Drama Review: Before We Get Married (2019)

“Before We Get Married” used cheating as its mask to cover the characters’ deeper struggles in life

How long has it been since we have been hooked by a Taiwanese drama? Let me highlight that it’s not just a Taiwanese drama, but a non-idol Taiwanese drama. It was presented as a drama about cheating, betrayal, and sexual desires but this drama is more than what meets the eye.

STORY

A chance encounter between the leads led to a series of countless pursuits, sexual desires, and friend zones. Our male lead was in a dying relationship of ten years in which he was just covering up with his card with an unlimited credit limit. While our female lead was building her perfectly planned life, which was not hers to begin with but was all part of her boyfriend’s ideal life.

Thanks to our man’s pursuit, both of them would not have recognized that their relationship problems were actually real problems. They met at such a pivotal point in their relationships and lives, causing a bigger problem for the female lead, while it became a solution to the male lead’s struggles.


CHARACTERS/ACTING

Puff Guo as Zhou Wei Wei

Zhou Wei Wei is your ordinary thirty-something career woman who wanted to live her own life. She only realized that following her boyfriend’s plans was not what she wanted when she met Chu Kehuan.

I loved how the drama showed her development in which her ex-fiance kept attributing to Kehuan. This was what I loved about it because it was not really Kehuan who did it, as much as we want to give him more credit. It was all her eventually realizing who she really is and who she needs to become.

There was nothing extraordinary in Puff Guo’s portrayal of Wei Wei. In fact, I thought any other good actress could replace her in it. What made her stand out for me was her undeniable chemistry with Jasper Liu. It must have really helped that they have been friends for a while as it reflected in their scenes.

Even so, she performed well in all the emotional scenes. I could not relate to any of the problems that Wei Wei had but her acting made me feel her dilemma and helpless as she was too. This was such a far cry from her in “Just You”, the last drama that I have watched her in. With that, I just cannot wait to see her in future projects.

Jasper Liu as Chu Kehuan

Oh Jasper Liu and Chu Kehuan, how am I even going to begin my thoughts on you? Being a fairly long-time Taiwanese drama fan now, I regret sleeping on Jasper all these years. His Chu Kehuan was the main reason why I got hooked and remained to watch this drama until the end.

Chu Kehuan, as the drama kept telling us, was the youngest and most handsome CEO of a publicly-listed company. With such a high power and endless $$$, you would think that he would not want anything more or less in his life anymore. Apparently, all that glitters is not gold. None of those has been making him happy. It was only when she met Wei Wei that he started to become happy again after years.

The story made him look like an insensitive and selfish a**hole at first by how he would pursue Wei Wei. We then later see him turn into a soft human being who was just probably experimenting if that kind of approach would work on someone like Wei Wei. I also liked how the real reason behind his dying relationship with Ziyuan unfolded in the middle of the drama. It showed how genuine and loving he really is a young man.

One thing is for sure, I would want to have someone like Chu Kehuan who shows nothing but care and love. Real question, is there still anyone who will be as bold, genuine, loving, and determined as Kehuan in real life? If there is, please contact me ASAP!

Phoebe Yuan as Han Kefei

A standing ovation for the best best friend in dramas ever! She is the fan club president of the Zhou Wei Wei – Chu Kehuan ship and everything that she did in the drama was full of sense. Together with Gao Ziting (Ziyuan’s sister), they were the voice of reason in this drama. I wish the two of them met and punched everyone to have reality come knocking in their heads.

As much as Zhou Wei Wei was very lucky to have someone like Kehuan, I thought she was even luckier to have someone like Han Kefei as her best friend through thick and thin. Her unwavering support and unbiased stances have also helped Wei Wei mature a lot in which Haoyi belittled this credit in the finale.

It was a surprise for me that she took on a secondary role when she was already headlining dramas in the past. I also cannot blame her given this great material! Looking forward to see her in other dramas.

Steven Sun as Li Haoyi

321… I thought he was just some kind of prop in this drama. An obstacle that the leads must hurdle over before getting together. I was wrong because more than an obstacle, he still played a significant character in Wei Wei’s life. She loved him in which he took for granted as she became a prop to Haoyi’s building of a perfect life.

I understood how his being workaholic got the best of him but it was not still a legitimate reason for him to act like a douche and pushed Wei Wei away when she needed him the most. This highlighted how the presence of Kehuan in Wei Wei’s life even became critical.

Nita Lei as Gao Ziyuan

I was wrong about Li Haoyi because Gao Ziyuan turned out to be the prop. She was just all about rubbing into everyone’s face that she had a ten-year relationship with Kehuan and that he is nothing without her. Newsflash: she is the one who’s nothing without him!

I thought she would mature and lessen her degree of neediness when she finally took a job. But nope, she became even worse. I am also glad that she did not have a full character arc because if she did, it would have completely defeated her role here which was even less of an obstacle to the relationship of our leads.


MUSIC

The taste in music of the drama writers was just impeccable. Someone was kind enough to compile the OSTs in this Spotify Playlist. As I have said in my First Impressions post, “Darling” by Mavis Fan and “I Miss You More Than I Did Before” by Bii remained to be my favorites.

Bii’s “I Still Miss You” played such a critical role in the drama. During the early parts of the drama, Kehuan chose that song as his go-to karaoke piece (but we all know that they just wanted to play music) as it was to Wei Wei’s “Darling”. Wei Wei gave homage to this by (finally!) singing it for him in the ending then the rest was another sizzling display of their chemistry and affection for each other. Be right back while I rewatch that scene for the nth time…


REWATCH VALUE

Will you judge me if I tell you that I have long been rewatching the sizzling scenes between the leads ever since I have started watching the drama? Hope not because it is also what made this drama stand out! Given that I rarely rewatch dramas, certain scenes in this drama made me think that this drama deserves a rewatch especially for us live-watchers who had to endure a week-long wait for every episode to air.


OVERALL RATING

This is a tricky one. The impulsive drama lover and rater in me would have given this a 10 straight away. It also does not help that I have been in a relatively long slump so to find a drama that helped me rise out of it, it just deserves a special treatment from me. Though this leads me to my next point, a great drama does not always have to get a perfect rating.

The drama had more to offer than a lack of. Just like what most people had to say, it was indeed frustrating how they kept pushing for their “friendship”. But who are we kidding, the Chinese title directly translates to We cannot be friends so “friends” became an ambiguous label to such an ambiguous relationship that Kehuan and Wei Wei had.

I still rated this drama highly with a score of 9.5 out of 10 given the casting, how well the characters were written, cinematography, and music. Okay, I may just look like a pretentious young lady if I would not attribute my rating to the smoking hot kissing scenes between our leads as well. Every episode kept me at the edge of my seat and the week-long wait for a new episode kept me motivated to survive a whole week of stressful work.

More than cheating and the sexual tension presented on the surface level, “Before We Get Married” made us realize that the struggles of the characters were real problems of people faced in such relationships. I could not relate to any of those problems and that for me, even made my drama-watching experience more special.

Being in a love relationship is never about creating plans and sticking to them to lead perfect lives. It is also definitely never about being together for the sake of convenience and repaying someone.

Kehuan and Wei Wei may have started on the wrong foot as they were in their own relationships but they continuously learned from that. In which I quote Wei Wei, “The relationship should just be between the two of them as four is too many”. They showed us that love is more about giving a chance for each other to grow and return to it for them to learn from each other.

Sidenote: Did anyone notice how Wei Wei got her bangs back in the ending? I thought that was significant because this was her look in the early parts of the story until she swept them away in pursuit to become Zhou Wei Wei 2.0. She said that she would be ready to be with Kehuan once she has it figured out and when they saw each other again, she looked like her old self.

It made me realize that she probably thought she has not figured out what she wanted in life when in truth, she has found herself all along ever since she met Kehuan.


If you are one of the people who feel uncomfortable with dramas like these, hope this review made you rethink about skipping this drama. If not, then we can agree to disagree, right?

Please let me know your thoughts below. Hope to see you in our future posts!

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