I am very charmed by Marriage Not Dating. One of my favorite things in rom-coms is when both leads are, from the start, very genuinely good people, a little quirky or neurotic or rough around the edges, but with kind hearts.
And both are quickly established as such – Ki Tae is an arrogant, careless rich boy, but when he sees someone in front of him who is genuinely devastated – Jang Mi – who has just been ruthlessly dumped by one of his best friends – he repeatedly, and immediately, comes to her rescue and supports her instead of his friend.
She’s a complete stranger, and yet her pain clearly does reach him. I haven’t seen Yun Woo Jin in anything else but he is that great blend of charismatic cool and yet able to convey concern, longing, attraction etc. with just a glance. Largely because of him, the two (Jang Mi and he) have great chemistry from the very first episode.
Also? The plot is adorable. Jang Mi is a retail assistant and hopeless romantic who decides to propose to her boyfriend of a year. When he walks into the lovenest she’s created in a hotel room, he panics and calls his friend Ki Tae. From there, he decides to break up with her by completely ignoring her. Jang Mi, determined, tracks him down and gets the truth from him, and her heart broken along with it. Meanwhile, Ki Tae’s grandmother has spotted Jang Mi arguing with Ki Tae and thinks that she is a current girlfriend that he is treating badly. She blackmails Ki Tae into announcing an engagement or else moving out of his childhood home where he now lives alone.
And thus – hijinks! Contract engagement/marriage storylines are some of my favorite because they force a lot of domesticity and constant interaction between the lead couple, and it’s pure deliciousness watching feigned feelings turn slowly into real ones.