A Love So Beautiful is a feel-good coming-of-age story that spans a little over a decade. Education, friendship, unrequited love, finding a career path, true love, breakups, and marriage – this webdrama takes its characters through many of life’s trials and triumphs. It’s everything Kdrama fans could hope for.
Seventeen-year-old Shin Sol-I is in love with her neighbor and classmate, Cha Heon, but the aloof young man lets her know in no uncertain terms, “I don’t like you.” However, she’s not about to allow his cold rejection to get her down – her response?… “Then, I’ll figure out a way.” Meanwhile, new transfer student Woo Dae-Sung falls for the quirky Sol-I the minute he sees her and, in an attempt to get close to the sparkly girl, begins referring to her as “brother” and the two become buddies.
It’s not surprising Sol-I’s best friend, Kang Ha-Young, becomes interested in the school nurse after he kindly treats her sprained ankle – after all, the guy is handsome, sympathetic, and seems to enjoy the same things she’s interested in. But it just so happens Jeong Jin-Hwan, a less-than-gorgeous classmate, misunderstands Ha-Young’s friendship and falls starry-eyed, head-over-heels in love with the spunky girl.
Although Shin Sol-I stands out as a bubbly, optimistic sweetheart, she is also prone to making mistakes. Because her focus is 100% on Cha Heon, she often overlooks important things – like studying. Being his girlfriend is her top priority so she’s always on the lookout for ways to be near him. His indifferent attitude towards her just makes her more determined to thaw his chilly heart. She enjoys drawing and often doodles pictures of her and Heon together. Sol-I isn’t thrilled when the pretty and smart class president begins to pay attention to Heon.
Because Cha Heon is reserved and introverted, people mistake him for being conceited, but nothing could be further from the truth. Heon is a hard-working, self-reliant young man with a sensitive heart. Although he shuns Sol-I’s continuous advances, he is very cognizant of what she is involved in at school and always just seconds away from coming to her aid. His father passed away when he was younger and he very much misses his dad. Heon has excellent grades and is highly respected among the student body and facility.
Woo Dae-Sung is a congenial young man who is used to winning the swimming completions he participates in. His goal is to be on the national swim team and someday compete at the Olympics. But as much as Dae-Sung loves swimming, he happily puts off training to spend time with Sol-I. Affectionately calling her “brother,” he uses every excuse he can come up with to be next to her. He buys her snacks, encourages her when she’s down, does what he can to make her wishes come true, coaches her through difficulties, and is always the first to come to her defense.
Kang Ha-Young is the polar opposite of her best friend, Sol-I – she is tall, has long reddish hair, can be feisty, is fairly athletic, and is a good student. When others are eager to point out Sol-I’s shortcomings Kang Ha-Young is there to protect her, just like a mother bear watching out for her cubs. Although she’s almost always by Jeong Jin-Hwan’s side, her romantic interest lies with Mr. Lee, the handsome school nurse.
Jeong Jin-Hwan loves to sing more than anything else so it’s not surprising his dream is to become a pop idol. He doesn’t mind skipping school as long as a karaoke room is his destination. He is always ready to help out a friend and fancies himself a romantic. He has adored Ha-Young ever since she came to his defense when he was being teased, and his heart is broken when he discovers she doesn’t feel the same about him.
I just got through watching So Joo-Yeon play the second female lead in Lovestruck in the City and was thrilled to see her in this, playing bubbly Shin Sol-I. Like so many other people, she began her entertainment career as a model and then turned to acting. In 2018 she made her debut three ways – in the movie The Whispering, the TV drama My Healing Love, and the webdrama Not Alright, But It’s Alright. She earned a Best New Actress award last year for her role in Doctor Romantic, Teacher Kim 2.
The role of Cha Heon is played by singer turned actor Kim Yo-Han. Before he debuted in the entertainment industry he was a national taekwondo athlete, winning the National Youth Sports Festival not just once but twice! A Love So Beautiful was wise enough to use his martial arts skills in the show – Heon spin-kicks an empty bucket as it falls off a staircase! In 2019 he finished first on Produce X 101 and went on to debut as part of the group X1 which disbanded less than six months later after people began to speculate that the voting on the show had been rigged. He made his solo debut in August last year (2020) with the song No More and then debuted as a member of the boy group WEi two months later. As for his acting career, other than a cameo appearance in the drama Zombie Detective, Cha Hyeon is his first acting role. We’ll be seeing him again soon because he’s scheduled to be a part of the upcoming drama School 2021.
Yeo Hoi-Hyeon is the actor who plays the part of swimmer Woo Dae-Sung. I have a little information about him in my Short review.
Navigating life and love, that’s what this drama is all about. The story begins in 2006, when the characters are 17, and brings us all the way to 2021, wrapping things up when they’re 32. The costume and make-up people did a fine job making these actors look the age they’re supposed to be portraying. They really look like high school teens when they’re in their school uniforms and they look like adults by the end of the show. In case you were wondering how old these actors/actresses are in real life…
So Joo-Yeon, whose character is Shin Sol-I, is 27.
Kim Yo-Han, who plays Cha Heon, is 21.
Yeo Hoi-Hyeon, who portrays Woo Dae-Sung, is 26.
Jo Hye-Joo, whose part is that of Kang Ha-Young, is 26.
And Jeong Jin-Hwan, whose role is Jeong Jin-Hwan, is 27.
I was only about halfway through the first episode (there are 24, each being a little less than a half-hour) when the classic and well-loved 2010 Kdrama Playful Kiss popped into my head. Both Shin Sol-I and Oh Ha-Ni are darling dreamers with a positive attitude and neither one of them is a good student. Each girl has a huge crush on a guy who is intelligent, handsome, popular, and completely indifferent to her yet she refuses to give up on her dream to be with him. Also, both Sol-I and Ha-Ni are liked by a guy who is head-over-heels in love with her but whom she sees as just a friend. In both shows, there’s also a decent girl who likes the same guy the heroine likes and the young man is kind to her. As you can see, the two dramas are quite similar. If you enjoyed Playful Kiss I can 100% guarantee you’ll like A Love So Beautiful. Which one did I like better? Hummmmmmm…
A Love So Beautiful is a remake of the 2017 Chinese drama of the same name which was based on the novel To Our Pure Little Beauty, written by Zhao Qianqian. In order to do a semi-fair comparison, I decided to watch little bits of the Chinese original drama. In my opinion…
1. I felt the Chinese actors’/actresses’ acting didn’t even come close to the same caliber of talent that the South Korean folks have.
2. I thought the chemistry between the characters was practically nonexistent in the Chinese version.
3. I liked the music and backgrounds/settings much better in the South Korean drama.
When it comes right down to it, both storylines are the same but the two dramas do have a few differences here and there. If you have seen the Chinese version of A Love So Beautiful, please let me know your thoughts once you’ve seen the South Korean one.
As for the soundtrack, I want to highlight two songs. Kim Yo-Han (Cha Heon) sings Recently. His vocals are excellent and his range is fairly impressive. It’s impossible for me to listen to it while keeping my head still – it just naturally bobs from side to side. I love it. SinB from Gfriend performs the innocent-sounding Lovable. The best adjective I can think of that describes that song is “cute.”
I was very impressed at the varied and fun things that are so nicely placed into the story – the students have a field day, complete with a relay race that Sol-I is involved in; the class has to perform scenes from a movie or play; the kids have to participate in some volunteer work and get to have a barbecue afterward; Sol-I and Dae-Sung are the backup dancers when Jin-Hwan tries out for a spot in a singing competition; the five friends have an impromptu over-night outing together; Dae-Sung makes a pretend Hawaii in the school pool to cheer up Sol-I; the three male friends participate in a song and dance routine for a wedding… there’s a plethora of enjoyable scenes that show us the camaraderie these friends have shared for over a decade. We also get to see lots of Sol-I’s cartoon drawings (the ones she’s always doodling) and they’re quite cute. The drama even has a bunch of silly outtakes at the end of the show.
This webdrama, which garnered 373 million cumulative views over its run, is something a Kdrama fan should not miss. It’s enjoyable and fast-paced (even though its story spans over a decade) – an overall great show that tells of A Love So Beautiful.
Lots and lots of cute moments/scenes
Actors/actresses look and act the age they are portraying
I can’t think of anything