“Crazy Love” has been a drama on my radar for quite some time and for a very particular reason, Kim Jae Wook.
For any Jae Wook fan, you probably already know the dude takes his time between projects which makes any project he does more valuable to his fans because they see it as a treat, me included.
So imagine how happy I was when the casting news was announced but then I read the synopsis… then my happiness went down considerably but still, I had some hope that maybe…. Just maybe…. Jae Wook has picked such a great project and I’d be surprised by how good it was.
Note: this is a very subjective review but I’ll try my best to explain the title of this article, keep in mind that I am a Kim Jae Wook fan but it doesn’t mean I’ll mince words if I see something I dislike. Feel free to exit this article now if you don’t want to read such a thing. Of course, this is a spoiler review and only of the first half, if my thoughts change I’ll put out another review.
“Crazy Love” is about a man who fakes amnesia and a woman who is terminally ill, its a perfect combo for what could be a good idea, however, it doesn’t work, mostly.
“Crazy Love” is about as typical and cliché as you’d expect but not in a good way. For example, “A Business Proposal” is equally cringy and cliché but the difference is, it doesn’t take itself too seriously and doesn’t push it too far. Two things “Crazy Love” can’t do.
In my initial review of “A Business Proposal,” I wasn’t that nice. My thoughts on the general premise of such projects remain the same but I liked how the drama made me have fun rather than dunk on it. The same can’t be said for “Crazy Love.”
First, the way the screenwriter handles the idea is very odd. You have a person who was run over and a woman who has some months left to live. This doesn’t really scream ‘comedy’ but it is what the genre of this drama is supposed to be so thus it ends up being dim in many places it likely shouldn’t, and the actual rom-com genre doesn’t fully come to life until very later to the drama and by then any potential rom-com fans would have already left the scene.
“Crazy Love” is not only so typical but also lackluster in its delivery failing to fully capture and/or ponder on moments it generally should take seriously. The cancer diagnosis of Shin A is brushed aside almost immediately and treated as a mild inconvenience, while for a solid moment, I actually forgot Go Jin fakes his memory despite reading about it prior to watching the drama. This drama fills your brain with random events so much so that you forget what its all about.
The script feels like its written by an older screenwriter who worked some time in the early 2000s, such a writing style is almost unheard of in current Korean rom-coms but its present here. There are many reasons you don’t see such a writing style anymore, all good reasons at that.
Nothing is surprising and even the cliché moments play out just as you’d expect them to. The fact that Se Gi is ‘the bad guy’ could be spotted miles away too.
Its 16 episodes and you know it doesn’t need to be that long. Thus, you can clearly tell the screenwriter is trying their best to fill the first episodes which as many filler scenes as possible to delay the good stuff to the second half. The only issue is, people have left my guy.
This doesn’t mean the drama doesn’t have some good moments but they’re so drowned by the bad parts that you have to sift through a lot just to get to them and thats the issue.
The characters- mostly horrible
Now let us talk about the characters.
I particularly didn’t like the scenes where Go Jin insults and disrespects Shin A, which there were many of. I know its part of his character but I won’t respect or care for a character who is this openly terrible to his assistant.
He’s basically a horrible person that you’re supposed to care for and if you’re not a Jae Wook fan, you probably really struggled to like his character. There is almost no redeeming qualities about him and this interferes with how much an audience member is supposed to care about the main character.
He’s so mean to people that he actually has many anti-fans, but then, out of the blue, he’s nice to Shin A all of a sudden, not because he’s realized what a horrible mean person he is but because he likes her and he doesn’t even know how to articulate that.
He also knows he’s horrible and knows to change his attitude to be ‘nice’ because of his amnesia which makes his behavior appear even more horrible than it already is.
Yes, he’s gone through difficult times but no, this doesn’t excuse his behavior. I am sick and tired of rom-coms treating horrible men characters who are scarred as worthy of love because they aren’t. The fact that Jae Wook chose this drama puzzles me but I’ll discuss that later.
Overall, while I like Jae Wook’s performance, I dislike his character a lot.
Krystal’s character, on the other hand, is what kept me going. The moments when she confronts or beats him up are the highlights for me, because he’s such a horrible character it makes me so happy to see him suffer.
Other than that, none of the characters are ‘charming’ or particularly interesting. Lim Won-Hee’s character is not only very cringy but I really don’t like the actor’s acting style, this type of acting is truly not for me. I know he’s not a bad actor but whenever he’s asked to do such types of roles, I just…. I just… whyyyyyy?
The filler scenes- lingering on for too long at first
Added to that, “Crazy Love” is filled and I mean FILLED to the brim with filler scenes to the point that even if you had any mild interest in the drama but weren’t a fan of the actors, it will suck it out.
While I was watching the initial episodes of “Crazy Love,” it almost felt like the producers wanted me to quit, its that tedious.
“Crazy Love” is like an older uncle in your family who delivers mostly over-the-top unfunny jokes and insists on ‘explaining’ them so you can understand them despite the fact they’re not FUNNY and they never shut up.
Slapstick comedy isn’t easy to pull off, comedy isn’t easy to pull off, and almost every attempt of “Crazy Love” to do that falls flat with the exception of the sheer absurdity of Go Jin and Shin A actually fighting and beating each other.
In almost every single episode, there are one or two scenes that linger on for wayyyy longer than they should, they just keep going. They add nothing to the story, they’re unfunny and uninteresting, just a horrible combination.
This is why watching “Crazy Love” felt like a chore, especially at first.
Now you’re asking yourself, Jass, why do you watch it then? Simple answer, Jae Wook and Krystal.
I like both actors and I still find their performances great here, but it would be a lie if I told you I didn’t want to quit a couple of times. I missed Jae Wook terribly, its been three years since I’ve seen him.
Back to the filler scenes, there is always a scene in every episode in “Crazy Love” that involves some four women trying to hurt Go Jin in some way and for the love of me I couldn’t understand why they were included, the screenwriter doesn’t even bother to explain their existence until like 7 episodes in. Nothing, we know nothing about them but a solid 5 to 10 minutes is dedicated to them each episode and honestly, I don’t care… who are those characters, how are they related to the story?
The writing style is mind-boggling, there are some good moments but especially in the first episodes, its very difficult to understand what the screenwriter meant by including some scenes.
Luckily, it does get better, as we progress and the characters and motivations are all clear, it does get better.
Kim Jae wook and Krystal choices
Kim Jae wook has admitted to being lazy and this is why he takes his time in between projects. This makes me sad because he’s truly one of the most talented actors of his generation but you won’t see his name brought up in many discussions about great Korean actors.
Jae Wook truly does the best he can with the material he’s given, he’s so fully committed to the role that I felt so bad he ended up with such a script. He takes it so seriously and delivers some hilarious over-the-top scenes so well, some of which I would have never expected to see him do but its so sad the script is never nearly as good as his acting.
But for someone who has been away for three years, you’d expect he would pick something that would make a splash, something that would get people talking…. I am surprised by his choice here mainly because when he was at the height of his popularity and when he was so much younger, he never gravitated towards such types of scripts and characters and I am certain he was offered many at the time.
I’d expect a rising actor who doesn’t have much experience to pick this, or maybe an idol-actor looking to gain some international fans. I look at the drama, and so far, for the life of me, I can’t think of a reason why he picked this over any other drama.
“Her Private Life” was his first-ever leading role in a romance drama in his entire career and he was already 36 at the time. Not saying he should stick to playing serious roles but I am sure he could have picked something better.
Krystal is one of the talented Kpop idol-actors, if you are a kdrama fan solely then you might have not even know she was an idol. She is so darn good and truly does her job well in this drama but I’ve been wondering about her choices for a while now…. Whats going on?
When I look back at her discography, I see many missed opportunities. I am so puzzled by her drama choices in recent memory and none of her recent projects has been able to capture my attention or the much wider audience aside from her dedicated fans, which is a shame really because she’s a talented actress. When I look at her, I wouldn’t expect her to pick the type of scripts she ends up picking. In a way, she reminds me of Nana and her choices, both very odd.
However, I must say this, the way they play off each other is amazing. In the later episodes, it gets a lot better. She’s a good actress who can hold her part in front of Jae Wook really well.
“Crazy Love” has shocked me in many ways I never expected. The drama started out bad but then developed into something a bit better than what it initially promised to be. It has its moments but it took a while for it to get there and thats an issue.
This is a review of the first half and I don’t know whether the second half can or will become better but I certainly hope it does. I am up for getting surprised any time of the day.
I’d say if you’re a solid Krystal or Kim Jae Wook fan, you’ll probably like this.
So these are my thoughts on Crazy Love, so what about you guys? did you like the episodes? let me know what you thought in the comment section below.