Movie Review: My Sassy Girl (2001)

Gyun-woo (Cha Tae-hyun) and The Girl (Jun Ji-hyun) fall in love in My Sassy Girl. Their story is, to say the least, unusual, yet it oddly makes sense. The hijinks and tomfoolery that these two creatures are beyond description. Most importantly, their characteristics match so well that you would assume they were fated to meet, or at the very least, act together.

This 2001 collaboration of Cha Tae-hyun and Jun Ji-hyun is ridiculously great. The chemistry is undeniable, and that is what makes the film so pleasurable to watch. Already a classic romantic comedy film – it is often difficult to find a duo of actors who complement each other both comically and emotionally. It is the chemistry between these actors that elevated this film to new heights. When they’re together, and mischief ensues, the tormentor/tormented dynamic is hilarious; nevertheless, when the reality of sadness and hardship is evident, the warmth and heartfelt feeling for each other is so palpable that you feel their agony as well.

I can honestly say that I don’t have a favorite character because they both have good and negative traits that complement each other so nicely. Gyun-woo is a typical young man who prefers a “particular type of woman” and mostly desires a girlfriend. The trouble is that he is a momma’s boy, clumsy and awkward, but most importantly, he has a big heart. The Sassy Girl is exactly what her name suggests: sarcastic, self-righteous, strange, heartbroken, and unusual. She’s attempting to conquer something emotionally that we won’t learn about until the conclusion, but you can tell it’s causing her a lot of suffering.

Because she is so uninhibited, The Girl is clever and entertaining. She will point out a stranger’s wrongdoings and assist others when necessary. She is a bad drinker who enjoys hitting people, or perhaps I should say she enjoys hitting Gyun-woo. Gyun-woo is a wimp who doesn’t want to stand out. He is a typical male student, but the way his mind works is simply lovely. I adore both of these characters, and I must say that both Cha Tae-hyun and Jun Ji-hyun did an outstanding job.

The plot is quite clear – with the meeting, dating, splitting up, and finding each other again years later. The build-up to these points, on the other hand, takes on a new and thrilling context.

As we learn, the snarky teenager enjoys writing intricate novels in which the protagonist is invariably a kick-butt. The feisty girl forces Gyun-woo to read these stories (the alternative is death), so we get to see some hilarious and intricate dreaming sequences, as depicted above. I swear I didn’t expect to witness humor, romance, action, and a period piece all in one film, but My Sassy Girl manages it.

This film seems to go into some really interesting life topics for a romantic comedy. The concept of adulthood is one of the most unexpected things to emerge. When we first met Gyun-woo, he was a little childish. He didn’t have a plan for the future, and he didn’t care what it held. He didn’t care about anything at first, but as time passed, he discovered that he cared a lot for the spunky girl, and as a result, he began to think about his future, what he would be, and how he might improve himself for her. For him, this signifies the transition from infancy to maturity.

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