It’s been two days now since Cinderella Man debuted on GMA7. Fortunately, I’ve seen this drama before (it’s a bit older than the other dramas being aired locally) so I can already give a synopsis and share my thoughts on it.

“Cinderella Man” is helmed by mother’s favorite actor Kwon Sang-Woo. In this drama, he plays two roles: Brian and Rodney (ok, for international readers, do note that these are merely the names for the local airing). Brian is an ordinary man who makes his living selling clothes in a mall that looks like an upgraded version of Greenhills or 168. He has an eye for style and has a natural charm for selling. No wonder, he aspires to make it big in the fashion industry some day.

On the other hand, Rodney is a chaebol (ok, rich guy) who is the heir to a fashion empire. But despite all this, he is quite uncontented for he actually has a secret wish to become a chef. When he finds out that he has a life-threatening illness, he realizes how precious time is for him. So when he accidentally meets Brian, who happens to look a lot like him, he comes up with the plan to let Brian pretend to be him. This way, he can get treatment for his illness and at the same time pursue his own passions. However, unknown to both of them (ok, here goes the big downer), they are actually twin brothers who were separated when they were little!

I don’t really love this drama but it was somewhat enjoyable in the beginning. Kwon Sang-Woo is actually a very solid actor and I like a lot of his movies. My problem with him is when he does very serious cry-until-you-die dramas – I just want to gouge my eyes out (like in Stairway to Heaven) because I feel that it’s like hell just came to earth.

In “Cinderella Man”, Kwon Sang-Woo showcases his whole ability as an actor. He really managed to create a clear delineation for Brian and Rodney. He perfectly captures the happy-go-lucky attitude of Brian and the I’m-dying-so-don’t-mess-with-me personality of Rodney. The airtime of Brian and Rodney though isn’t quite as balanced as Brian gets more development for his character. This is the story of the “Cinderella Man” so in this drama, Brian clearly is the hero. This is somewhat of a letdown since the character of Rodney seemed to have so much potential.

I have to admit though, that I’m not a big fan of the “birth secret”. It messes up dramas for me because of how clichéd it is. It is logical in this drama since it justifies why Brian and Rodney look alike but still — it leaves a bad taste in the mouth. The plot would have been nice even without it since it’s basically a version of the old “The Prince and the Pauper” literary archetype. There’s so many funny moments for Brian, especially when he is still adjusting to his life as Rodney. This funny side to the drama is what saves it despite the stupid birth secret.

As for their love interests in the drama, I wouldn’t even bother. Chemistry is next to zero. Watch this because of Brian and Rodney. The lead actresses simply don’t click with Kwon Sang-Woo.They’re more like plot devices rather than real people just to put it bluntly.

So if you’re a fan of Kwon Sang-Woo, you can’t miss this one. I’m sure my mother won’t.

Catch “Cinderella Man” on GMA7 every weekdays  at 5pm.

Thanks to for the videos.

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