My Sassy Girl

My Sassy Girl is a Hollywood remake of a hugely successful Korean romantic-comedy - but it lacks the subtlety and charm of the original.

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Director: Yann Samuell.
Starring: Elisha Cuthbert, Jesse Bradford, Austin Basis

My Sassy Girl is an American remake of the 2001 Korean romantic-comedy of the same name. The original was a smash hit (so much so that it has also been remade as a Bollywood movie and a Japanese TV show), but sadly the similarity here extends only to the title and the plot.

In New York City, a business school student, Charlie (Jesse Bradford), falls for the wealthy wild child Jordan (Elisha Cuthbert), and the viewer has a ringside seat for every emotionally charged, erratic moment of their on-off relationship.

Jordan's behaviour is less sassy and more borderline disturbed as she vacillates between being a loyal and loving girlfriend and being a cruel and irrational one. Sadly, Hollywood has put the original script through the wringer. Irony and subtleties are out, goofy jokes and slapstick are in.

The characters appear clichéd and too far-fetched to believe, which is a tragedy considering both movies are based on a true story about a series of blog posts written by Kim Ho-sik, who later adapted them into a novel. On the upside, Bradford plays his part well and the viewer can't help but feel compassion for him.

As for Cuthbert, the camera clearly loves her piercing blue eyes and alabaster complexion but her acting fails to set the screen alight. One thing this film will succeed in is making you want to jump on a plane to New York. From bustling Broadway and Brooklyn Bridge to the cosy restaurants of Manhattan, the Big Apple never looked tastier.

One scene that works particularly well comes towards the end when Jordan is given some pearls of wisdom by a wise old stranger beneath a bonsai tree in Central Park on an autumnal afternoon.