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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Birth of a Beauty" Episode 13

2014/12/13 | 1990 views | Permalink

Tae-hee and Geum-ran actually have a serious fight here. Luckily, it's resolved quickly because the crisis was only really prompted by one thing- poor communication. Tae-hee didn't know that Sara actually ate the peanut-related cooking, and Sara failed to properly inform Tae-hee that she was going to need a ride since there was a good chance the allergy was going to quick in. They both made a mistake here, and the conflict directly arises from that.

Incredibly, rather than obsessing over assigning blame for who was at fault, once Tae-hee realizes what happened he just mans up, apologizes, and prepares for his punishment. It's one of the factors that makes the relationship dynamic in "Birth of a Beauty" a lot of fun. These two will use practically anything as an excuse for more goofy romantic hijinx, because that's way, way more fun than fighting over dumb stuff or obsessing about past slights.

Kang-joon, by contrast, has joined Chae-yeon in obsessing over petty pointless revenge. While Chae-yeon's quest for vengeance is somewhat understandable, Kang-joon doesn't seem to appreciate the fact that he's throwing stones from inside a glass house. Anything further inquiries into the state of Geum-ran will end badly for him, because sooner or later someone is going to question why Kang-joon cares so much. The man could quite literally get away with murder here except that he's going to such ridiculous lengths to try and cover it up.

It really is worth emphasizing- I can't see any possible positive outcome here for Kang-joon or Chae-yeon. Even if they somehow manage to score a lucky punch against Tae-hee and Sara, they'll just end up knocking themselves out too because everything they're doing is so transparent. I don't see how either of the villains could undermine the Tae-hee / Sara relationship without some sort of tangible evidence. Right now all roads just lead to them being exposed as liars.

Meanwhile, Tae-hee and Sara are just having actual fun. "Birth of a Beauty" really has mastered the most appealling way to present a romantic comedy here. Rather than define its characters in terms of a larger narrative, the drama instead defined them in terms of their interpersonal relationships, such that it's very easy to see who's being satisfied and who isn't. It's like the good book says- he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword. Except "Birth of a Beauty" adds a corrolary- he who lives by love...will continue to live by love.

Review by William Schwartz

"Birth of a Beauty" is directed by Lee Chang-min-I, written by Yoon Yeong-mi and features Joo Sang-wook, Han Ye-seul, Jung Gyu-woon and Wang Ji-hye.


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