UEE is back with a new weekend drama! The excitement when reading that she had a new drama got me so excited. A quick check on the drama information online, I was surprised to learn that she would be starring opposite of Lee Seo Jin, whom is 17 years older than UEE in real life. The first time that came across my mind, whoa…. that is a huge age gap for the OTP couple. How are they going to pull this off?
Well…. they did pulled it off and did an awesome job! UEE was much more matured in this drama. This is my first drama on Lee Seo Jin, so I can’t comment much apart from the fact that he did carry his role as Han Ji Hoon very well.
Marriage Contract (결혼계약) is the story of Han Ji Hoon (starring Lee Seo Jin) whom comes from a rich family but he was the result of an affair between his mother, Lee Whee Hyang (starring Oh Mi Ran) and father, Kim Yong Geon (starring Han Sung Kook). He had a cynical personality due to this. Brought up by his step-mother from young, he was an unhappy person.
One day, he learns that his mother is ill and needed to have her liver changed otherwise she would not live much longer. Out of desperation, though he know that it is illegal, he search for a live liver that he could purchase for the purpose of giving his mother the liver transplant that she needed so urgently. This is where he met Kang Hye Soo (starring UEE) and her daughter, Cha Eun Sung (starring Shin Rin Ah).
Hye Soo is a single mother bringing up her daughter after her husband’s death (before Eun Sung was even born). She is constantly was hounded by loan sharks due to her late husband’s debt. One day, she learns that she has a brain tumor that is non-operable. Desperate, she got into a Marriage Contract with Ji Hoon to sell her liver for his mother’s transplant.
In the process of convincing the hospital that they are a legally married couple that is eligible to do the organ donation, both of them fell in love with each other. Unfortunately (as it is usually with most K-Drama), there are interference from Ji Hoon’s father and to some extend his mother when she found out as well.
The progress of the drama is not too draggy (only 16 episodes after all) where we could see sweet interaction between Ji Hoon and Eun Sung whom does not like him in the beginning. Through Ji Hoon patience (although in the beginning, he was purely doing it for the purpose of the transplant) and persistance, he managed to win the heart of Eun Sung. Their ‘father-daughter’ interaction were sweet where the viewers could see the love that Ji Hoon had for Eun Sung.
Typical of family tears-jerking dramas, there were a lot of crying scene especially Ji Hoon when he found out about Hye Soo’s tumor. He tried to be positive and strong for her but deep down in his heart, he is actually a very soft-hearted person. Hye Soo tried to let him go but he held on and try his level best to stay by her side. Not an expressive person, he could never tell her that he loves her but his actions were good enough for anyone to see the level of love that he had for her.
What I really like about this drama are the following:
- Wonderful friendship between Han Ji Hoon and Park Ho Joon (starring Kim Kwang Kyu) – a very supportive colleague and friend of Ji Hoon, Ho Joon tried his level best to talk Ji Hoon out of the marriage contract but when Ji Hoon was adamant to do it, he stood by Ji Hoon’s side and supported him where he could. An odd pairing as friends but it did turns out well.
- Caring and supportive friendship between Kang Hye Soo and Hwang Joo Yeon (starring Kim So Jin) – not only Joo Yeon was Hye Soo’s pillar, she took care of Eun Sung with so much love just like she is her own child. Joo Yeon although did not agree with what Hye Soo was doing by selling her liver and getting into the marriage contract, she did however, extend support whenever Hye Soo needed one.
- Mother In Law and Daughter In Law relationship – Sim Young Hee (starring Jung Kyung Soon) blames Hye Soo for her young son’s death. She found out one day that they had a daughter. Despite her cold heart towards Hye Soo, she gradually open her heart. The loving relationship between her and Hye Soo subsequently did not even look like a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationship in the end. She even eventually supported Hye Soo’s relationship with Ji Hoon when she saw how much Ji Hoon loved Hye Soo especially the episode where Ji Hoon could not find Hye Soo and went searching for her in the in-law’s place.
- Father-Daughter relationship – Although Eun Sung initially runs away at every sight and mentioned of Ji Hoon, eventually he managed to steal her heart away while she managed to open his heart. Ji Hoon never once reflected that she is an outsider in his relationship with Hye Soo. He loves Eun Sung like his own and is proud to be her father. The loving and touching moment when he asked her to call him ‘daddy’ is a melting moment for me when she shyly looked at him and called him that. He is constantly hugging and kissing her… what more could anyone asked from a ‘step-father’, right?
- Main OTP – Hye Soo has always been cautious around Ji Hoon and when she was asked by his dad to leave him for his sake, she readily did it. However, Ji Hoon, from the shocking moment that he found out about her tumor and realized how much she mean to him, he never once wanted to give up. He did gave in to her request for divorce but reiterate to Hye Soo that only it is because what she wanted. Luckily the divorce was never finalized.
- Kang Hye Soo – a strong character that tried her level best not to rely on anyone not even her mother-in-law or even her best friend. She suffers her pain in silence and prepared her daughter well should she leave suddenly. She realized from an early stage that she had fallen for Ji Hoon but never once she wanted to pursue the feeling and relationship further as she felt that it would not be fair for him. She finally gave in one day when she was in so much pain and could not cope on her own. She finally open her heart to him.
- Han Ji Hoon – cold on the outside but warm in the inside. His mother mean the world to him despite them living apart as he was growing up. Started of being a selfish person for getting into the marriage contract to enable his mother to have the liver transplant, both Hye Soo and Eun Sung opens his heart. He work hard to win both of their heart and won in eventually.
- Cha Eun Sung – a loving little girl, smart and sweet. Her love and how she protect her mother is so sweet. She dislike Ji Hoon initially and when she had affirmation that he will not leave her mother just like how her dad did, she finally open her heart to Ji Hoon. Matured for her age, I loved her character capability to have a serious and meaningful conversation with the adults in her sweet childish way. She easily wins the heart of her grandmothers (Lee Whee Hyang and Jung Kyung Soon).
Who could resist such a cutie pie…..
Sweetness of family bonding….
I am so happy when the drama ended not with Kang Hye Soo dying but a good happy ending for their family. Although they do not know how much longer time they had together, the drama ended well with Ji Hoon in his voice-over proclaiming that he loves Hye Soo and every moment spend with her remaining time is important. I had truly enjoyed Marriage Contract (결혼계약) although I originally started watching only because of UEE.
Each episode recap is available @ Dramabeans Recap – Marriage Contract (결혼계약)