Last updated on September 24th, 2023 at 12:10 am
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A Love So Beautiful is a Chinese drama that came out in 2017 and I’ve been meaning to get around to writing a drama review (I know I’m very late but hey, it’s out now at least).
This youth campus drama blew my expectations out of the water and I’m finally ready to sit down to talk about it in detail.
Let’s get started!
A Love So Beautiful Synopsis
Bubbly and cheerful Chen Xiao Xi has an unrequited crush on the emotionally distant Jiang Chan, her neighbour and the smartest guy in her class.
A Love So Beautiful Main Characters
Chen Xiao Xi
Chen Xiao Xi is your average girl next door. She’s not the smartest or the prettiest but is generally happy, go-to lucky with loyal friends around her.
She is in love with the popular boy next door, Jiang Chen, and is determined for him to like her back. She goes through funny scenarios to try and make herself stand out from the crowd of girls vying for Jiang Chen’s attention.
Her outspoken love for him is brave but also causes secondhand embarrassment. If you meet a girl like her in real life, you might think she’s insane for liking someone so much. At the same time, it’s admirable to pursue someone knowing that it comes with persistent rejection.
Jiang Chen is the male character who’s cold and distant from everyone around. He grew up in a single-parent household with the mom favouring his little brother. This caused him to be independent but lonely and unsure of how to properly express himself.
It is extremely obvious to anyone how Xiao Xi feels about Jiang Chen. It might seem like he’s immune to her charms but the audience quickly sees that he isn’t as uninterested as he makes himself seem. This makes A Love So Beautiful more thrilling and exciting to follow.
He’s also not a dull character. He’s witty and has all these savage comebacks to Chen Xiao Xi. His comebacks sometimes fly over her head while other times she’s dumbfounded. Someone has got to knock her down a few notches when she’s way too over her head with her fantasies.
Their Love Story – A Love So Beautiful
Since it’s a modern drama, the romance between the two leads is more subtle like in the Oath of Love.
The romance in xian xia dramas is often very dramatic. They’ll talk about dying for each other, dying together, or being the person that puts themselves in front of a sword so they get stabbed instead (Love and Redemption and Immortal Samsara pop into mind).
What’s a better way to show their love, am I right? Lol.
It might be swoon-worthy but also not realistic.
A Love So Beautiful shows that it’s the little everyday things that can prove romance is not dead. Not everything has to be grand gestures to love someone.
A Love So Beautiful might remind you of It Started With a Kiss with Ariel Lin and Joe Cheng. Although this show came out ages ago, the plot is similar to A Love So Beautiful as it’s about a dumb girl falling for a smart and cold guy.
The complete opposites falling for one another isn’t the most unique concept but it still works even after hundreds of dramas later.
Their height difference is also adorable. Jiang Chen is significantly taller than her while Chen Xiao Xi is a petite girl. This makes some cute scenes between the two.
1) Xiao Xi tries to avoid Jiang Chen so she bends down to tie her…slippers! When she realizes her mistake, she tries to run away but she falls. Jiang Chen scoops her up like the prince charming he is.
2) On their first date, Jiang Chen mentions spending the night together and Xiao Xi thought he meant something else. She is so mortified that she embarrasses herself in front of him.
3) Jiang Chen finally makes the moves after Xiao Xi always being the one to initiate between the two. It’s all the little things but his big confession is probably the winner.
4) Jiang Chen’s perspective. Most of the drama is from Xiao Xi’s perspective during romantic interactions but the audience does get glimpses of what and how Jiang Chen is feeling too. It’s not so one-sided after all.
A Love So Beautiful Supporting Characters
Wu Bo Song
Wu Bo Song is the oh-so-supportive second male lead that everyone swoons over. He stands by her and does a lot for her secretly even though Xiao Xi’s heart is with Jiang Chen no matter what.
Jiang Chen is smart and handsome but it’s hard to have a relationship with someone who rarely communicates how they’re feeling. The guessing game and the constant confrontation would be too much for anyone to handle. In real life, girls would probably go for Wu Bu Song if they didn’t care about looks as much.
Hey, Chen Xiao Xi choosing Jiang Chen means that Wu Bo Song is up for grabs, people!
Lin Jing Xiao
Lin Jing Xiao is Chen Xiao Xi’s BFF and is a supportive friend to her shenanigans.
Although Lin Jing Xiao is a supporting character in the drama, she has her plotline throughout the show like having a love line with Lu Yang. Her role isn’t to just be at Xiao Xi’s beck and call.
Just like her best friend, Lin Jing Xiao falls for a guy who is the complete opposite of her.
The actress who plays her, Wang Zi Wei carried her part well.
Lu Yang is Lin Jing Xiao’s love interest. He’s the funny awkward one.
He and Chen Xiao Xi provide comedic relief in the show and can relate to one another because they both had to deal with what they thought was unrequited love.
The actor played Lu Yang, Sun Ning, is so believable in his role as Lu Yang. He did a great job and had good chemistry with Wang Zi Wei.
A Love So Beautiful Friendship Group
The cast of A Love So Beautiful seems close in real life, other than Hu Yi Tian. They granted fans a glimpse into their private lives by taking photos of them hanging out in real life several times.
It’s rare that actors can still stay so close as a group years after a drama finishes filming. Most actors have multiple projects lined up per year. I’m sure it can get very hectic.
They were mostly new actors breaking into the entertainment industry with their roles in this drama. The success of the show probably helped bond them together. Their personality also must mesh well together to still be friends after so long.
As a fan, this is nice to see.
Shen Yue as Chen Xiao Xi
In a lot of dramas, it’s the male lead that shines. In A Love So Beautiful, it’s Shen Yue that carried the show.
Shen Yue fits the character, Chen Xiao Xi to the tee. She is fully believable as Chen Xiao Xi. For a newbie actor at the time, she made a solid impression on the audience.
Maybe Shen Yue had a similar experience when she was younger and that’s why she is so good at playing Xiao Xi?
I have seen her in other dramas like Meteor Garden with Dylan Wang and her acting is more flawed. She again played a female main character that’s average yet the rich male lead goes gaga over her. Based on her experience, she should have nailed this character but she wasn’t a convincing Shan Cai, the name of her role in Meteor Garden.
With actors, you need more than one role to showcase your acting ability. Shen Yue is a perfect fit for Xiao Xi but I’m not so sure I would rate her as a good actress just yet. However, what we know for sure is that A Love So Beautiful will be one of her representative works. It’s going to be hard to beat the success of this drama.
Shen Yue has a cute girl appearance. In an industry full of glamorous and beautiful women, it might be hard for her to be cast in roles other than the girl-next-door type. Her path as an actor might be limited due to her looks. That does not mean she cannot be successful though.
Hu Yi Tian as Jiang Chen
As Jiang Chen, Hu Yi Tian is suited to playing an aloof character. Frankly speaking, this character didn’t need much acting skills. He pretty much had the same facial expressions throughout the drama.
His emotional scenes could have been more touching.
Although it can be hard to portray a cold character, Dylan Wang did it perfectly in Love Between Fairy and Devil. But it’s hard to compare Dylan Wang and Hu Yi Tian because Dylan has more acting experience than Hu Yi Tian when he filmed A Love So Beautiful. Hu Yi Tian probably would have portrayed the character differently now with years of acting experience compared to back in 2017.
What Could Have Been Better
The team didn’t do a good job of styling Shen Yue. I get that she’s supposed to look average to the audience but even after the time jump, her being styled up looks like a kid playing dress up as an adult. This could have been done on purpose but if it wasn’t, the team needs to work on that.
Her hair…yeah…that ain’t it (it’s the female version of the lead male character in Hi My Sweetheart).
A Love So Beautiful will have some cringy scenes when she’s daydreaming about her and Jiang Chen. As a teenage girl in love, it’s normal to have foolish fantasies of your crush so give it a pass. It’s just a bit embarrassing to watch on screen but it aligns with her character and her age.
Final Thoughts – A Love So Beautiful
This is a short, light-hearted, high school drama that will remind you of the good old days.
I didn’t expect to like A Love So Beautiful so much.
Most Chinese dramas I like are historical ones but this one is an exception, and Hidden Love, of course. I thought it would be your typical school drama that has been done a hundred times already but it’s not. I’m so glad I gave this show a shot or else I would have missed out big time.
A Love So Beautiful even came out with a Korean remake a few years later, proving the drama’s popularity.
I’ll get around to that maybe sometime later though because I’m too busy obsessing c-dramas.
So what are you waiting for?
A Love So Beautiful is on Netflix. Watch it now!
Now to You – A Love So Beautiful
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