|Available at Amazon.com|
I’ve always been one to give Asian remakes a fair shot. To me, it’s always interesting to see how one country interprets a film from another country. I had heard about a year ago that the 2001 Korean hit romantic comedy My Sassy Girl was getting the remake treatment. Of course the news was followed by all the Internet haters already bashing the film. To be honest, I was disappointed that the remake wasn’t going to be receiving a wide release, but my hopes were still high. The remake of My Sassy Girl does not deserve the direct to DVD treatment. While it lacks some of the consistency as the original, the remake is still very well done and worth watching.
College student Charlie (Jesse Bradford) thinks he has his life planned out for him: he’s going to finish school and will begin working for the same company as his father. That is, he thinks he has his life planned out. Then he meets Jordan Roark (Elisha Cuthbert). They meet at the subway station; she’s drunk, passes out, and he takes her back to his dorm room so she can rest. When she wakes up, he finds that she’s a very complicated, very bossy girl, and his life will never be the same again. Throughout the course of the movie, she breaks up with him, sabotages a job interview, lies to one of his professors, and makes ridiculous demands of him. Regardless, he still finds himself falling for her.
If you might think that it sounds cliche for him to still fall madly in love with her even though she’s a giant pain, yeah, you’re right. But the movie never makes you think it’s too cliche while you’re watching it. The story takes several turns, but everything comes together in the end. I love these kinds of movies. Where they’re doing all these random things and you can’t help but think they’re all a little disjointed and odd, but it all makes sense in the end. The storytelling is woven beautifully together by director Yann Samuell, who also beautifully wove together the quirky love story in the French film Love Me If You Dare, one of my personal all-time favorites. He has a skillful, enchanting quality to his film-making that I just love. If I had to compare it to someone, it would probably be Baz Luhrmann. If you like Baz Luhrmann flicks, you’re most likely going to love Samuell’s.
The acting is surprisingly good from the two cookie-cutter main actors. I don’t expect much in the way of acting chops when I see the names Jesse Bradford and Elisha Cuthbert listed in the cast, but they did very well. The supporting cast is pretty unrecognizable, save Chris Sarandon who plays Cuthbert’s father. He’s just plain fun to watch no matter what he’s in. He’s not in the film much, but he does a fine job.
The only complaint I have with this version of the movie is that it’s too short. The original is two hours and fifteen minutes long, daunting for a romantic comedy/drama. But at the end of the movie, you realize that it fully utilized every minute of it’s run time. When I saw that the remake was only 95 minutes, I couldn’t believe they fit everything into that short of a time frame. The thing is, they didn’t. At the end of the movie, it all seems rushed. Several plot points were left out, but then were brought up at the end of the movie. They make sense if you’ve seen the original, but seem really strange if you haven’t.
The film is presented in widescreen, with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, and Dolby Surround Sound. The visuals are stunning and the soundtrack is gorgeous. A beautiful transfer.
Unfortunately, there are no extras except for the trailers for What Happens In Vegas and Picture This.
The remake of My Sassy Girl is still a good movie. The story is charming and very sweet, and also beautiful to look at. Save the short running time and leaving out some plot details, I’d say it’s every bit as good as the original. This is something that can’t be said about too many remakes. My Sassy Girl is worth a look.
20th Century Fox presents My Sassy Girl. Directed by Yann Samuell. Starring Jesse Bradford, Elisha Cuthbert, Chris Sarandon. Written by Victor Levin. Running time: 95 minutes. Rated PG-13. Released on DVD: August 26, 2008. Available at Amazon.com.