My Name Is Kim Sam-Soon 내 이름은 김삼순 [2005]

samsoon
MBC from June 1 to July 21, 2005 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 21:55 kst for 16 episodes
Genre: Romantic Comedy

Also known as My Lovely Sam-soon
Based on internet novel, My Name Is Kim Sam-soon by Ji Soo-hyun
Written by Kim Do-woo
Directed by Kim Yoon-cheol
Starring:

Kim Sun-ah as Kim Sam-soon
Hyun Bin as Hyun Jin-heon
Jung Ryeo-won as Yoo Hee-jin
Daniel Henney as Dr. Henry Kim

Synopsis:

Kim Sam-soon (Kim Sun-ah) is loud and brash, yet insecure about her weight. She has always been embarrassed by her old-fashioned first name, and nearing her 30th birthday, she dreams of changing it. Coming from a lower middle-class family, she didn’t go to college, but she saved up to go to France where she trained to become a pâtissier. Desserts are her real passion, and she’s an excellent baker. On Christmas Eve, Sam-soon gets dumped by her cheating boyfriend (Lee Kyu-han) and loses her job. One of the witnesses to her public humiliation is Hyun Jin-heon (Hyun Bin), the owner of upscale French restaurant Bon Appetit. Upon recognizing her talent, Jin-heon hires her as Bon Appetit’s new pastry chef. From their first meeting, the two have an antagonistic relationship (she calls him the equally old-fashioned “Sam-shik”), and sparks fly.

Jin-heon is the son of a wealthy hotelier (Na Moon-hee), and his mother constantly nags him about succeeding her in the hotel business. She also keeps setting him up on matchmaking dates, saying his niece Mi-joo (Seo Ji-hee), who hasn’t spoken a word since the childhood trauma of her parents’ deaths, needs a mother figure. When Sam-soon finds herself in need of ₩50 million (approximately US$50,000) to prevent the foreclosure of her mother’s house, Jin-heon proposes a deal: in exchange for the money, she agrees to become his pretend girlfriend. They draw up a complicated contract, of which the most important stipulation is that they should never fall in love for real. But as they spend more time together, Sam-soon and Jin-heon grow closer and gradually fall for each other. But just when things are going well, Jin-heon’s ex-girlfriend Yoo Hee-jin (Jung Ryeo-won) returns from the United States.

Hee-jin had suddenly left Korea years ago, right after a car accident that had killed Jin-heon’s older brother, his sister-in-law and a motorcyclist, and left Jin-heon (who was driving) seriously injured. Though Jin-heon’s leg eventually recovered, emotional scars remained, a mixture of sorrow, guilt, and anger at Hee-jin’s abandonment. But what he didn’t know was that Hee-jin had been diagnosed at the time with stomach cancer, and she’d broken up with him because she didn’t want to add to the tragedy he was already experiencing. Now in remission, she returns to Korea to ask for a second chance, followed by her Korean-American doctor Henry Kim (Daniel Henney), who is in love with Hee-jin and eager to learn his roots. Upon learning the truth, Jin-heon reconciles with Hee-jin.

Broken-hearted, Sam-soon resigns from Bon Appetit, and she and her older sister Yi-young (Lee Ah-hyun) decide to open an online pastry business using Yi-young’s settlement from her recent divorce. Meanwhile, Jin-heon can’t stop thinking about Sam-soon and realizes that he wants to be with her. After several run-ins in which he sabotages her blind date and immaturely invents reasons to see her, he finally confesses his love for Sam-soon. After a difficult break-up with Hee-jin, Jin-heon proves to Sam-soon’s mother and sister that he’s serious about her and the couple begin dating happily.

Then Hee-jin asks a final favor of Jin-heon, to accompany her back to the U.S. to rejoin her parents there. Sam-soon is initially resistant, but later gives her blessing when Jin-heon reassures her that this journey will be a form of closure for him and Hee-jin. He promises to return after one week. Sam-soon goes once again to the city clerk’s office to have her name changed, but finally believing that her name is special and an important part of her identity, changes her mind at the last minute and tears up the papers.

Two months pass, with no calls or letters from Jin-heon, and Sam-soon has given up on him and gone on with her life. She reads a poem on a poster at a bus stop: “Dance like no one’s watching. Sing like no one’s listening. Work like you don’t need the money. Love like you’ve never been hurt before. Live like there’s no tomorrow.”

When Jin-heon arrives, she gives him the cold shoulder. But the misunderstanding is cleared up when two-months-worth of postcards gets delivered to Sam-soon’s house; they had been sent to the wrong address all this time. Jin-heon had spent the two months traveling and inspecting hotels all over America; in his desire to be a man worthy of Sam-soon, he is finally ready to take up the reins as his mother’s heir. Whatever obstacles come their way (including his mother’s continuing benign disapproval of their relationship), Sam-soon and Jin-heon decide to face the future together, doing their best at work and love, and living life to the fullest. Wiki.

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