Han Jae Min, a budding photographer, is in love with Seo Hee Won. As an ELLE reporter she spends most of her time at Lee Seo Jun's photography studio Conan. Jae Min starts dating the perpetual exam taker Kim Geun Young, whose brother works at Conan, to get a job there. Naive girl that she is, Geun Young falls right into his plot.
Jae Min's schemes are successful and then he tries to break things off with Geun Young, the girlfriend he never wanted. Geun Young however wants revenge for being used and isn't ready to let him go. She makes him sign a break-up contract. He must stay and help her get over him until she's ready to let him go. As Geun Young lets him go little by little Jae Min falls for her little by little. Unfortunately for Jae Min, Lee Seo Jun also falls for Geun Young and isn't afraid to show it.
Cast & Credits
I honestly had no expectations. The drama was poorly rated -as usually the case- and it was not available online. So I started it with absolutely no expectations and ended up loving and Kim Min Jong in it.
So the drama started well but Kim Min Jong had almost no screen time and I was getting restless afraid he had some kind of supporting role or something but they finally set the story and he shone.. Hallelujah!! Chohwa's ultimate happiness.
The drama is refreshingly not about starting relationships but more about ending them. Though of course we have new relationships in the drama, the drama aims to tackle the different ways people manage their break-ups, how they react differently, how they manage their grief and the length of post break-ups. It presents people's contrasted views on relationships, like vs. love and goodbyes. Everyone likes in a way and dislikes in a way, and the drama sets to show us that.
The drama is beautiful in how human and realistic it is. There's love and there's life. People do move on and forget. There's nothing as qualifications and suitability in relationships. You just open your heart to someone. But what comes afterwards is not as easy. Rules of Love show how fickle the human heart is and how crucial it is to treat it carefully.
I will present the characters and the story through the relationships between the main leads:- No spoilers apart from what you find in the synopsis-
Han Jae Min & Seo Hee Won
This couple's story gets the drama off the ground that's why I'm starting with it.
Han Jae Min (Shim Ji Ho) is a young and talented photographer who's in love with his childhood friend Hee Won (Kim Ah Joong). Hee Won is an Elle journalist. She's bossy, arrogant, prejudiced but beautiful. She believes she's always right and talks down to people continuously. She's no more interested in Jae Min and she gives him the cold shoulder. To be closer to her, Jae Min gets a job at the studio she works with.
I didn't like this couple's moments. They were full of negative energy; lies, obsession, back-stabbing and hurting other people. Together, they formed a really creepy couple. But because of them the story evolved.
Han Jae Min & Kim Geun Young
So to achieve his goal and work at the studio, Jae Min decides to use Geun Young (Choi Kang Hee). Geun Young is a naive girl trying to pass the educator's exam. Her younger brother In Soo works at the studio. In Soo is Jae Min's high school classmate and they weren't on best terms. So Jae Min's only way to convince In Soo was through his sister. Jae Min approaches Geun Young. Geun Young falls into the trap.
Despite Geun Young being naive, she's a bright and honest girl. She gives her all when she does something and is dependable. When she finds herself tricked, she doesn't confine herself into a room and cries; she takes action.
Jae Min is childish, arrogant, selfish and irresponsible. He has to have things his way. Jae Min's character is one of the character's I've hated the most in dramas up till now. Not that he's-doing-his-really-hard-bad-role-excellently way. But in the what-on-earth-are-you-trying-to-do-with-this-character-dear-writer way. He has no edge, no charms and no depth. Even after he changes, I still don't like him. A waste of an interesting actor.
Kim Geun Young & Lee Seo Jun
Here comes what made the story, the story.
Talk about one adorable couple in one healthy relationship. It's been a while since I watched such a perfect couple.
So Kim Geun Young falls for Jae Min's trap and starts frequenting the studio. Lee Seo Jun (My Kim Min Jong) is the chief of the place. He's an established and well-known photographer. Geun Young's stubbornness and selflessness catches Seo Jun's eyes and it's no time before he falls for her. He takes a step back because Geun Young is supposedly in a relationship. But till when??
Oh my god!! How i fussed and turned watching Kim Min Jong here. In an interview after the drama aired, the interviewee complimented him at how charismatic he was. But KMJ replied that it was the character not him. Well I don't care. Whether it's the character or him. I'm really bad at splitting these.
Lee Seo Jun is a character that developes slowly; giving us time to think and feel with it. His facial expressions, eyes, hand gestures, posture, the way he lies, sits or stands, when he locks his hands like in a prayer or dreamily looks away. Whatever Lee Seo Jun does shows his mental and emotional struggle. His eyes gives him away; a sweet man unable to forget his past or express himself properly. But a man ready to change. That change got me personally involved and was the cutest things ever. Just laugh at his confused expressions.
Lee Seo Jun & Han Jae Min
I keep reaching a conclusion in life no matter how hard I try not to label things, but a man needs a rival to bring out what he's got.
So the two men share a complicated relationship; employee-employer, seonbae-hoobae and rivals. The push and pull between them was cute. No exaggerated subplots thankfully. Thanks to Seo Jun's maturity, the two could have a good relationship at the end. No bromance, no heated rivalry, again, thankfully.
Lee Seo Jun & Seo Hee Won
Lee Seo Jun has always known about Hee Won's feelings. But he's one straight man. He has nothing to give her so he ignores her completely. Well, I love that straightforwardness but he's gone too far honestly. Though I couldn't sympathise with Hee Won. She's one bitch character who never gets redeemed. One who wants to step on everyone else and doesn't realise she's committing any mistakes. Serves her right.
Made me hate Kim Ah Joong chincha!!
Kim Geun Young & Seo Hee Won
Guess what this relationship is about?! One lovely girl snatched the two men the proud beauty thought she had in her hands. How would the beauty react?! That's what Hee Won did to Geun Young.
What I liked about these two is that Geun Young never felt intimated because of Hee Won. Not after she woke up to the situation she was in that is. And at the same time never stooped to Hee Won's level. I kept applauding Geun Young.
here are negative things about the drama of course. It's a 2005 drama. So talk of weird fashions and styles, OSTs without dialogue and some dragging. The drama was set in a studio and revolved around photography but didn't really teach me anything new about the field.
And ah!! Kim Min Jong should never rap.
I learned so many things about relationships in this drama. I loved the OSTs and the acting of the main couple. I enjoyed the drama completely and it was a nice journey. Will definetly re-watch Kim Min Jong's parts one day.