She Was Pretty (그녀는 예뻤다)
Directed By Jung Dae-yoon
She Was Pretty is a 2015 South Korean drama that was popular domestically and internationally. I came across this drama after watching Park Seo-joon in the drama, Fight My Way and have recently become his fan.
This romantic comedy is about two childhood friends reuniting again as adults, but they both undergo some changes in appearance prior to meeting one another. As a child, Kim Hye-jin (Hwang Jung-eum) was a wealthy, pretty girl but after hardships, her family became poor and she put her efforts into working as opposed to maintaining her appearance. As for Ji Sung-joon (Park Seo-joon), he used to be a chubby kid but is now a handsome man that runs a magazine agency.
When they were about to reunite, Kim Hye-jin lacked the confidence in meeting Ji Sung-joon and so, she asks her best friend, Ha-ri, to pretend to be her. Things get complicated once Hye-jin learns that she will be working with Sung-joon at the famous fashion magazine, The Most. Thus, Hye-jin struggles to keep her identity a secret from Sung-joon but her best friend, Ha-ri, finds herself falling in love with Sung-joon while pretending to be “Hye-jin.”
This drama centers on the “ugly duckling turned into swan” concept. However, I like how no one forces Kim Hye-jin to change her appearance, but instead, she did it on her own. At the end of the drama, though, Kim Hye-jin returns to her original form—wild curly hair and rosy cheeks showcasing who she truly wants to be. She has the power and control over her appearance, deciding when she wants to put the effort in her look. And I think that’s the most important lesson we can get from Kim Hye-jin’s transformation—only you have the power to create your identity.
Also, She Was Pretty has one of the best “sisterly” friendships. Kim Hye-jin and Ha-ri have been best friends since they were kids and they are also roommates that look after one another. In fact, they name one another “husband and wife” on their phones because they act like a married couple. Ha-ri is also considered part of the family in Hye-jin’s household. When Ha-ri develops feelings for Sung-joon, Hye-jin was patient and forgiving towards her rather than being angry and upset.
This is also the second drama I watched with Choi Si-won, a member of the K-pop band, Super Junior. I always knew him to be the serious, stoic type based on the persona he gives out. Yet in this drama, he gives off a more fun and crazy vibe. The supporting role he plays in She Was Pretty is Kim Shin-hyuk, the senior feature editor for The Most magazine. He is described as a lunatic by his colleagues and always wants to play around as opposed to doing any work: he would kidnap Hye-jin and force her to buy food for him. However, when it comes to his job, he’s a serious writer when it counts and cares deeply about Hye-jin’s well-being. Kim Shin-hyuk is a character that I would have never thought the actor Choi Si-won would do because the role is completely different from the other previous roles he took. Yet, out of all the actors in this show, Choi Si-won really brought this role to life— he acted completely adorable and silly and most of his scenes with Kim Hye-jin were very entertaining.
She Was Pretty has a generic storyline, but it is definitely a light-hearted, fun drama that you can watch to put yourself in a cheery mood.
You can watch it on Dramafever.