Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sly and Single Again Review (2014)

(Also known as Cunning Single Lady)
Drama Rating: ****
Personal Rating: Loved it!

Na Ae Ra and the geeky Cha Jung Woo were enjoying their married lives together when he decided to quit his job to work on his own start-up. After a miserable couple of years and drowning in debt, Na Ae Ra calls it quits and divorces her husband. Little did she know that Cha Jung Woo's start-up would literally find success overnight and her former husband would become CEO for his thriving company. They finally meet each other a few years later but will Cha Jung Woo and Na Ae Ra be able to start anew?

*Spoiler warning*
    This drama takes a delightful spin on the romantic comedy genre with its charming treatment of predictable but well-worn cliches. The screenwriter clearly has some fun with the main leads on this as they work their way through the typical romantic comedy hurdles of mix-ups and the jealousy of romantic rivals. The plot is fairly standard and doesn't go too far outside the box for the content and ends on a fairly predictable note. Sadly, the other story threads all seem a tad shortchanged at the ending without a good satisfying explanation/resolution (eg. there definitely should've been some closure on Seung Hyun and Yeo Jin's mother's return). The only other fault for which I have a minor bone to pick are the absurdly frequent 'coincidental' chance encounters at the elevator. Perhaps the screenwriter should have brainstormed a bit more to come up with more believable pretexts for Na Ae Ra and Cha Jung Woo to meet up.

    Lee Min Jung was superb as the indefatigable Na Ae Ra with a glowing, hardworking spirit. Her portrayal was certainly one of the stronger lead actress roles I've seen in recent days. Opposite her, Joo Sang Wook was wonderfully adept as the nerdy CEO Cha Jung Woo. His charming delivery of lines made for great comedic material and gave the drama a very light touch. The rest of the cast were fairly decent in supporting the main leads and letting them bask in the limelight. L was likely the one noticeable weakness as the particularly youthful Secretary Gil. As the CEO's personal secretary, his character always seems to be off somewhere and when he is around, never seems to have any work to do. Perhaps the screenwriter should have given a bit more thought about what his character's role really was for aside from being eye candy.

    The soundtrack for this drama was generally very warm and comforting, befitting a romantic comedy of this nature. Melodies ranged from the tension-building, anticipatory pieces to the sentimentally sad pieces to the jazzy romantic themes. The music was paired well with the various scenes (as is generally the case with korean romantic comedies) providing a suitable backdrop to the events happening on screen without detracting from the story.

    Aside from the awkwardly named title, this is yet another solid romantic comedy. While the storyline about re-igniting an old flame should sound fairly familiar by now, having much in common with Emergency Couple, Can't Lose and Get Karl Oh Soo Jung, the pairing of Lee Min Jung and Joo Sang Wook had some great chemistry and certainly was a joy to watch. The somewhat disappointing ending left a slightly sour note at the end for not tying up the loose ends with regard to the supporting characters but it fortunately doesn't detract too much from the main story.

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