Chungmuro/Film Reviews
Movie Review: My Sassy Girl
by | October 11, 2011 | 87 Comments

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Rating: 9/10

What a brilliant surprise! I was so expecting a clichéd romantic comedy but My Sassy Girl is definitely anything but clichéd, for the most part. Quirky, funny, outrageous, unconventional and above all sassy, My Sassy Girl really hits all of the right notes for me. I can definitely see why it is a Korean classic and even why so many other countries have tried, with little luck, to reproduce this hilarious and sentimental movie. YOU MUST WATCH THIS! It will change your perspective on modern-day rom-coms. So let me “build a bridge of chance” for you to explore this really great movie (if you watch the movie you will understand the whole play of phrase I just used here, hehe).

MY SASSY GIRL REVIEW

My Sassy Girl is a love story between GYEUN-WOO (Cha Tae-hyun) and THE SASSY GIRL (Jeon Ji-hyun). Their story is, to say the least, very unconventional but in a weird way makes sense. The tomfoolery and shenanigans these two drum up is beyond words. But most of all, their characters mesh so well you would start to think they were indeed fated to meet, or at least act together.

The partnership between Cha Tae-hyun and Jeon Ji-hyun is ridiculously amazing. The chemistry is definitely there and makes the movie so enjoyable to watch. It is often so difficult to find a pair of actors who complement each other both in a comical as well as sentimental sense. It is this balance between these actors that really does make this movie incredible. When they are together and hijinks ensue, their dynamic of tormentor/tormented is knee-slap funny; however, when the reality of sorrow and burden are present the tenderness and heartfelt feeling for each other is so palpable that you feel their pain as well.

I can honestly say that I cannot choose a favorite character because both characters have their good and bad qualities that complement each other so well. Gyeun-woo is, for the most part, a common young man who likes a “certain type of woman” and really just wants a girlfriend. The problem is that he is a momma’s boy, a bit clumsy, a little awkward, but most of all he has a very big heart. The sassy girl is just as the name implies: sassy, self-righteous, bizarre, heartbroken and so quirky. She is trying to overcome something emotionally that we are not privy to know until the end, but you can tell it causes her great pain.

The girl is just brilliant and hilarious because she is so uninhibited. She will call a stranger out on their wrong-doings and helps people when necessary. She is a terrible drunk and loves to hit people, or I guess I should say she loves to hit Gyeun-woo. Gyeun-woo is just so wimpy and does not want to stand out. He is your average male student but the way his mind works is just adorable. I love both of these characters and I must say the actor/actress who portrayed them did such an excellent job.

Although the side characters were not too prevalent, there was one who stuck out to me: the runaway soldier (Seo Dong-won). He played the “I went crazy because my girlfriend left me” soldier who wants to escape so well I thought it would only be fair to mention him here.

As far as the plot goes, it is kind of straightforward with the whole meeting, dating, breaking up, and finding each other again years later. But the build-up to these points takes on a new and exciting context.

The sassy girl, as we learn, loves to write highly elaborate stories where the lead is always a heroine who can kick butt. In fact the sassy girl makes Gyeun-woo read these stories (the alternative is death), so we get to see some pretty funny and elaborate daydream sequences, as shown above. I swear I did not expect to see comedy, romance, action and period piece all in one movie, but somehow My Sassy Girl delivers.

I loved these snippets of fantasy because they allow the viewer to delve into the sassy girl’s character. She is fixed on this idea of time travel, which I think correlates to the fact that she is trying to change something in her past. Aside from the delving aspect, I loved seeing the characters in different scenarios and adding their own spin to the mix of craziness.

The romance part of this movie is what really hooked me. I am such a weakling when it comes to unconventional romances because I actually think the more uncommon the romance, the more realistic it is. These two are certainly an eccentric pair but in a way their romance is so natural.

They are both very similar people in some respects. Gyeun-woo has such a big heart for people and does in fact care. The sassy girl is similar in that she cares for people, sometimes too much. They also have a very similar sense of humor which I think is one of the reasons they work so well together. Most importantly, though, they both understand each other. I always feel that in relationships, you can seem to be the most well-matched couple but if you do not understand the person you are with, then your relationship is doomed to fail.

What I loved about this movie was that we saw a progression of the relationship from her using him, to him needing her, to her needing him and finally to them wanting and needing each other. They are really a cute couple who fit each other really well.

Now I will admit that the movie does bring up the same old clichés like epic running scenes, grand gestures of love, and time lapses, but the point is that these clichés are not the entire movie, or do not even comprise the most important scenes. They are there almost like a commentary. For instance, on their 100-day anniversary, the sassy girl tells Gyeun-woo to bring her a red rose during her class. He does, and it is so corny that you think you are watching a cheesy, old-time rom-com. But the scenes that follow, where they both dress in their high school uniforms and go out drinking and partying, those are more important because they solidifies how he feels for her and how comfortable they are together.

I also love the use of symbols. From the necklace as a symbol for holding on/letting go, to the time capsule as a stance of time and remembrance, and even the subway as “the meeting place” for both of the sassy girl’s great loves. I like when a story actually uses its symbols in a circular way to bring the story to completion, as opposed to leaving loose ends.

One thing that I found a bit annoying about the movie is the fact that they never did give a name for the sassy girl. I kept trying to associate the character with a name but it never came. I really wish the writers would have given her a name; even a nickname would have sufficed.

One of the best aspects of this movie were the facial expressions. Cha Tae-hyun and Jeon Ji-hyun are really the masters of awkward, amusing and disgusted looks. I literally laughed out loud a few times just because of the faces made. For instance, the scene in which Gyeun-woo and the sassy girl meet for the first time is awesome because after the vomit scene the camera does a close-up of Gyeun-woo with his “that is just so nasty” face. I would probably have made the same face given the circumstance (vomit is just so unsanitary!).

I guess this is as good a time as any to warn you about some of the more risqué parts of the movie. Yes there is a bit of nudity (as shown above) and yes there are some pretty gross scenes like the vomit scenes described above. But they come in such a hilarious context I do not think you have to worry about being grossed out or losing your lunch. Although I will say that Cha Tae-hyun has a very cute butt and I am sure most of the viewers would not mind seeing it again!

Besides the more risqué scenes, there are also a few over-the-top scenes that really brought this movie, for me at least, to a whole other level of funny.

One of my favorite scenes in the movie was the runaway soldier scene, which was hilarious. Gyeun-woo is trying to do something romantic for the sassy girl on her birthday and it ends up being a disaster. “What are the odds of running into a runaway soldier in a theme park?” is exactly what I was thinking when this all happened. But the extreme nature of the situation, the casual bickering between the two leads, and the emotionally unstable soldier made this scene one of the best, comedy-wise, for me.

What I really enjoyed was the nightclub dancing scene. Talk about weird dancing — these two just continued to crack me up with their outdated moves on the dance floor, and I kind of wished they’d done the moon-walk or something. What I loved, though, was that in voice-over commentary, Gyeun-woo mentions that the club, after that day, enlisted a once-a-month “wear your uniform” night (LOL!). Oh Koreans, why do you make me laugh so much.

Before I end my commentary on the plot, I will say that I have to give proper recognition to the music team. This movie had excellent music. The theme song “I Believe” by Shin Seung-hun was great and the inclusion of the American classic “My Girl” by the Temptations was pure genius — talk about play on words.

I would definitely recommend looking up the soundtrack and giving it a listen — you won’t be disappointed. Even for me, who can only understand a minimal amount of Korean, I definitely appreciated the Korean music in this film.

In terms of cinematography, I only have one thing to say. I usually will go on about the camera work and how great or poor it is but considering the fact that this movie is over 10 years old, it would be unfair to compare it to the movies of today. But I will say that the use of scenery is spectacular. There were scenes that were so beautiful because the director/camera crew were able to capture both the characters and the background scenery in such a tremendous way. For being a romantic comedy, it was surprising to see the environment around the characters captured so beautifully.

Besides scenery, though, the emphasis on facial close-ups was a bit overdone. It seemed like every other moment I was looking directly at a character’s face, when in fact I would have liked to see more inclusion of both characters in the same scene. They did a lot of one character in focus, one character out of focus, which I do not like too much. Then again I think I may be getting picky, but hey it is my review.

I did enjoy the sheer breadth of available scenery. A lot of times, a movie will have a recurring meeting place or certain scenery that is similar throughout the entire film, and it sometimes gets boring. But this film delivers so many various backdrops that I was never bored. There was the recurring motel room, but that was just hilarious, that they would end up in the same motel room twice within a three-day period.

I already touched upon some of the main topics with the symbols. However, I think a really big component of this film was letting go. The sassy girl was having a hard time letting go of her past, and rightly so, and as a result she ended up suffering even more. It is often so difficult to let go of something even though you know it is gone forever, because deep down you are probably thinking, “Maybe, just maybe it is not gone forever.” I liked how the writers included this aspect of a painful past to the sassy girl character because it gave her an extra level of development, and also helped to explain her fascination with the past and changing it.

For a romantic comedy, this film seemed to delve into some pretty interesting topics of life. One of the most unexpected things to come out is the concept of maturity. Gyeun-woo, when we first met him, was a little childish. He did not have a future planned; he did not care what the future held. He did not really care about anything really, but as time progressed he found that he cared very much for the sassy girl, and in turn he began to care about his future, what he would be, and how he could improve himself for her. This really marks the change from childhood to maturity for him.

The best kind of change is change that is brought about not by force, but by need and want. I hate (and yes I feel so strongly that I would use the word hate!) when a movie or drama makes it so that a character is forced to change, because then it ruins the entire persona of the character. Genuine change out of want is the only way a person can truly change; otherwise what you are left with is some type of resentment.

Finally, we get to the big elephant in the room, and the subject that I think pervaded the entire movie: Fate/Destiny. This is a really common theme in Korean cinema. Two people were destined to meet, or two people were destined to become enemies. In all honesty, I think destiny and fate is a bunch of crap. There is a phrase author/philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche that goes like this:

“If destiny exists, then God must be very unfair and cruel, because the moment that fate is a reality, we lose our future. We are no longer individuals who can achieve anything, but automatons who can achieve only what is set before them”

I completely agree with Nietzsche. To think that destiny exists limits us in terms of what we can do, or what we can become. Which is why I hate when Korean movies, and especially dramas, make romance about fate. I do not think that is the case. I think that is why I really liked this movie’s interpretation of the whole destiny/fate business. It is not so much something that needs to happen, but it is “building a bridge of chance to your love.” I like the active implication of action as opposed to the passiveness of letting things happen.

I must say that overall this movie does not disappoint. Sure it has pretty over-the-top moments, but that is what makes it funny. It is romantic, funny, unusual, and so unconventional that I would definitely say it is a perfect representation of what every film in the romantic-comedy genre should strive for. I would say see it, or, in the words of the sassy girl, “Risk death!”

 

If you want to send me movie ideas or just send me an email about anything movie-related, you can do so by sending an email to: only1tony.db@gmail.com

Always,

Only1tony

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87 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Jomo 143∞

    Thank you for the review. I can practically hear your giggle through your descriptions. You captured how much fun it was to watch!

    I knew nothing about this film when I watched it, like you.
    It was not at ALL predictable, in a good way, despite the use of some drama conventions.

    BEST ENDING EVER! Ever EVER ever ever!

  2. Lala

    Dear only1tony,
    Hi! I wasn’t sure if this small question of mine is so important for an email, but I was wondering if you’d do a movie review of The Crucible sometime soon? :) Thanks!

    Lala xoxo

    • 2.1 Kender

      I think you’ll have to wait a while, it’s only been out in Korea for a few weeks and Tony said he only understands minimal Korean, so it’ll be a bit before it’s (a) online and (b) subbed.

      • 2.1.1 Lala

        I know, I’ve been waiting too…just asking :) Sometime in the future maybe? ‘Cause I really haven’t got the time to watch movies whenever they’re available D: (Though I do sneak time from work to go on DB :P)

  3. Lexington

    I have a deep abiding love for this movie simply because it’s set in the city I live in.

    Also, it’s kind of awesome. Still love the ending.

  4. Noelle

    I was wondering about this movie. Thanks for the recap!

  5. Haydn

    best. freaking. rom-com K-MOVIE EVERRRRRR! :D i don’t think there is a single person from my generation that didn’t like this movie. it is impossible to hate this movie. there is just something so eccentric and crazy about this film that makes it so lovable and unique. i could rave about it for hours.

    one of my favorite scenes was the racquetball scene. :D sooooo hilarious. just thinking about it i started giggling uncontrollably. XD

    • 5.1 Anjo

      I liked the movie, but it’s not one of my favorite. I was a sucker for Windstruck though >o<

      • 5.1.1 Win

        I really liked Windstruck too! My Sassy Girl was also one of my first K-movies & although it was good, I felt it was kinda draggy. Loved the ending though! But Windstruck had me bawling & the ending was great as well.

  6. angryparsnip

    I have heard the about the movie “My Sassy Girl” but never really thought about watching it till now !
    Great review, now I must watch it.

    cheers, parsnip

    • 6.1 Lala

      It’s a great movie, you won’t regret it <3 I've watched it at least five times now :)

      • 6.1.1 hahhah

        LIKE BUTTON

    • 6.2 Zir

      Its a very good movie.. You should watch it.. It is my ultimate favorite Korean movie… I even went all over to buy the DVD.. Which I did… xDDDD

      and I even give the Amerian remake a change.. to see if they able to do it! (Which they NOT!) but yeah….

      IT IS AWESOME!

  7. anais

    I LOVE YOU!!!

    Thank you for the review! As I’m sure it’s the case for many others, this movie is darn right special to me. It’s my idea of Candy Candy that’s undergone a Hegelian dialectic. (Don’t ask me to articulate why though since I’ve not quite processed it myself.)

    I too love this film’s take on “destiny.” Just love. So love that I have at least three copies of this film.

  8. Nokcha

    This is still one of my all time favorite movies, period. And definitely my favorite Korean movie. I’ll have to watch this weekend.

  9. stars4u

    I never get tired watching this movie again and again!

  10. 10 hpn88

    This movie will always have a very special place in my heart as it was the VERY K-anything that I watched!
    (That was a LONG time ago)

    • 10.1 himonogirl

      I second that.
      Even with its flaws (which I felt more when I watched it recently than when I watched it 5 years ago), it will forever hold a special place for being the very first K-anything (as you said) I watched or listened to.
      I couldn’t stop saying “죽을래?” (Juuk-eul-rae?) after watching it HAHAHAHA

      Definitely something every K-culture lover should watch!

      • 10.1.1 naz_shinomori

        I too love this movie! It’s my 1st exposure to anything Korean.. I was laughing and crying at the same time.. And after a decade or so, I was doing the same for JJH & KSH’s MLFAS :-)

  11. 11 MTC

    THANKS for this awesome review!!

  12. 12 aS21b

    yea this movie is a classic.

    hey what about doing Windstruck next. I would love to hear your review on that movie too please. thanks

  13. 13 Steamy Bun

    Oh, I bless the day I randomly started watching this on Youtube. It introduced me to the world of Korean art and media. It’s such a special movie! I question peoples’ intelligence when they have no or a negative reaction after seeing it. It’s so… endearing. And touching. And funny, REALLY funny, not like “I’ll laugh at this because I’ll feel awkward if I don’t”. Your review is excellent by the way! Puts into perfect words a lot of my thoughts.

  14. 14 asianromance

    Love this movie! Felt it was a bit of an enigma, like the sassy girl. There are a lot of silly, wacky scenes (solid straightforward comedy), but the strong themes, layered characters, and symbolism really ground the movie (inducing the viewer to reflect, almost indie-ish).

    I agree with Jomo 143: best ending ever!! I would usually go like “come on! are you for real?!” But this movie was special.

    Also love the school uniform scene. They totally rocked them!

    • 14.1 Jomo

      I actually stood up and cheered. :)

  15. 15 Sid

    9.5/10… I bought this movie when it came out on video and loaned it to all my friends, everyone loved it. It was a great movie. Only complaint was that it was rather long and seems that it could of been made into a 16 episode drama. I enjoy long movies but this one seem to be all over the place at times. Still a great movie.

  16. 16 red

    I think I watched 2/3 of this movie and was bored…maybe theres something wrong with me???
    though I did enjoy the school uniform club scene…

    Maybe its because I watched Windstruck first which I LOVED …

    • 16.1 Birthday Girl

      Yeah, to be honest I didn’t like it that much. I was like ‘meh’. I think it was a big deal because this dynamic of ‘rude girl’ was a first for Korean cinema. I heard this movie was based off a true story?

  17. 17 caryatid

    this was my first ever korean movie/drama experience!!! from then on i’m was hook, lined and sinker!:D

  18. 18 danna

    aaaaah, My sassy Girl…this movie was my first Korean love….It was the first time I had seen anything in Korean (drama or mvie) and was so in love with it that I went on a full on Korean rom-com binge and only ended up watching one crappy movie after another…..I watched this about 5 years after it was released and now it’s been several years since that so I was a little worried that I wouldn’t like it as much as I did when I first saw upoun rewatching it earlier this summer but I loved it just as much as I did the first time around…and yes Jomo is right, this was the best ending of a rom-com ever…..After seeing the so-and-so years later epilogue used so badly in so many rom-coms over the years, it has begun to annoy me but here it was just absolutely pefect…no two people needed time as much as they did….I will forever love Cha Tae Hyun and Jeon Ji Hyun because of this movie even if they do the crappiest of crap in the future…this is also why I really miss Jun Ji Hyun and can’t wait for her new movie with Lee Jung Jae

  19. 19 TiaC

    Talk about sentimental favorite! This movie is the first Korean anything I had ever seen, and I remember absolutely loving it. It had me at… a girl almost getting killed in a subway.

    Sidenote: I just realized that this movie came out ten years ago! I remember seeing it with my high school friends! Now I feel old…

  20. 20 nileey

    One of my all-time favorite movies!

  21. 21 Sammi

    I LOVE this movie!!! I would have to say that this is my all time favorite korean rom com movie. When it first came out I heard so many great reviews for it that I had to see it myself. Then bought the DVD when it came out. My dog chewed up the DVD case when she was a puppy so I had gone out and bought another one. It’s definitely a movie that would be enjoyed by both guys and girls. Highly recommended.

  22. 22 bd

    I have to admit that when I first watched MSG, it kinda disappointed me (thought it was decent, but nothing special) – maybe all the talk about how great it was led to too high expectations.

    But then I rewatched MSG sometime later and ended up liking it so much more – for some reason the funny parts seemed a lot funnier and the touching scenes, more emotional, where it is now “up there” on my list of favorite Korean films.

    Have to disagree w/ Only1tony about the soldier/amusement park portion of the film, it was too over-the-top and didn’t seem to really fit into the storyline.

    But yes, JJH has a super expressiive face and isn’t afraid of making silly expressions (that’s one reason why she’s so great at doing CFs).

    As for “Windstruck” (which is not a prequel as many have thought), which stars JJH and Jang Hyuk and was directed by the same director who did MSG, I’d go as far as to say the 1st half of “Windstruck” may actually be the better romcom; unfortunately, the 2nd part goes deep into meloland (making the film feel as if it were 2 separate movies).

    Another really good Korean romcom is “Singles” w/ the departed Jang Jin young in the lead role (JJY nailed the part down – a great performance by her).

    “Madeleine” starring Shin Min ah is also an underappreciated film where one can watch the effervescent, bubbly SMA prior to her Miho days (also has great music by the Korean rock band, Sugar Donut, w/ Park Jeong ah singing the lead vocals).

  23. 23 JD

    I think this is the first Korean anything I ever watched!

  24. 24 Ani

    Cha Taehyun!!!! I’ve been meaning to watch this for my love of Concubine Cha, but the time, the time. Just not enough time. Le sigh.

  25. 25 Gaeina Lee

    Dear Only1tony,

    A friend gave me the dvd few months back, haven’t watch it since I have big disappointment with JDorama’s with the same title, Ryokiteki na Kanojo~

    Now, you make me want to watch the movie after I read your review… Thank you!

  26. 26 MJ

    Did You Know?

    That My Sassy Girl had some remakes:

    1. American film titled: My Sassy Girl (2008 film)

    2. Japanese drama titled: Ryokiteki na Kanojo (Japanese television drama)

    3. Chinese film titled: My Sassy Girl 2

    4. Bollywood film titled: Ugly Aur Pagli

  27. 27 meeyu

    Yeah I agree with you guys…always love this movie.i’ve watched this like 5 years ago and still watching when the mood struck. but whenever I watch this, it always put a smile on my face.

    BTW try watching Il mare a.k.a Lake House. It was later adapted to the Hollywood movie staring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock.

    • 27.1 am

      I hate saying this but the Hollywood remake was one of the VERY few remakes I really liked. Maybe because they tied the loose ends from the original. The remake tied them really tight so the whole story, albeit a bit more commercial, made more sense.

  28. 28 Porcelain

    For lack of better vocabulary, this is the granddaddy of all Korean Rom-Com! This movie was one of the first introduction I have to all things Korean, and some headstart to some Korean Dramas too and before I got suck into K pop…and the whole Koran culture… food! fashion! make up!

    I think they are a couple of version of DVD floating out there, director cut and what not(official and non official which I had checked out, means I gotta check out some Youtube cuts), as not every version has the portion with the necklace… or the one where Gyeon Woo said to the man whom the sassy girl was to meet on a blind date and Gyeon Woo proceed to list out what the sassy girl likes or don’t like which is really touching.

    Admittedly as much as I love the movie, it can be all over the place is one have no patience to sit thru it with many of the sassy girl script writing talents. But if one sits thru, they are rewarded with the movie experience they never forget!

    Also props to Cha Tae Hyun for showing his butt (hehehe) but his fluidity from melo to comical is just jjang. And Jeon Ji Hyun who is a goddess, I really do feel her pain and her absurdity is such a loveable thing, all her scene whacking Gyeon Woo had me LOL like crazy…As for her career really sad about her decision to venture beyond Korea and returning with movie like Daisy(in recent years) which is lukewarm at best. Really like to see her on the big and if I may dare dream the small screen too… Anyone check out her Snow Flower and Secret Fan?

    I also echo other commenters, hope that only1tony will cover Windstruck coz that movie seems like a psuedo sequel which is like a prequel to the Sassy Girl. I never quite get that movie actually.

    Thanks for this. Totally a trip down memory lane…

  29. 29 MJP

    Only1Tony,

    Thanks for the movie review. I had read various synopses and always got the impression that the girl was insane, belonging in a mental institution.

    However, from your review, I get a better understanding of her character. So, Thank You!

    Also, I appreciate all the information and opinion regarding the movie as a whole. I’m still not sure if I will watch it, but I believe I have a much better understanding of the film’s content.

    • 29.1 am

      After you decide to see this movie, make sure you check out Windstruck because that sorta explains everything, kinda like a prelude that came after the sequel.

      Did I even make sense?haha!

      • 29.1.1 MJP

        Thanks, Am!

  30. 30 qwerty8

    One of my all-time favorite movies! I remember watching My Sassy Girl with my parents, and they really love it too. :)

  31. 31 Joon

    I love this movie! My friends were surprised once when I listed this among my top 20 favorite movies of all time. I agree with your observation that what makes this work is the natural chemistry and talent of the two leads. I cannot imagine anyone else acting in their place. So I know that they did really well.

    But what I really loved about this movie is the way everything ties in together. All in all, this could have been one big mess but the way the narrative links everything up is just impressive.

  32. 32 am

    This is one of the first Korean films I came across with and watched it on cable with my mom over and over again until my sister was so fed up with us watching a movie we do not understand a single word of and then I got a hold of it with subtitles and my everything Kdrama/movie related sorta kicked off from there.

    I cried buckets, I swear it was gross hahaha!

    The movie raised the bar pretty high for any romcom Korean movie. I haven’t seen anything close to it that actually made people whom I’ve suggested it to not love it and not one asking for more movie suggestions.

    Gah! I love your review! It’s like an in depth convo with a friend that’s long been waiting to happen.

    I wonder what you guys think about Hollywood remaking Old Boy. I’m pretty bummed about it.

  33. 33 Cynthia

    Congrats, only1tony – you’re batting 100% so far!
    I’m making a point of watching each of your recommendations, and haven’t been disappointed yet.

    Just finished watching MSG. Sweet, charming, hilarious, melo, and clever. Just the visual of him getting whacked in the head by the racketball over and over – let’s just say it gives a new perspective on dumb :)

    I really did like the ending, but what?! No kiss? In the entire film?! Maybe they substituted his bare butt to make us forget? Hmmm… I’ll have to ponder over this….

    Looking forward to your next review!

  34. 34 Kris

    First time to post here. I’ve been following this blog for sometime now but maybe for a shorter time than most regulars. I sort of fell out of love with K-dramas.

    Anyway, thank you for the review! I first saw this movie in 2003. Yes, that long ago. This was shown in a Korean film viewing for some school organization a friend was part of. I was just dragged into watching it but I swear it opened my world to watching foreign films especially Korean ones. They also showed ‘Friend’ that day, so it was back to back awesomesauce for me. After this, I started to watch most Korean films available – Too Beautiful to Lie, Millionaire’s First Love, 100 Days with Mr. Arrogant, My Tutor Friend, Temptation of Wolves, Old Boy, Il Mare, My Wife is a Gangster, Taegukgi, Sex is Zero etc. The earlier movies were so much fun to watch lol. Maybe because I was younger when I saw them or because I wasn’t so familiar with the K-movie styles so there wasn’t room for comparison.

    Anyway, I loved Sassy Girl then and still love it now. I’m just a sucker for rom-coms and the way this movie was made was just unique and fresh (at least back then). What I liked best about this film was the style of exposition of the plot. JJH’s character was crazy and at first I was annoyed by her. She threw up on the guy and made him go through hoops just to make her happy. Cha Taehyun’s character was all kinds of adorable and I wondered why he was putting up with all that craziness. It probably was fascination at first and some form or irreverent attraction to the strange and zany. But then you see that he falls in love with her despite or maybe because of the quirks and he seems to see much more than we, as audience, do. It’s to Cha Taehyun’s credit that he was able to make his character so lovable that I rooted for him. He’s clumsy and a bit idiotic but he’s also such a nice guy. In k-drama with romcom themes, his character would never have stood a chance with the female lead (the rule of thumb seems to be the nicer you are, the less likely female leads will notice you). Later, we find out that everything JJH’s character did had a reason. And all her strange behavior was explained pretty poignantly without going into too much melodrama. I also really liked that instead of just falling into each other’s arms and continuing their love affair, JJH’s character chose to be honest and to stay away to resolve her personal issues. It might have been a heartbreak for both since they clearly had feelings for each other then but in the long run, it would have been a hanging question in their relationship. The ending was perfect too, imo.

    Oh this was long. LOL. Anyway, thanks for the review again. Sassy Girl brings back so many memories. Hope to hear more from you. :)
    On the musical score, I’m not a fan of OSTs in general except for maybe a few songs but I don’t think I’ll ever listen to Canon in D without thinking of Sassy Girl. That’s really what stood out to me most.

  35. 35 purplebasket

    Korean romantic comedies are always fun and good. My Sassy Girl was actually one of the first I tried in the genre. There are also many other films that are memorable though full of cliches like the Beauty and the Beast, My Little Bride, Innocent Steps, My Tutor Friend and a lot more.

    However, even though rom-coms are the fastest to circulate worldwide, I think that the strength of Korean cinema does not really lie in this genre. My emotions and visuals are more engaged in other genres. My Sassy Girl is only one of the few rom-com films that really engrossed me because at that time, the idea of a sassy heroine was quite original though typical of a manhwa. :)

  36. 36 leslie (@leslieleiVIP)

    This is the first Korean movie my father watched and from then on he likes watching K movies and series hehe

  37. 37 Arhazivory

    lol…this really was a good watch. I watched it and loved it. XD

  38. 38 ajewell

    This was the very first Korean movie I ever watched, and the first one I ever bought for myself. So of course it’s a nostalgic favorite.

    My favorite part (aside from the fantastic ending, of course) was the scene when he delivered the rose. It really was cliche and embarrassing, but I just loved the music, and the fact that he’d do something so humiliating with a smile – it really was magical. Not to mention, it’s probably every girl’s dream. And for me, that was the moment when I felt their relationship could actually be special and real. Before that, it always felt like some kinda bored, weird game they were playing.

    Also, I loved all the classic-movie rehashing that went on in her stories – I actually hunted down and watched The Shower because of this film, which was equally brilliant.

    So wonderful choice for a review! I gave it 9/10 stars too!! ^_^

  39. 39 Aaabbb

    You might want to review this kmovie called “a man who was superman”, jun jihyun is in this movie too.

  40. 40 adette

    After I finished this, I noticed that the header/banner thing I see on this page says “Fate made me do it.” Lol.

    Thanks for the review :) I’ve never seen this movie, although I feel like it’s one of those movies that everyone has seen.. I figured that it was overrated (Whenever I watch dramas that are supposed to be really popular, nothing good comes of it. Like, I know Full House is a big deal but I really hated that drama. And Boys Over Flowers, too. And although I enjoyed reading samsooki’s MNIKSS recaps, I remember trying to watch that drama and not making it past the 3rd or 4th ep. Oh, and I could never get past the like, 5th episode of My Girl… popular things always disappoint me, idk.) But maybe I’ll give this one a try…

  41. 41 Sakki ^_^

    one of the best korean movie that i’ve seen . . . it’s just so different in everything and original ;) that’s why there’s a hollywood remake of it

  42. 42 maica

    one of my favorite korean movies of all time.
    This post makes me smile. Thank you!!!!!1

  43. 43 tonia

    AWWW!!! Reading this and seeing the screen caps made me want to rewatch it again. So I’m off to revisit My Sassy Girl.

  44. 44 Hope

    Fully agree with everyone that this is one of the best Korean rom-com movie. I have watched it many times and still love it. I know it well enough to fast forward to my favourite scenes.

    I also liked Il mare and the american remake, the Lake House. In the latter, the house was the star.

    Also dear only1tony

    I will be so grateful if you could review “The Classic” starring Son Ye Jin.

    Many thanks in advance

  45. 45 慧丽

    one of my fav k-movies ever. (besides, my tutor friend, so maybe you can also review it if u hv some time )… And the way u reviewed it makes me appreciate this movie once again…. And yes, its the best ending you could ever wished for a movie…. Unexpected, so sweet, it feels like that they are destined from the very beginning…. Fate!

    Not forget of how much i adore both Joen and Cha here, they are just so hilarious and as you said, a lot of funny faces alone that makes you laugh.

    I enjoyed this movie so so so much….

    And it makes me want to go home early and re watch again….

    Kudos for the nice review…

  46. 46 escritorista

    This introduced me to Korean movies! This was shown in our university as part of cultural awareness waaayyyy back :))

    The uniform scene was the classic part. It just cracked me up. True too with the two leads. Their facial reactions were the best and kudos to the ones who casted them!!!

    Though I’d say that leaving the girl nameless was a good strategy. That made the male lead emanate the feeling of distance (at the first part) to longing (as he starts to develop feelings) and loneliness/regret (when she just disappeared) to the viewers. Plus it gave the mystery and the real personification of the female character as “sassy”. But that’s just my opinion ^_^

  47. 47 Kim Yoonmi

    My Movie List would be….

    Baby and Me (Jang Geun Seok)
    내생애 최악의 남자/The Worst Guy Ever
    무영검 (無影劍)/Shadowless Sword
    여선생 vs 여제자/Love Rivals
    영어완전정복/Please Teach Me English
    도마뱀/domabaem/Love Phobic
    빈집/Bin-jip/3 Iron
    친절한 금자씨/Sympathy for Lady Vengeance
    야수와 미녀/The Beast and the Beauty
    여고과담/Yeogo goedam/Whispering Corridors
    아라한 장풍 대작전/Arahan
    번지점프를 하다 Beonjijeompeureul hada/Bungee Jumping of Their Own
    왕의 남자/Wangeui Namja/The King and The Clown
    늑대의 유혹/Temptation of Wolves
    내 여자친구를 소개합니다 Nae yeojachingureul sogae hamnida/Windstruck
    내 사랑 싸가지/Nae sarang ssagaji/100 Day With Mr. Arrogant
    에스다이어리/S Diary
    내 남자의 로맨스/How To Keep My Love
    역전에 산다/Reversal of Fortune
    미녀는 괴로워/200 Pounds of Beauty

    Yeah, I’ve been storing movies for a while.

    • 47.1 Kim Yoonmi

      Oh and Windstruck, though it doesn’t 100% fit, is sometimes called the prequel… I kind of liked that one more.

    • 47.2 noi

      how i wish jang geun seuk rewatched baby and me again and return to that normal flower boy style of him.

      T.T

  48. 48 Kaye

    Haha, first Korean anything I had encountered ever (well except for my fridge, but that’s besides the point)

  49. 49 aX

    Whew! That was a long read!

    Anyway, loved this movie! Just watched it again the other day!

  50. 50 Selcaqueen

    This will always be my most favorite Korean movie ever. I saw this back in 2004 and like most of you, it was the first Korean movie I’ve ever seen. It’s also because of this movie that I consider Jeon Jihyun as the prettiest Korean actress. I’ve been a fan of the Korean entertainment for almost 10 years now and even though I’ve seen plenty of Korean actresses and even idols, JJH still tops my list. One of the things I really love about this movie is that it revolves around only two major characters. And yes, the ending is superb.

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