A.k.a Korean Jerry Macguire. I confess, it’s been a reeeeheeally long time since I watched Jerry Macguire and yes, I loved the movie to bits. But because it’s not fresh on my mind, Dream is more enjoyable despite how it seems to carbon copy Jerry Macguire. So far at least.
Deviating a little bit, I was looking through Tom Cruise’s filmography and while I have not seen many of his movies, Tom Cruise is actually a very fine actor, perhaps one of the finest of his time. Despite his recent antics (I maintain that some of his head screws came off after divorcing Nicole Kidman), Tom Cruise has got some great movies under his sleeves. Mission Impossible II was one of my first mature movies after years of going for Disney cartoons as a kid. Rain Man is still one of my favourite movies of all time. War of the World was fresh on people’s mind because of Cruise’s couch jumping on Oprah, but in all honesty, I had so much fun watching that movie.
But anyways, I’m here to talk about the Korean Jerry Macguire, not the Hollywood one.
Dream is about a sport agent Nam Jaeil (Joo Jinmo), a ruthless agent, one of the best ones at Super Star, the best sport agency in the country. When a steroid involving scandal breaks out, Jaeil is ordered to disappear for a while until things cool down. However, this is not to his liking because the steroid scandal is not his fault, but his boss’s. So he concocts a plan to ‘bite the hand that feeds’ him and that ends up backfiring completely in his face. Fired, with no money, no girlfriend, and no athletes, Jaeil is off to become independent.
The first 2 episodes of Dream were actually fun to watch. It helps that Son Dambi and Kim Bum barely appear on screen. I’m down with Kim Bum, he’s an okay actor, overcompensating at times, but he’s good in general. But Son Dambi, I really am curious as to why she got cast. It seems like that choice is just so random, was she cast because her body is fit and she will have to be in tank and shorts all the time? Speaking objectively, SDB isn’t nearly as bad as many other actresses, but I suspect that’s because her screentime is pretty meager. I wonder how she will fare when the level of acting demanded of her is more intense.
But the goodness of Joo Jinmo, omg. Just like he is fantastic in Frozen Flower, JJM is no disappointment in this drama. The guy just bathes in charisma. If I may cross the line here, if not for the Jerry Macguire imitation, JJM’s Jaeil would have been better than Tom Cruise’s Jerry. A lot of actors are amazing actors, but few have that special something. To me, Joo Jinmo is a little similar to Japan’s Odagiri Joe or Takeshi Kaneshiro and Hollywood’s Johnny Depp. These guys are not necessarily the critically acclaimed actors and don’t always pick the award winning projects, but they just have that distinctive quality that sets them apart.
But I digress. Joo Jinmo makes Jaeil cold and emotionally detached, but the moment an ounce of emotion surfaces, the impact is powerful. I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen when Jaeil picks up the phone from her sister and proceeds to talk to her mother who is lying unconscious in the hospital. Just one word of ‘Mom’ and his eyes red with tears, face contorted in anguish was the most memorable scenes in the entire episode. All Jaeil’s anger and frustration at having his career snatched from under him and that pain of not being able to be there for his mom was succintly and perfectly played out.
I have a soft spot for Choi Yeojin and I don’t even know why. I guess it’s a leftover fondness from watching I’m Sorry I Love You. I really like her face. She’s far from the Kim Taehee or and Song Hyekyo pure looks, but she’s got a strong look, sharp features, and it leaves great impressions. The first time I saw her I thought she was scary looking, but the more I looked at her, the more I liked how she presented herself. Not sure about now, but at one time I think she straddled variety, acting, and modelling/fashion at the same time. She was in Yashimanman and Heroine 6, I believe. She’s an okay actress, but it seems like she’s trapped in the similar roles over and over again. Her role is usually a haughty girl, rich, sophisticated, and beautiful, but heartless. Her roles are always ones I am excited about in a drama, but I wish she will play someone warm and nice for a change tho.
An honourable mention: Lee Hoon. OMG, he is simply hilarious as the amateur boxer Park Jungchul. All brute and very little brain. A simple guy who doesn’t own TV, loves ladies and liquors, but hates restrictions. That’s where his charm lies. The last time I saw him was as the kind and straight up guy in Happiness. Here, he’s like a totally different person. His Jungchul persona kinda reminds me of the late Eon’s Hwang Minyeob in Coffee Prince, only not as happy go lucky. I totally enjoyed his scenes and would really love for him to appear more.
Anyways, I watched Dream without stopping or fast forwarding at all, a true sign that I liked it and would definitely continue. I’m still wary of Son Dambi so I shall see how she does in episode 3 and 4 that just aired. If anything, I’ll just watch for Joo Jinmo, Choi Yeojin, Kimbum, and Leehoon. But who knows, maybe SDB will surprise us all by shelling out great acting from her sleeves!