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Fated To Love You
 
Fated To Love You 2009-10-04 01:28:39 spritetime
Overall rating 
 
9.8
Story 
 
10.0
Acting 
 
9.0
Music 
 
10.0
Satisfaction 
 
10.0
spritetime Reviewed by spritetime    October 04, 2009
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews

A Cinderella Story

As with most Taiwanese "idol dramas," this story has the core component of two people who start out as improbably lovers, but ultimately end up as star-crossed lovers. However, while the core is formulaic, the supporting story for Fated To Love You feels better structured than most.

The story surrounds two main characters, the male lead being a rich aristocrat in a troubled relationship, and the female lead being a country girl with self-esteem issues. The two meet by chance (or by fate?), and after a night of mistaken identities and action under the bedsheets (humorously portrayed by a series of metaphoric imagery), the girl becomes pregnant. What follows is the story of how two people who started as unwilling participants in a forced relationship discover within each other that which binds their hearts together forever.

As Taiwanese idol dramas go, Fated To Love You offers a more realistic backdrop. Of course, the typical plot devices of "super-coincidences" and "near-meetings" are still used sporadically thoughout the series, but they are done in such a way that do not completely challenge the viewers' "suspension of disbelief" as much as in other dramas (until the very end, where it seemed like the writers just couldn't resist that awkard happy ending moment). As the actress playing the female lead described, this story is really about a very tragic real-world situation that was spun into a fairy-tale love story, supported by moments of comedy. As such, there were elements in the story that can truly touch the viewers as they find those moments to identify with.

The casting was also somewhat formulaic, as the studio generally choses from a pool of performers they are contracted with. The leads (Chen Qiao En, Ethan Ruan, Baron Chen, Bianca Bai) carried most of the story, with the weight of the emotional moments mostly falling on Chen Qiao En. Her ability to elicit sympathy for Chen Xin Yi is very believable, and her trademark puppy-dog eyes make you feel sorry for Chen Xin Yi almost against your will. Ethan Ruan, who shares an uncanny similarity in looks and demeanor with the studio's other hot shot Ming Dao, is relatively new to the idol drama genre, and his inexperience shows through in some awkard moments. However, his deficiencies are ultimately forgiven by his chemistry with Chen Qiao En and the strength of the underlying love story. Baron Chen's role is somewhat limited in this series, as his character is the stereotypical "guardian angel" + "good guy" + "love interest" that always shows up in idol dramas. His performance feels one-sided, and lacks a certain depth. Bianca Bai fulfilled her role mostly by her looks as she plays the beautiful ballerina girlfriend of our male protagonist Zi Cun Xi, but her performance remains unconvincing at several critical moments, and fails to fully flesh out the multi-faceted dimensions of Anna's conflicted emotions.

Ultimately, Fated to Love You touched many hearts, and the historic ratings it generated in Taiwan are proof of this story's quality. While it does suffer from some of the stereotypical plot devices that plagues idol dramas, it does shine through with its story and characters, and succeeds in making you walk in the character's shoes. It almost allows you to forgive the silly ending.

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