You Are Beautiful aka You're
SBS, Grade: B+
Romantic Comedy, Music, Spiritual
Korean Drama Review by Jill, USA
Shin Hye Park.
Hong Ki Lee. Yong Hwa Jung. If by some odd chance you
are unfamiliar with these names you will certainly
know them by the time you finish this charmer You Are Beautiful
(2009 aka You're Beautiful).
These actors are all just too adorable for words and
have super personal chemistry together as a group!
This show was a huge hit in Korea and solidified all
their careers permanently. The soundtrack sold well in
Korea and other Asian nations where the show aired,
particularly Japan. The drama is available for
download on Dramaload,
and a Region One DVD boxset is available to buy on Amazon.
The character Shin Hye Park
Of Heaven) plays, Mi-nyeo
a nunnery where she is in training as a postulant, and
has to pretend to be her twin brother to join a male
band named A.N.Jell. She
cuts her hair, straps down her breasts, wears boys'
clothes, and has to live with boy band members, who
slowly begin to suspect all is not what it seems in
regards to "him" (her). These
gender bender K-dramas are some of my favorites,
they're always very funny, and sometimes even
From left to right: Yong Hwa
Jung, Shin Hye Park, Geun Suk Jang, Hong Ki Lee
In the story, Mi-nyeo's musician twin brother Mi-nam
is overseas in the US getting plastic surgery done on
his eyes; a prior operation had gone badly so he
needed corrective work. He is delayed in returning to
Korea to take up his place as the new fourth member of
the popular male band. Her brother's agent Hoon-yi Ma
(In-kwon Kim) secretly goes to visit Mi-nyeo his
sister at the convent and chases her all around,
begging her to take his place until her brother can
return to Korea. Mi-nyeo tells her Mother Superior
about the request and because it's known that Mi-nyeo
is quite the tomboy, always distracted by other
things, running around here and there and being late
to services, the Mother Superior isn't against the
idea, thinking some time in the outside world would be
just what Mi-nyeo might need to grow
up and move
forward in her life. (Think of The Sound Of Music,
where the Mother Superior in that show realizes that
being a nun isn't exactly what is best for Maria).
Mi-nyeo and her brother had grown up at the convent
and knew no other life; they had both wanted to find
their biological mother, and the brother had thought
that the notoriety of being in an idol band might lead
her to contact him.
Mi-nyeo is determined to visit Rome instead and
solidify what she thinks is her calling to serve God
as a nun. However, fate intervenes with other plans
for Ml-nyeo when she loses her ticket at the airport
and has to return. She decides to do her brother the
favor of joining the band in his place and hopes she
can at the same time learn something about their
Geun Suk Jang, as the
character Tae-kyung Hwang, is the lead guitarist
and vocalist for A.N.Jell.
He declares HE gets to make the final decision as
to whether "Mi-nam" gets to join the band. He
insists he (she)
sing for him and his other two bandmates, Shin-woo
Kang (Yong-hwa Jung from CNBlue, here in his
acting debut), the most thoughtful and reserved
member of the band, and Jeremy (Hong Ki Lee) who
is the gentle clown of the group. Tae-kyung locks
the door of the practice room so the head of their
music agency, President Ahn (Chan Jung from Lovers),
and Mi-nam's agent Hoon-yi, can't get in, and he
demands "Mi-nam" start singing.
Mi-nyeo is terrified and delays singing at first,
thinking she will give herself away as a girl,
until suddenly inspiration hits her and out comes
this splendid voice singing the religious song
Panis Angelicus, which knocks the wind out of the
sails of all the boys standing around her! A
glowing light comes through the window, as if even
God and the angels approve of her song.
the beginning Tae-kyung is very wary and standoffish
toward this "boy" Mi-nam, and makes "his" (her) life
with the band group very difficult. On the other hand,
Shin-woo and Jeremy are mostly kind to her, though
Shin-woo seems to be the first one to suspect "he"
might be a "she". Jeremy ends up being pleased with
Mi-nam because his faithful dog Jolie (named after
Angelina Jolie) immediately takes a liking to
"Mi-nam". He only trusts people whom his dog trusts!
humorous situations take place with sexual innuendo
moments, as is common with many of the gender bender
type of shows, for instance, Tae-kyung falling on top
of Mi-nam and wondering why he is attracted to "him",
locker room jokes, Mi-nam walking in on Tae-kyung
showering in the apartment bathroom, or Jeremy
grabbing "him" from behind and wondering why "he"
doesn't feel exactly like a man.
When Tae-kyung eventually discovers that Mi-nam is a
girl he threatens to reveal it to everyone else, but
Mi-nam manages to win him over to prevent him from
doing so, and he allows her to stay. Shin-woo
discovers her true identity early on too, but does not
reveal what he knows either for a long time - only
Jeremy remains in the dark for much of the show,
though even he starts to feel attracted to her without
understanding why he would like a guy!
Shin-woo tries to comfort
Mi-nyeo, but 2nd male leads usually have a rough
time of it with the girl
story continues with Mi-nyeo still acting as Mi-nam,
trying to keep her true sexuality away from publicity
hounds and paparazzi, not to mention the head of the
entertainment agency for which they all work. There is
additional sadness for Shin-woo too, as he falls more
deeply in love with Mi-nyeo, knowing he's in
competition with his friend Tae-kyung's feelings for
her. Once again it's hard not to root for the second
male lead some here because he's such a square guy,
while the main lead male character is temperamental
and volatile. Why do the Koreans always manage to do
this to us? (Oh well, that actor wins the actress in Heartstrings
later, so it's all good!).
Trouble also comes in the form of Tae-kyung's singer
mother Hwa-ran Mo (Sung-ryung Kim), who knows crucial
information about the twins' biological mother, but
who lies about what she knows, which puts Tae-kyung
and Mi-nyeo's developing love relationship at high
risk for failure. Someone who is hoping that happens
is the ambitious actress He-yi Yoo (Uee) who wants
Tae-kyung all for herself.
Then Mi-nyeo hears that the real Mi-nam, her twin
brother, is on his way back to Korea. This could be a
shocker and deal-breaker for everyone involved. Then
he shows up (Shin Hye Park plays him too!) and more
problems result for everyone involved. A big concert
is planned: who will perform in it with the band:
Mi-nyeo or Mi-nam? (They filmed this dramatic scene
during a real rock concert where 25,000 fans showed
up!). Will there be a dramatic unveiling of Mi-nyeo's
I have to admit I shed a few sentimental tears at the
wonderful ending. I absolutely loved the last song
Tae-kyung sings to Mi-nyeo. It's easy to see why You
Are Beautiful has developed a huge cult
following over the years. Don't miss it.