True Beauty is a romantic comedy about a high school girl (Moon Ga Young) who goes to great lengths to never be caught without makeup on and the only guy (Cha Eun Woo) who has seen her bare face.
Moon Ga Young plays Lim Joo Gyung. She was made fun of and bullied because of her looks which eventually led her to master the art of make-up in order to hide her true face. She does whatever she can to avoid anyone seeing her bare face, but when a guy from her school does, she worries he will tell and her world will come crumbling down.
Cha Eun Woo is Lee Su Ho. He is handsome but cold to those around him. He also carries deep pain from events in his past. His world brightens a bit though when he meets Joo Gyung and likes her even though he has seen her bare face.
Then we have Hwang in Yeop as Han Seo Joon. He is known as a cool bad boy, but he is actually very kind. He has a history with Su Ho and then gets involved in a love triangle with Joo Gyung.
True Beauty is a drama that is just plain fun! It is breezy and entertaining as it swiftly moves the story along. It honestly doesn’t really do anything revolutionary as you’ll find a simple story with a hefty sprinkling of classic kdrama tropes, but it packages it all in such a fun and engaging way that just made it so easy to watch.
I am definitely a sucker for stories like this as an “unattractive” girl hides her true face which makes everyone think she is beautiful. Luckily, the only guy who has seen her bare face likes her and thinks she’s pretty just the way she is. Aww!!
The romance is fun as we get to see plenty of bickering between Joo Gyung and Su Ho as well as lots of meaningful moments. It takes a while for them to get on the same page with sharing their feelings, but it’s a fun journey to watch. Then we see their relationship blossom quite nicely.
Joo Gyung and Su Ho’s individual stories were good too. Joo Gyung is bullied because of her looks, and it was terrible to see. She is able to pull herself out of the situation by learning to use makeup, but then she is forced to live a life of secrecy so no one finds out what she actually looks like.
She has a personal journey to go on as she learns to accept herself and realize that there are people who care about her. And Moon Ga Young was fantastic here! She was so bright and fun as well as very endearing.
Then we have Su Ho who is a bit of a stick in the mud for a good chunk of the drama, but he has some trauma in his past that really affects who he is in the present. It was nice to get to explore some of his pain and see him have to come to terms with events that happened in his past involving his friends and family.
True Beauty also features a pretty fun love triangle. Our bad boy with a heart of gold gets off on the wrong foot with Joo Gyung, but in true kdrama fashion, it doesn’t take long before he is pining away for her. Combine that with some ongoing issues he has with Su Ho, and we get an entertaining love triangle for sure! And the love/hate bromance was also a great addition to the show, as their relationship has plenty to unpack.
The drama is populated with a plethora of quirky characters that definitely keep things interesting. It’s a big selling point when the supporting characters and their stories are also enjoyable to watch.
This is the kind of drama where there are lots of misunderstandings and the characters don’t always communicate very well. So expect that going in. It’s just part of this type of story though, and everything was well done enough that I don’t consider it a real negative.
I really enjoyed True Beauty as a whole. Its zany brand of humor made it fun with plenty of laughs. There are some very heartfelt elements to the story that deliver emotion and tears. In the midst of the fun are also nice little moments of insight that add some depth to the drama. If you want a classic high school rom-com kdrama that is packaged in just the right way, True Beauty is for you. Laughs, fun, and heart make for a terrific watch.
My Rating: 8.5/10
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