a rainy fate
I finally caught up with the first two episodes of Woman with a Suitcase. I enjoyed the second episode a lot more than the first – Choi Ji Woo and Lee Joon are adorable together (as colleagues in crime) while Joo Jin Mo is all brusque suaveness. The drama has its darker side, but overall, it is upbeat, heartwarming, funny, and reeks of old-school rom-com charm, mainly because of the dynamics between Bok Geo (Joo Jin Mo) and Geum Joo (Choi Ji Woo). Every single time Joo Jin Mo acts in a drama, he feels larger-than-life due to his natural overwhelming intensity, manly charisma and dark, brooding handsomeness.
In short, Geum Joo (GJ) is an accomplished paralegal, though she has always dreamt of being a lawyer. She has failed the bar several times as she suffers from an extreme case of examination anxiety. Her step-sister, Hye Joo (played by Jeon Hye Bin) is a bona fide lawyer who is aware of her older sister’s capabilities.
Our hero is Bok Geo (BG), a former prosecutor turned media mogul. His back story is probably intriguing but right now, he’s just rubbing our heroine the wrong way. Or at least she is getting on his nerves on all fronts. She is all bubbly confidence while he’s all snappy arrogance. But things change one year later.
GJ is sentenced to jail for a year for infringing the law and BG is accused of abusing a starlet. They bump into each other on a rainy night, both relatively in the one of the lowest points in their respective lives. BG recalls GJ’s tenacity from a previous case and requests her help to fight his case. The way they meet on the street on a rainy day, the entire mood and pulse, is the stuff of classic cinematic rom-coms. Cliché but hitting all the right romantic notes – but I think it works mostly because of JJM’s charismatic screen presence, which is a contrast to CJW’s fluffy girlishness.
GJ gets a young lawyer (Lee Joon) to be BG’s lawyer, while she does what she does best as a paralegal. They win the case and BG is pleased. He takes GJ for a spin and they end in a grand-looking establishment housing offices. GJ scoffs BG is showing off his wealth but he turns around and demands whether she is confident she can pass the bar if she tried again – he knows about her past failures and how she suffers from examination anxiety. GJ is perplexed as to why he is asking such a question so he replies, “If you become a lawyer, this law firm is yours.” GJ gasped in amazement. I gasped too.
It’s not every day that you get offered a law firm even before you attain your right to practise the law. But this is a drama and I’m totally for the idea. Classic rom-coms are made of unbelievable, far-reaching elements, daring viewers to stretch their imagination, dream a little dream for a bit. Think Hollywood’s Pretty Woman or even K-drama’s Prime Minister & I.
JJM is settling in his role better than I expected and his subtle moments of comedy is balanced with CJW’s all-out spacey dramatics. I love BG’s self-deprecating awareness and cool wit. The chemistry is not completely winning yet but I’m pretty sure it will eventually be once the drama kicks into full gear. The OTP interactions are interesting but now but what shines is the maturity of the actors. I can’t see JJM engaging in aimless, baseless talk – it has to silly with a good reason. I’m already attracted to his character and the fact he is sharp enough to notice that GJ is capable and worthy of placing his faith in.
Everyone needs a little fairy dust in their lives…
My two fave scenes so far…