Review: Le Coup de Foudre (2019)

Le Coup de Foudre 2019

Le Coup de Foudre (我只喜欢你) is a 2019 Chinese drama that really surprised me! Adapted from a novel based on the author’s life, Le Coup de Foudre is the sweet story of two high school classmates who grow close only to be separated for several years, and meet again as adults. You can watch it with English subtitles on Viki or on YouTube.

This is a lighthearted series with little drama and a likable group of characters. There are plenty of fun, humorous moments, as well as a lot of emotional depth when it comes to family and relationships. Note: There are no spoilers in my review.

In interview-style scenes throughout the drama, the main characters reflect and reminisce about the events of their past with the wisdom of hindsight. The story initially alternates between various time periods in their lives but soon stops bouncing around, and the high school portion does not dominate the drama.

Our leads Qiao Yi (played by Wu Qian/Janice Wu) and Yan Mo (Zhang Yu Jian) meet in high school when they become deskmates. Yan Mo is the top student in their class, while Qiao Yi is one of the lowest ranking students. Their relationship is enjoyable to watch because they really like each other and even when they’re apart later on, they’re really just waiting for each other.

I generally do not watch high school dramas (I’m too far past that time in my life) but this portion turned out to be my favorite because it shows the childhood and family of each of the main characters and how their relationships with each other formed. It really added layers to each character. The high school portion only lasts until episode 14.

Qiao Yi has a supportive family; they’re not well-off but it’s a home full of love.

Qiao Yi’s twin brother, Guan Chao (Eden Zhao) is the second highest ranking student in their class and a charming flirt, but not interested in commitment. He looks out for Qiao Yi, and they playfully bicker and have thoughtful heart-to-hearts.

On the other hand, Yan Mo’s parents are both busy with their careers, so Yan Mo frequently lives in his house by himself. His mother asks her younger brother Da Chuan, who is in Yan Mo’s class, to look out for him. It’s Qiao Yi’s warm and bubbly personality that helps Yan Mo open up, but he definitely remains immensely serious throughout the series. At first I thought Yan Mo was just another stony-faced male lead (which is so common in Chinese dramas) but Zhang Yu Jian portrays the nuances of Yan Mo’s emotions well, from jealousy to concern.

Da Chuan (An Ge) was the biggest surprise amongst the main characters. I admit, my assumptions about him were wrong! He and Yan Mo are opposites; Da Chuan is boisterous and chatty while Yan Mo is always silent and seemingly emotionless.

Wu Yi (Ma Li) is Qiao Yi’s best friend from childhood through adulthood. She’s a goofy, sometimes naive hopeless romantic who doesn’t excel in school but dreams of being a writer. She also had a great storyline about her relationship with her mother, who is a successful businesswoman. Qiao Yi and Wu Yi’s friendship is so precious and they’re always there for each other.

Rounding out the supporting characters are Yu Mei/Alicia (Zhang Yue Ying), Yan Mo’s childhood friend, and Gao Fei, one of the high school teachers. I like the ways that Alicia contrasts with Qiao Yi and Wu Yi, and she’s not a stereotypical female character that obnoxiously clings to the male lead.

Gao Fei is a fun character who helps guide Qiao Yi, Wu Yi, Guan Chao, Yan Mo, and Da Chuan with school and their futures, and even once his students become adults, they still go to Gao Fei for advice.

The conflicts and challenges that arose in Le Coup de Foudre felt realistic and relatable, and while on occasion I was yelling at certain characters, that’s life, right? People make mistakes. Overall, really enjoyed this and thought the cast was fantastic.

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