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Korean Romantic Comedy

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4 ½ Stars: An Original, Clever and Unpredictable Romantic Comedy!

  • Dec 26, 2008

File:My Sassy Girl Movie Poster.jpg

I do not like romantic teen comedies; I occasionally see one only when I'm with a date. I think teen romantic comedies are so full of clichés and stereotypical characters, the premise of most I've seen is so predictable and need I say it? DULL. However, a few years ago, I came across "My SASSY GIRL" which came highly recommended by a friend. Directed by Kwak Jae-Young, it is loosely based on real-life experiences of Kim Ho-Sik, which he posted as an internet serial called "YupKi Girl". Did I like "My Sassy Girl"? Yes, in fact, I loved it. (This is my first shot reviewing a "chick flick" so don't laugh) 

One night, Gyun-woo (Pop Star Chae Tae-Yeon), a young student comes across a terribly drunken girl (Jeon Ji-Hyeon). He feels very awkward to help her but when he does, a deep sense of responsibility has been developed within him; he decides to heal her pain. Even though she slaps him, pushed him into a pool, forces him to wear her high heels, he tolerates everything. Will she stay with him after the pain is healed?

Now, why do I find this South Korean romantic comedy so remarkable? The film is very enjoyable and quite unpredictable. It is well developed as a love story with well-rounded characters that you can really care about. It doesn't take the easy road to humor such as the typical jokes of sexual nature inherent in other teen comedies. Also, the perfectly timed humor adds a lot of zest in the proceedings and plus there is the beautiful and unforgettable Korean female lead; Korean Bombshell Jeon Ji-Hyeon.

The film revolves around two main characters, sure, there are supporting ones such as aunts, parents, rogue soldier and schoolmates. The film really makes an effort for the viewers to become well acquainted with Gyun-woo and the unnamed girl. While the film's premise is very simple, there are a lot of subtle details present that really kept me interested. The first half contains most of the funny moments and it successfully forms an attachment to its viewers. The humor doesn't require an understanding of Korean culture and is very easy to pick up. The second half has the melodramatic moments (This is a Korean film) and the film TRULY succeeds in its emotional impact because the drama works and blends well with the rest of the film and its characters.

The Girl (Jeon Ji-Hyeon) is one of the most bizarre characters I've come across; sometimes she is cute and lovable but she can have that humorous creepy feel. She is crazy! How can a gorgeous girl be so lovable and likeable at the same time violent and disturbed? Jeon Ji-Hyeon won acting awards for her portrayal of the unnamed girl. After "IlMare" (U.S. remake; The Lake House), My Sassy Girl catapulted her to superstardom. Chae Te-Yeon is a pop star but does a tremendous performance bringing Gyun-woo's character to life. I really liked his funny facial expressions!! He really gave life to his character as a victim-boyfriend, every humiliatingly awkward moment is a funny one that at the same time I almost pitied his plight but at the same time enjoyed it. Their warm chemistry is so effective that you can't help but connect with them.

The film is also visually pleasant to the eyes. Some of the backdrop may seem a bit cartoonish and quite colorful but I think it doesn't hurt the proceedings. The camera positioning is also perfect, it adds that extra touch to make the funny moments even more humorous and memorable. I don't want to point out the highlights because it may spoil the film's developments.

There you go. I reviewed my first-ever-romantic comedy and survived. To be honest, I was drawn to this film because of Jeon Ji-Hyeon. Little did I know that watching "My Sassy Girl" (again) would turn out to be one of the most fun I've had watching a dvd in awhile. (It's a good break from all the dark films I've seen of late) People who are looking for crude humor will be disappointed. The film's excellent pacing and the truly effective twist in the last act makes this Korean comedy one of the best "feel good" flicks and has become an essential part of my DVD collection. If you like "sweet" and clever romance; this film is a can't miss!
I still dislike teen romantic comedies, "My Sassy Girl" is the exception to the rule. (This film came before "Windstruck" but made such an impact with the Korean audience that the last scene in "Windstruck" gave a hint of a relation to this film in the last scene although it has no relation to it)



poster class piggy back ride model Jeon-Ji-Hyeon fake ID model Jyeon Ji-Hyeon

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February 04, 2010
Finally watched this movie as well as the English version last night. I'm going to write reviews about both of them. I think I saw the longer version because it was 2+ hours long! Despite some of the dragging points, I ended up loving the movie. I hope you like the review I write once I post it live :)
February 09, 2010
Will be by shortly, Adrianna...
February 09, 2010
Ok, there's no rush. I just had fun watching the movie and writing the review. I wrote one on "Windstruck" as well, which I liked more. I still have to write a review of Cyborg She. :)
November 01, 2009
Don't think I've seen it. I saw lots of TV series but not Korean movies. I think the Asian film industry is great with TV but not so with movies. Too many lousy or predictable movies around that I've given them a miss since about 5 years ago. Thanks! If I can find it in DVD, I'll check it out.
November 01, 2009
I found the two Korean movies at the bookstore today. Am watching My Sassy girl right now. Bought a few other Korean period drama movies as well.
November 01, 2009
alllrighhhttt!! I am sure you'll enjoy it. I hope you got the theatrical cut because this is one of those rare instances that the shorter theatrical version is better than the longer version.
November 02, 2009
I enjoyed it :-) At first it was slow but at one stage in the middle of screening I laughed so hard I actually cried! it was silly but for some reasons I couldn't help laughing! That was great! Thanks!
November 02, 2009
so happy you liked it, Sharrie...I guess I do have a taste for romantic comedies after all :-)
February 04, 2009
I confess to liking both DOWN WITH LOVE and SAY ANYTHING. I can't help it Woop, I like the old illustrations and the old nicknames. Now I'm going to have to call you by your given name too, right?
February 04, 2009
Thanks, me--woopak isn't fond of romantic comedies but this was the exception! Totally great and nicely executed. Avoid the remake though!
February 04, 2009
Brave move Woop! I knew you could do it. Its always easier when you have the hots for one of the leads!
February 04, 2009
This has been on my list of movies I need to watch for I can't even tell you how many years! For someone who doesn't like romantic teen movies to rate this 4 1/2 stars... I need to get to watching this soon!! And I'm glad that you pointed out that it's unpredictable.. it's something for me to look forward to as all I've really heard about this movie thus far is "You need to watch it!!!!" Thanks! =)
December 26, 2008
Yeh, may as well do one LOL! Jyeon Ji-Hyeon is hot hot Hot! that's why. You should see her commercials in Korea--delicious.
More My Sassy Girl reviews
review by . February 04, 2010
posted in ASIANatomy
Sassy Girl Adds Spice to Your Life
   I am so glad William, @woopak_the_thrill, recommended My Sassy Girl in his Valentine's Day list. I wasn't sure what to expect since the trailer was in Korean, a language which I obviously do not speak. Even after the movie started, I found myself saying, "What the...?" This is not your traditional romantic comedy, especially if all you are used to is the crap that America cinema produces. Be prepared for a different type of love story. In fact, I would classify …
Quick Tip by . September 10, 2010
posted in ASIANatomy
If/when I ever decide to watch this movie again, I'll only watch the first half. The second half to me was boring with too much drama.
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William ()
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About this movie


This film has been so successful that it spawned a TV series in South Korea and remade in a "straight to dvd" Hollywood movie with the same title with Elisha Cuttbert in the lead. Korean Bombshell Jyeon Ji-Hyeon will be playing the lead in the anime adapted live-action movie "Blood the Last Vampire" scheduled to be released in 2009.
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Director: Jae-young Kwak
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Drama
Release Date: July 27, 2001
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Ho-sik Kim, Jae-young Kwak
DVD Release Date: July 27, 2001
Runtime: 137 minutes
Studio: Shin Cine Comminications
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