A thematic sequel to the original hit 2001 Korean may have be noteworthy due to the script being written by the original storyteller himself, Kim Ho-Sik. However, the flavor of the film doesn’t seem to match the original yet it does have its moments.
Jianyu is a hapless bookstore owner who on the day he plans to propose to his longtime girlfriend, gets dumped instead. She has grown tired of him and his simplistic ways and wants more spontaneity, therefore wanting a new relationship. Feeling useless, Jianyu attempts to kill himself but accidentally knocks himself out. It is then he meets Shengzhen, a young woman who like Jianyu, has failed miserably in love. She has learned her ex-boyfriend, Yang Guo, is planning to get married and she wants to ruin it with Jianyu’s help.
As if Shengzhen isn’t enough, her little sister Yongzhen is having love issues of her own. Always letting everything get to her, she takes her aggression out by becoming a tae kwon do instructor. There, she meets Zhikai, a loser waiter who couldn’t find love on his worst day. However, as Zhikai continues to take the class, Zhikai finds himself attracted to Yongzhen, who wants to find someone for who she is. Will Shengzhen get her wish to destroy the wedding when Jianyu begins to fall for her and will Zhikai accept Yongzhen for who she is and perhaps, be the answer to end her aggressive manner?
With My Sassy Girl being a groundbreaking Korean romantic comedy like no other, the film would first spawn remakes in the United States, India, Nepal, and in the Telugu language. After a 2008 Japanese drama series adaptation, Mainland China would get the help of the orginal storyteller, Kim Ho-Sik, to create a thematic sequel to the original film. With the help of collaborator Choi Seok-Min, the story actually follows not just one, but in this case, two “sassy girls” within a 90-minute time limit.
The two “sassy girls” in this case are sisters who are just aggressive towards their potential suitors. In the case of Lynn Hung’s Shengzhen, she is so hurt by her ex-boyfriend’s impending marriage that she hires hapless loser Jianyu, played with goofiness at times by Singaporean idol Leon Jay Williams, to help her but at the same time, act like a punching bag when she is at her maddest. While that is the main focus of the film, the major secondary story involves Shengzhen’s little sister Yongzhen, played by Abby Fung. She is more reminiscent of the original sassy girl Gianna Jun in terms of attitude. Yongzhen is a tae kwon do instructor with clear anger issues and she finds a suitor in a new student, a poor waiter named Zhikai, played with hysterics at time by TV show host He Jiong. What is shocking is that the chemistry between Fung and He seems more believable than that of Hung and Williams. Perhaps it would make more sense is Yongzhen and Zhikai were the main characters rather than the other two.
My Sassy Girl 2 lacks the charm of the original film and it seems like there should be a reversal as to who the main characters should be. However, there are some light-hearted moments and some funny scenes that make this a little bit watchable.
WFG RATING: C-
An Eastern Mordor Pictures production. Director: Joe Ma. Writers: Choi Seok-Min and Kim Ho-Sik.
Cast: Lynn Hung, Leon Jay Williams, He Jiong, Abby Fung, Bosco Wong, Zhang Jiang, Hui Shiu-Hung.