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Movie Review: My Sassy Girl (2008)

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When I heard they were turning the Korean romantic comedy My Sassy Girl into an American movie, I had mixed feelings. First, I was excited because I highly enjoyed the Korean original. But I was also skeptical because it seems many Asian movies translated into an American version simply aren’t as good. Either way, I knew just had to see My Sassy Girl.

Bring It On’s Jesse Bradford and The Girl Next Door’s Elisha Cuthbert are Charlie Bello and Jordan Roark. Yann Samuell directs in what appears to be his American directorial debut. Victor Levin took on the task of crafting an English screenplay based on the original film’s screenplay by Jae-young Kwak. The story is based true stories Ho-sik Kim posted online before compiling the relationship woes into a novel.

My Sassy Girl is the tale of the first and last time Charlie Bello falls in love. From their initial meeting, trouble is the name of the game. Imagine an amorphous mass of dating disasters and you get an idea of the relationship between the young couple. Some mysterious force with the strength of gravity between two planets must be at play between Charlie and Jordan as the relationship truly makes no sense on the surface. Everything seems pitted against the two of them. Things suddenly come to a halt when the two write letters confessing their love for each other. Agreeing to meet a year later to read the love letters together, Charlie and Jordan go their separate ways.

I won’t ruin the end of the movie for you – whether they end up together or miss each other reading the letters by a day. You will just have to rent the movie to see how the story ends. There is, however, a strong message behind the romantic woes — a tale of destiny. We can’t sit and wait for destiny to happen, but we must build the bridges ourselves.

The film is certainly similar to its Korean counterpart. The storyline is the same, with a few details changed to make sense in a different culture. The intro matches that of the original movie, but in a less creepy sort of way. Whereas the Korean movie has an animated intro with weird babies suckling at their mothers’ breasts, the American movie shows a montage of events with bright, yet simple sets to illustrate Charlie’s life to this point.

It seems the only thing that doesn’t fully translate into the new movie is the humor. My Sassy Girl is touted as a romantic comedy, and the Korean version very much is. The mishaps are construed in a way to be charming. However, they lose some of the funny appeal in the new film. Not that the movie is a complete bore, it just seems somehow more tragic.

My Sassy Girl has a direct-to-DVD release in late August 2008. While I wouldn’t tell anyone to rush out to rent it, the movie is definitely worth picking up on a rainy day.

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  • Bob Kim

    I have never heard of this animated intro in My Sassy Girl (Korean Version). I think you’re making things up.

  • Keith

    agreed. i dont know what animated intro u saw with suckling babies. very strange

  • k

    Yes there was animated sucking baby intro.
    The original version ‘sassy girl’ was somewhat crazier than the american version. The guy who fell in love in the original movie was portrayed as somewhat retard or not as savvy as the american version. That is why the original movie worked better because the less than so intelligent guy apperance would make sense to do the crazy thinkgs the sassy girl was asking to do. Therefore by showing sucking animated baby in the beginnig, the original korean version movie tried to show or portray somewhat retard nature or not so sophisticated nature of the boy (Charlie) in a comical way.

  • Marissa

    I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved this movie…!!

  • Jimmy

    I am not yet already watch the blonde version, but I dont think if the new version would surpass the original

  • Ralph

    i agree. but the american version is kinda good. just for a change( i like elisha. lol). and yea i remembered that the korean is a silly guy, her mother wants him to be a girl.

  • Anonymous

    I had some free time while my wife was out of town, and headed to those video kiosk at the supermarket, and selected this as the last choice and to kill time. WOW, what a great plot and movie. Haven’t seen the original korean version, and didn’t know about it until reading online, but absolutely loved this remake. Give it a try if you enjoy romantic comedy movies. Definately recommend. I’ll be buying the DVD for my wife (and for me too).

  • e

    The remake is definitely brighter and more upbeat, evident in both the music and imagery. But, overall, I’m disappointed with the remake. Charlie isn’t “nice” and charming, he is pretty average, not someone I’d fall for after a tragic separation with a previous relationship. Jordan isn’t sassy. She’s not rude or disrespectful. In the movie she’s pretty ordinary, she’s the lively and fun type. I like Elisha’s acting, more than Jesse’s, but I’m not impressed. Lastly, the chemistry was very poor between the two. It just doesn’t compare to the original.

  • Zealous

    PLS tell me the name of the song 01:08:18
    10x in advance. :)

  • crystal

    i loveeeeeeeed this movie it was so so so so! good. amazing if that i loved it. i cant even begin to explain how good it was watch the new one with [Elisha Cuthbert] she is an amazing actress really good gosh!!!!=]]]

  • nass

    The song at the end was so beautiful can someone please give me its name? tks

  • http://www.friendster.com/anavien anavien brucelee

    yAAAAAckZS!
    it is very beautiful!!!!!!!!!

  • S

    When I heard that a remake was coming out, I was extremely curious what it would be like, and a bit wary since I had absolutely loved the original. And then, I finally watched it, and… I didn’t like it. I mean, yes, a lot of the plot and events are the same and only minor details changed, but like the review said, the humor just didn’t carry over. I don’t believe it’s because the Korean male lead was made more to “look like a retard,” but it just seemed more comical in the original, and I can even picture some of those things happening, whereas in the remake, I just ended up feeling sorry for the guy and hating how Jordan’s character was being shaped [esp. the restaurant scene w/ a drunk Jordan…] I don’t know if it’s just because I’m biased from adoring the original, but the remake just wasn’t my cup of tea. An alright romantic comedy, but annoying and unreasonable in many places.

  • Zealous

    The song at the end was so beautiful can someone please give me its name? tks :(

  • moomoo

    to zealous : have you find the song at the end of the movie, the instrumental one….i’m looking for it too but i haven’t find it…..please shared the song if you had it….. this is my email speed_private@yahoo.com

  • belaid

    the song is : put the rocord on by ankle bob

  • austin

    i think the korean version was of high standards. the american version is a no match just no match it looked over exaggerated and over acting.
    if someone already saw the korean version please dont watch the american version it could be terrible else horrible.

  • Anonymous

    A wonderful funny, tender, emotional movie. I laughed and laughed and Laughed….until I cried.

  • Jazz

    I believe that the movie with the weird babies being fed by their mom’s bosom that you’re talking about is “Crazy First Love,” which is another movie of Cha Tae Hyun(the main actor in the original or Korean version of My Sassy Girl)

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