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Fox Home Entertainment presents

My Sassy Girl (2008)

ďThis is the story of the first and last time I ever fell in love.Ē- Charlie Bellow (Jesse Bradford)

Stars: Jesse Bradford, Elisha Cuthbert
Other Stars: Chris Sarandon
Director: Yann Samuell

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for (language, thematic material, and some sexual content)
Run Time: 01h:35m:19s
Release Date: 2008-08-26
Genre: romantic comedy

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer


DVD Review

It seems like at least half of Hollywoodís output these days are in the form of remakes of foreign films. While most are horror films or thrillers, we do also get the occasional drama or romantic comedy remake as well. The latest of these is an Americanization of the 2001 Korean movie My Sassy Girl, a film thatís been called one of, if not the best, of that countryís romantic comedy efforts. The Hollywood version has, naturally, been changed for American audiences, and features two up-and-coming young actors and an unknown director. Unfortunately, Fox had no confidence in the marketability of the picture, and are keeping it out of theaters and sending it straight to DVD.

Charlie Bellow (Jesse Bradford) has come to New York City from French Lick, Indiana to pursue a business career as a corporate Tiller King representative. His career aspirations are slowed down a bit thanks to a chance encounter with Jordan Roarke (Elisha Cuthbert), who he finds drunk and nearly unconscious at a subway station. Charlie is able to get Jordan home to her wealthy doctor father (Chris Sarandon) but it isnít long before these ďfriendsĒ are hanging out with each other non-stop. Jordan is easily the nuttiest girl Charlie has ever met, and once he sees past her overwhelming quirkiness, and embraces it, they just might become more than just friends.

On the surface, and after the first half-hour, my opinion of the movie couldnít have been a worse one. For starters, thereís an incredibly annoying sequence involving a taxi ride. The director utilizes an shrill gimmick that has the cab speeding along the road in a search for Jordanís house, with each and every stop they make taking place in a super sped-up mode. While this is bad enough, the speed-up technique is repeated at least a few times during the film, and is a huge distraction each and every time.

Itís constantly hinted at as to just how crazy Jordan might be, but the first time it becomes clearly evident isnít until around the 40 minute mark. The problem is that the context of the scene in which it happens is so crucial to Charlieís career aspirations that Jordanís behavior is borderline disturbing and far from believable. For much of this period of the movie, itís easy to mistake this for a remake of the Drew Barrymore vehicle Mad Love than the aforementioned Korean film, but then, all of a sudden, I realized I had been duped, and in a good way.

Despite all of these shortcomings, this turns out to be a real punch-in-the-gut, revelation of a movie, thoroughly enjoyable and heartfelt. Once the director toned down the unnecessary stylistic touches, I realized that I was truly enamored with both of these characters and truly cared about what was going to happen to them. Letís just say that there was one less box of tissues in the house by the time the end credits were rolling. While most comparisons between this remake and the original go on about how tonally different the two are, I believe that if you havenít seen the original (I havenít), youíll probably appreciate the American version as much as I do. At worst, giving the U.S. My Sassy Girl a chance will make you want to see the Korean original even moreÖ I know I do.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The film is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and the images are sharp and detailed. The colors are rich and vibrant, with no bleeding or blemishes, while the shadows and black levels are well-handled. Dirt and grain are fortunately kept to a minimum as well.

Image Transfer Grade: B

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track is nothing spectacular but does make decent use of the surrounds. The score is typical romantic comedy fare, but itís nicely mixed in with the crisp, clear dialogue and other audio elements.

Audio Transfer Grade:

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
2 Other Trailer(s) featuring What Happens in Vegas, Picture This
Packaging: Keep Case
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The only extras on this disc are a pair of previews for other Fox Home Entertainment releases.

Extras Grade: F

Final Comments

The Hollywood remake of South Koreaís My Sassy Girl is as schizophrenic as one of its main characters appears to be. If you can get past a hard-to-watch first half, youíll be rewarded with an emotional experience thatíll have even the most macho guy at least a little choked up. Foxís DVD is a decent one, with nice audio and video presentations, but nothing in the way of extra features.

Chuck Aliaga 2008-08-25