My Sassy Girl
By CAINE GARDNER
"My Sassy Girl" is a deceptive little flick.
At first glance it seemed little more than a vehicle for two young Hollywood actors to get their faces out there. What evolved as the film progressed was a sweet, sometimes brutal (literally) comedy that had more substance than expected.
After an drunken almost accident in the subway brings their lives together, straight-laced Charlie Bellow (Jesse Bradford) has his life turned upside down by the spirited Jordan Roark (Elisha Cuthbert). What ensues is a big laugh comedy that showcases the talents of two up-and-coming stars.
"My Sassy Girl" is a remake of a Korean film of the same name, which was based on a series of graphic novels by Kim Ho-sik. The original film went on to become the highest-grossing comedy in Korean box office history.
The American remake is directed by Yann Samuell, whose other film is the French comedy "Jeux d'enfants" (aka "Love Me if You Dare").
Cuthbert is who makes this flick work. Her character, Jordan, is every girl that a guy would be afraid to meet, but couldn't resist once he had.
Like the film's log line says, "She's beautiful, smart, funny … and totally crazy."
Cuthbert's screen presence is wonderful. Her ability to make the viewer fall in love with an abrasive, yet venerable young woman seems effortless.
When her moment comes to shine, she will almost blind you.
Her counterpart Bradford is also pleasant in the role of Charlie, the small town boy from the great state of Indiana.
Born in French Lick, he's transposed to New York to study business in hopes of landing his dream job with the Tiller King.
Bradford is an actor to watch with solid performances in "Swimfan" and "Flags of our Fathers."
Once their lives are brought together, nothing is the same, which results in one of the funniest pieces of dialog in the film.
After Jordan removes Charlie from a class/seminar with the Tiller King rep, he describes the beginning of their relationship.
"Sometimes you start relationships and sometimes they start you. That's how ours began, the way true love generally beings -- with drunkenness, imprisonment and the destruction of a lifelong dream."
I'm sure more than a few people can relate to that.
The film is a sugary sweet comedy about two unlikely people falling in love, one more openly than the other, but when the flick begins to wind down, things become much more serious.
We finally learn what has spurred Jordan's self-destructive behavior and the scene where she's screaming her feelings to Charlie is top notch.
The film's payoff even caught me off-guard. I expected things to fall into place, but the talent in this film hid it so well, I actually experience that 'Ah-Ha' moment audiences and filmmakers dream of.
Final Cut: The film works on so many levels it's a shame that certain scenes jolt to viewer out of this hilarious romp. I am by no means a huge fan of this type of film, but with delightful performances from Bradford, and especially Cuthbert, it's hard not to like this flick.
2.5 out of 4 stars
My Sassy Girl
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language, thematic material and some sexual content.
Starring: Elisha Cuthbert, Jesse Bradford
Directed by: Yann Samuell