Friday, August 1, 2014

Review: My Sassy Girl (2001)

My Sassy Girl (Review)
Kwak Jae-yong/Cha Tae-hyun, Jun Ji-hyun/2001
Where to Watch:
Netflix Streaming
Amazon Prime

"Jun Ji-hyun steals the show..."

Gyeon-woo (Cha Tae-hyun) finds himself in a cruel but loving relationship when he luckily meets a drunk girl (Jun Ji-hyun) on a train...

My Sassy Girl follows this complicated relationship. They initially share few interests and are complete opposites, but Gyeon-woo grows to like her, and she does the same. As cliché and simple as it may sound, the differentiating factor is the actual relationship. The girl, who isn't given a name throughout the film, is rough with Gyeon-woo -- to put it lightly. She slaps him around a little, she humiliates him in public, she makes him drink coffee instead of soda, and even convinces him to wear high heels! (and much, much more.) The relationship is hilarious, if not just for the pure embarrassment. The final act of the film piles on some clichés and plot contrivances; the message the film delivers make them more tolerable, but they're worth noting.

I really enjoyed the humor in this film. Like I said, the story is simple, but the relationship is unique. Even better, the relationship is hilarious. It mostly relies on humiliation humor, but it works. Some of it is cringe-worthy embarrassing, but I laughed and laughed throughout most of the runtime. In fact, it was so well paced and balanced, I didn't check the runtime once. It does lose some humor and momentum during the final act where it takes more of a serious turn, though. Still, the ending was great -- might even pull some tears for some viewers.

Otherwise, I thought the relationship was very well developed. Whether you'd do the same in his shoes or if you don't believe these types of relationships exist doesn't matter. The chemistry between the two characters felt authentic; they felt like a genuine couple, which makes this romantic comedy much more effective than the typical entry in the genre. Furthermore, I was very impressed by how the relationship was crafted -- no on-screen kissing or sex was required to make it feel like love.

Cha Tae-hyun is great as the passive lead; he has some quirk and charm to his performance. Jun Ji-hyun steals the show, though -- the definition of sassy and feisty. As I mentioned previously, their a perfect pair and create great chemistry. The film is shot well; competent, not bad or exemplary, though. The music was standard; it works well for the genre, though. I watched the Amazon Prime Instant Video and its great; it looks and sounds good, and the English subtitles are great. Director Kwak Jae-yong crafts a very well paced and balanced comedy; despite some tumbling during the final act, Jae-yong recovers for a meaningful ending.

Overall, My Sassy Girl is a contemporary rom com masterpiece. It has some flaws during its final act, but it's hilarious and genuine. This is one of the few films that really made me laugh out loud. Cha Tae-hyun and Jun Ji-hyun are superb, and their chemistry makes the film feels much more effective, too.

Score: 9/10
Parental Guide: Some violence, and nudity.

No comments:

Post a Comment