Thursday, October 30, 2008


When I first heard that Hollywood was going to remake “Yeopgijeogin Geunyeo” (My Sassy Girl), the only thing going through my mind was, “What a complete waste of an idea. It will not translate well into English” After seeing the film, It did not translate well at all and it went straight to video in the USA, where it deserves never to be seen ever again. Welcome to the failure of Yann Samuell’s, “My Sassy Girl”

If I have to state one reason why this film ultimately fails is that the Korean culture and the USA culture are so different that when you try and literally put the Korean into the American, the audience can not and will not respond to it as the Korean will. I have had 2 Canadian friends of mine both tell me that, “Yeopgijeogin Geunyeo” is one of their all-time favorite Korean films; mainly because it had the spark and that they believed the story. When they both saw the remake they both explained that Hollywood had failed to understand and grasp what make it work for them the first time.

For those of you who never saw “Yeopgijeogin Geunyeo” the plot’s simple enough. The film is based on a series of true stories posted on the internet by Ho-sik Kim describing his relationship with his girlfriend. His posting were later made into a book and then a movie about his girlfriend. It describes the meeting of Kyun-woo (Cha) and an unnamed girl. He’s shamed into assisting the girl because the other passengers mistakenly think she is his girlfriend. Once he helps her, he develops a deep sense of responsibility and honor and love towards her which enables him to somehow tolerate the girls’ abuses towards him.

Now in Korea, it’s so unusual for a girl to talk back and to actually strike a man, which the audience was in shock but they soon liked what they called, “The Sassy Girl”. The film occupied the top spot at the Korean box office for six weeks back in 2001, selling 4.8 million tickets and has been shown on VCD and DVD around the world. When Hollywood was looking at new ideas back in 2002, the remake rights were sold to DreamWorks for $750,000 plus 4 percent of the worldwide gross. I hope that the production company, Shin Cine, was not counting on a huge US box office because it ain’t happening. After testing horribly for the audiences, the film was released straight-to-DVD, For a film budgeted at around $30 Million (US) This will prove to be a huge money loser.

With the American remake, I didn’t feel any sympathy for neither Charlie nor Jordan, the main characters in the film. The only people I really felt sorry for was the audience that had to waste good money of this. As I stated earlier, it tried to make Korea into the USA and it just did not work. For a love story gone wrong, the audience has to feel sorry for someone not the one watching this.

I usually joke in some of my reviews that, “I see the crap so you do not have to.” Well I have seen this crap and please, for the love of any money that you would like to save, please pass on this film at all cost.

Grade F-

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i think you are was not that romantic unlike on the original Korean version...