Cunning Single Lady is a romantic comedy about a woman (Lee Min Jung) who divorced her husband (Joo Sang Wook) when he was poor, but years later she learns he became rich and successful. She ends up getting a job at his company, and the two have to face the past and their feelings for each other head on.
Cunning Single Lady came out in 2014 which is at the tail end of a time period I really like. And this drama definitely embodies romantic comedies of the time. It has this dramatic background music to liven things ups as well as several catchy songs on the soundtrack. Then there’s just a certain tone and vibe that I find particularly fun. They just don’t make dramas quite like this anymore!
Lee Min Jung plays Na Ae Ra. She initially marries Jung Woo with hopes for a good life as a housewife. But when his dreams of starting a business leaves them poor and struggling to get by, she decides she wants a divorce.
Little did she know that he would eventually make it big. Of course, she is taken aback and even wants a little revenge on him, but she eventually starts questioning what she really wants. And for those who may be concerned about her motives from the plot and character descriptions, she’s not some woman just out to get Jung Woo’s money. There’s a whole lot more to her than that.
Joo Sang Wook is Cha Jung Woo. Jung Woo had big dreams of being a successful IT developer, but when it takes longer to succeed than anticipated, he loses his marriage. He does ultimately makes it big as a CEO though, but lingering feelings for Ae Ra and her showing back up in his life shake things up a bit.
Kim Gyu Ri as Kook Yeo Jin. She is an elegant and smart woman who is an heiress and works as a director at Jung Woo’s company. A painful past left her extremely heartbroken, but when she develops feelings for Jung Woo, her world starts to get a little brighter.
And I sure felt bad for this girl! Her tragic past was awful and then when she starts having some hope, of course it’s for a guy with a complicated relationship. She definitely does some not so nice things, but I felt bad for her.
Then we have Seo Kang Joon as Kook Sung Hyun. He is Yeo Jin’s younger brother who hides his identity and gets a job at the company. And he’s oh-so-sweet just like a good second lead. So that means he takes a liking to Ae Ra. But there may be more than just sweetness to this guy.
Cunning Single Lady was a pretty fun drama. It had been on my watch list pretty much since it came out, but I had never gotten around to it. I have one of this site’s amazing readers, Kate, to thank for giving me the push to go ahead and check it out because of her glowing recommendation. Thanks Kate!
There were quite a few things I liked about the drama. Our main couple of Joo Sang Wook and Lee Min Jung would have to top the list. They are such a great couple with some nice chemistry between them.
I thought Lee Min Jung was very humorous as Ae Ra. She has a bold personality and makes some great faces. But she’s also a very solid and well-rounded character. And of course, Joo Sang Wook is very charming, and I really enjoyed his character too. Not to mention he also has some truly amazing hair throughout most of the drama!
The relationship between Ae Ra and Sung Hyun also stood out. He’s upbeat, sweet, and has a nice rapport with her. He’s also very open and steadfast in his feelings for her. There’s really no backing down on his part. And the further the story progresses, the more determined he becomes. It was an interesting relationship for sure.
This drama does a little something I really enjoy too. It has quite a few scenes imagined by the characters that poke fun at the situations they are going through and also common drama cliches. These scenes are always a lot of fun since they show the characters in some interesting and exaggerated scenarios. They always made me smile.
The drama did have some drawbacks for me though. My main negative was the lack of screen time that Jung Woo and Ae Ra had together in the first third of the drama. Since this is a story where the couple are divorced, they aren’t around each other in the beginning, and when they do meet up, they don’t get along. Then him being the CEO of the company and her being a lower level worker keeps them from spending much time together.
I tend to like couples to have a good chunk of screen time together pretty early on, especially in romantic comedies where the story is very much focused on them and their relationship.
Of course, the story takes time to establish where each of them are in life and the new dynamic between them. There are also a lot of other supporting characters circling around them to add to the story. I just wish they would have thrown them together a bit more as well as had more lovey-dovey moments.
And it does take quite a while for them to really start showing their feelings for each other. But eventually, they get to spend more time with each other and that’s really when things start getting good.
I got such a kick out of Jung Woo starting to rekindle his feelings for Ae Ra. He would get jealous and do all kinds of things to spend a little extra time with her. That’s where some of Joo Sang Wook’s comedic abilities begin to shine.
He’s so fun as this powerful CEO who becomes a jealous lover just wanting to be around Ae Ra. Not to mention how he tends to revert back to his timid and awkward ways around her. He’s just fun!
The characters in Cunning Single Lady definitely have some growing to do, and their stories deepen as the drama progresses. I liked seeing them finally address their past issues and really begin to understand each other.
The drama remains pretty fun throughout, but that last quarter gets pretty dramatic with a host of issues standing in the way of our couple’s happiness. There are a lot of emotions running high not only for them but also for the other characters. Feelings, relationships, and company issues all come to a head to make for quite a bit of drama.
Cunning Single Lady was one of those very pleasant watches. It had a couple things I would have preferred to have gone differently, but that mostly comes down to personal tastes. It had a lot of actors I enjoy, a solid romance story, and was packaged in a classic romantic comedy style that is very entertaining.
My Rating: 7/10
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