jin Ho is so out of character that the story becomes unconvincing. The drama obviously wants to incorporate some angst but it did it in an ungraceful way. I won’t recommend this show to men or to anyone who only wants strong plots. That said, the good and cute parts of this drama does make up for the messy parts. I still like Personal Taste as a whole. I like how it has stirred some emotions in me. A truly heartfelt drama. It’s worth to mention that the acting is really superb here. I won’t mind watching this drama again.:)

Cheerfulnuts’ Verdict:
8 out of 10 stars