My Sassy Girl (2001) Yeopgijeogin geunyeo
Directed by Kwak Jae-young (The Classic)
Starring Jun Ji-hyun (Il Mare), Cha Tae-hyun (Windstruck)
The basis of this film apparently originated through a series of letters posted on the internet concerning the writer and his rather bizarre girlfriend. Whatever the case, this is a fun movie, distinctly Korean with a charming cast and plenty of humour (though a little is a bit low-brow).
The relationship starts when Gyun-woo prevents an attractive but very drunk girl from being hit by a train, they both take the same train and somehow he ends up having to take care of her after she has been sick. From then on they appear to be constantly fated or maybe doomed to run into each other.
The girl, (the only name she is known by in the film) is certainly forthright and sassy in every term of the word. Despite Gyun-woos efforts he consistently fails to break away from her, she orders him around, hits him and expects him to drop everything for her and for some reason he cant work out, he keeps coming back for more.
The film is episodic, just as the original internet posts must have been and the reasons for the girls behaviour and attitude are gradually revealed leading to an ending that lays a few coincidences into the mix to make their romance seem predetermined by fate.
Im not particularly one for romantic comedies but I would hardly term this as a romance (certainly not by Western standards). It is comical and clever, the cast are pleasant and certainly get into their roles. Jun Ji-hyun is very attractive but doesnt mind gurning for the camera while Cha Tae-hyun plays the student slacker with ease.
If you like comedies, especially fairly lightweight rom-coms, youll almost certainly enjoy My Sassy Girl, I did, my sons did, my wife who very rarely watches foreign films enjoyed it as well, she particularly appreciated the lack of smut or sexism.
Recommended as probably the best Korean comedy.
No BBFC rating (I find it hard to believe this hasnt been released in the UK or USA) but Id safely suggest a 12 rating.
Several dvds are available, mine is the Directors cut with quite a few extras, the only problem with it is that the English subs are written for the hard of hearing and often include descriptions of sounds.