What would you do if you found out you only had 90 days left to live? Would you spend as much time as you could with your family? What if you didn’t have a family? How about having a Last Minute Romance?
With the threat of death just weeks away, Baek Se decides the only thing she regrets is not having dated the man of her dreams – actor Ji Seol-Woo. Since the odds of that happening are slim to none, her friend encourages her to find a surrogate, a Seol-Woo substitute so to speak. There has to be a look alike out there somewhere, right? So, through an online ad, the girls set out to find one. But just when Baek Se is about to give up, fate steps in and she meets a Ji Seol-Woo doppelgänger in the form of Yoon Dong-Joon. When she offers to pay him for his time, will he decide to go along with her crazy idea of contract dating?
Baek Se. Because her name means “100 years” she honestly thought she would live that long. But now, at just 27 years old, she is having to face the fact that because of stage three pancreatic cancer she only has three months left to live. She grew up in an orphanage so the only person she has to help her through the horrible reality she is having to deal with is a monk, her dearest friend. Baek Se works at Life Line, where emotionally distraught people call when they are contemplating suicide. Her kind, sympathetic personally makes her an ideal person for the job. For several years she’s had a huge crush on actor Ji Seol-Woo, and her apartment is filled with his pictures – posters, a pillow, even a coffee mug.
Yoon Dong-Joon is a perfect carbon copy of Ji Seol-Woo, minus the tiny mole under his left eye. Some people might enjoy being mistaken for a famous person but not Dong-Joon. He hates it, so much so that he would undergo plastic surgery “and be made ugly” in order to not be thought of as Ji Seol-Woo. All that stands in his way of that goal is a measly 30,000,000 Won. Dong-Joon is trying to make it as an actor himself but, sadly, just isn’t that good. He lives with his buddy, an unsuccessful webtoon creator.
Famous for the romantic roles he’s played, Ji Seol-Woo is handsome, charming, and extremely talented. He is South Korea’s top actor, beloved by just about anyone who has seen anything he’s been in. He comes across as a very kind and humble individual.
I thought Han Seung-Yeon’s acting seemed very familiar but I just couldn’t recognize her face. Then, when I had finished the show, I looked her up online and discovered she had been in two other things I have seen – Kara: Secret Love and Her Lovely Heels. Ding! That’s why I felt I had seen her act before – her character Baek Se is very much like the one she played in Her Lovely Heels – an awesome webdrama in which she won the Best Couple Award with Hong Jong-Hyun. Seung-Yeon was born in Seoul and made her acting debut at the age of five in the motion picture Dead Ends. When she was a teenager she decided to attend high school in New Jersey but dropped out in order to peruse a singing career. When she got back to South Korea she debuted as a member of the Kpop group Kara. Later, she passed a high school equivalency test and was accepted at Kyung Hee University, majoring in Theater and Film.
Twenty year old Lee Seo-Won, who plays both Yoon Dong-Joon and Ji Seol-Woo, enrolled at Sejong University last year as a film major. He first came on the scene in 2015 making his acting debut in the TV drama The Awl and it’s been full steam ahead ever since. He was in the wonderful TV drama Uncontrollably Fond and the motion picture Knocking on the Door to Your Heart the following year. In 2017, along with Last Minute Romance, he was also cast in The Liar and His Lover and Hospital Ship. So far, 2018 has him scheduled to be in a drama called About Time to be aired on tvN. Seo-Won has also been the host of Music Bank since 2016.
All the extra comments I have about Last Minute Romance has to do with the writer, Seo Jung-Eun, who did such a wonderful job with this script. I hope writer Seo will being penning us many more Kdramas in the future.
In order to show what a popular actor the character Ji Seol-Woo is, the writer lets us actually see him in action, making him the star of dramas (or at least certain scenes in dramas) that any Kdrama lover would be familiar with – the “why can’t you just tell people I belong to you?” scene from Lovers in Paris, the heartbreaking sword through his chest scene on the rooftop in Goblin, as well as the kiss the cream off her lip scene in Secret Garden. And I’m sure there were others I just wasn’t familiar with. Score one for the brilliant and fun idea of webdrama writer Seo Jung-Eun.
Another thing I liked that scriptwriter Seo did was to include the theories the American psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross wrote about in her book On Death and Dying. Baek Se tells us, “People go through five stages when they face death. The first is denial. The second is anger. Third is bargaining. Fourth is depression. The fifth and last stage is acceptance.” Because the drama begins with Baek Se in the acceptance stage, it’s good she informs us of the other ones so we don’t think she is a saint and has no problem with her scary prognosis.
The end of the show is perfect. The writer gives us a romantic one without the heart wrenching tears so many “she’s dying” shows take us to. I promise it’s not giving anything away to tell you that. Someone with stage three cancer isn’t going to have a miraculous recovery so we know seconds going into the show that Baek Se will pass away. The writer tells that part of the story perfectly!
Because the show isn’t very long the soundtrack isn’t either but the songs we get are excellent. The English words in the song Somebody are perfect – “Somebody loves, somebody loves me.” It’s a wonderful song with a soft beat to it, sung by a lovely female voice. (Wish I knew who it was. The credit just says “SE O”.) Choi San-Yeob lends his gorgeous tenor voice to the song Hold My Hand. It’s the kind of sound you can relax to as your going to bed. A+ for the soundtrack.
The scenery in the show is just ordinary life. No beautiful apartment, no lovely park, no breathtaking shoreline, no quaint coffee shop – just everyday places most human beings are accustomed to, which boosts this show to an almost believable level.
Just two hours, that’s all this webdrama takes. Don’t you owe yourself a quick, heartwarming Last Minute Romance?
Characters go through emotional growth