24 August 2014

연애 말고 결혼 Marriage Not Dating

Title: 연애 말고 결혼 Yeonae Malgo Gyeolhon
English Title:
  • Marriage Not Dating
  • Marriage Without Dating
  • Marriage Without Love
Country: South Korea
Language: Korean
Year: 2014
  • 연우진 Yeon Woo Jin
  • 민한그루 Min Han Gu Ru (한그루 Han Gu Ru)
  • 허정민 Heo Jung Min
  • 윤소희 Yoon So Hee
  • 한선화 Han Sun Hwa
  • 정진운 Jung Jin Woon (진운 Jin Woon)
  • 김해숙 Kim Hae Sook
  • 김갑수 Kim Gab Soo
  • 박준규 Park Joon Gyu
  • 임예진 Im Ye Jin
  • 김영옥 Kim Young Ok
  • 박희진 Park Hee Jin
  • 이보희 Lee Bo Hee
  • 김혜지 Kim Hye Ji
  • 최현 Choi Hyun

레드애플 LEDApple - Call My Name
마마무 Mamamoo - Love Lane
Plastic surgeon Gong Gi Tae is being pressured by his family to get married. Although he doesn't want to ever get married, he is always forced by his very controlling mother to go on dates with acceptable future wife candidates.

While he is on another date set up by his mom, Gi Tae's friend Lee Hoon Dong asks for his help so he can get away from his clingy girlfriend who wants to propose. Hoon Dong's family owns the building where Gi Tae's hospital is located so he negotiates with Hoon Dong to freeze his rent for three years in exchange for his help. Gi Tae then helps Hoon Dong out of his sticky stiuation.

Joo Jang Mi is preoccupied with planning to propose a second time since her boyfriend's friend Gi Tae ruined her plans the first time, but she suddenly couldn't get in touch with Hoon Dong. Worried that he is in trouble, Jang Mi goes looking for Hoon Dong at his restaurant where she runs into Gi Tae.

Gi Tae sets her straight without mincing words, and tells Jang Mi that Hoon Dong purposely do not want any contact with her, and that they have broken up because Hoon Dong does not want to marry her.

Gi Tae's mother coincidentally sees Gi Tae and Jang Mi talking about love and relationships, and she assumes that her son is dating Jang Mi. She demands that Gi Tae introduce Jang Mi to the family as soon as possible or there will be consequences.

In a bind because of family obligations as he is the only son of the Gong family for the third generation and also his financial dependence on his elders, Gi Tae asks Jang Mi to pretend to be his girlfriend and to go with him to his parents' house so he can formally introduce her to his family.

Although hesitant to help Gi Tae in putting up a ruse, Jang Mi agrees to act as his girlfriend when Gi Tae promises to help her exact revenge against Hoon Doong.

벤 Ben - 연애는 이제 그만 Yeonaeneun Ije Geuman (Stop the Love Now)
한그루 Han Gu Ru feat. 투모로 2morro - 이제 그만 Yeonaeneun Ije Geuman (Stop the Love Now) Rock Version
Marriage Not Dating is one of the best Korean dramas ever, and I attribute it primarily to the great chemistry of its lead actors Yeon Woo Jin and Han Gu Ru. These talented actors manage to elevate the drama to a whole new level of excellence, when it is just satisfactory as a whole if you take them out of the equation.

Gong Gi Tae is my favorite character in the drama, and I love that he's not quite perfect but close enough. Although he is lacking in many ways, his faults are not so terrible as to make him a bad person. For instance, Gi Tae may be extremely blunt but I can cut him some slack because it was never his intention to hurt other people, and he sometimes think being frank is the best way to help someone else. He's the one I can identify with the most, and it's probably because we're quite similar in character.

Although the title is Marriage Not Dating, there was no marriage for Gi Tae and Joo Jang Mi until the very end, and there was also no real dating for them until the last four episodes. Thank goodness Gi Tae and Jang Mi pretended to be dating each other for the first dozen episodes because the production is at its most entertaining when Gi Tae and Jang Mi are together.

Marriage Mot Dating  has a lot of misses objectively speaking, such as (1) working a flimsy plot to shreds, (2) using deliberately misleading cold opens that did not happen at all in the narrative, and (3) redeeming side characters willy-nilly without making them accountable for their actions.

I'm not really a fan of the cold open, because I get disoriented with the narrative development and I prefer the chronological way of storytelling. However, I don't really have a problem with teasers as opening scenes in general as it can be used to creatively subvert the viewers expectations.

I just didn't like that there were instances when the teasers showed scenes that are not really part of the story. For instance, the cold open showed Gi Tae and Jang Mi undressing each other to have a romantic liaison, when it was really for the scene where Jang Mi is undressing a very drunk Gi Tae who could barely manage to steady himself. For another, the teaser showed Gi Tae and Jang Mi fighting violently with each other, when it was really for the scene where the couple is having a much needed conversation about their real feelings for each other.

Anyway, I love the drama's soundtrack; all the songs are great to listen to over and over again. I wish the artists get to promote the songs in a more general setting because I want more people to hear such wonderful music, particularly the ones who did not get to watch this drama.

연애 말고 결혼 Marriage Without Dating