Pointless sequel to iconic romantic comedy

Victoria Song and Cha Tae Hyun (both above) star in My New Sassy Girl.
Victoria Song and Cha Tae Hyun (both above) star in My New Sassy Girl.PHOTO: CLOVER FILMS

REVIEW / ROMANTIC COMEDY

MY NEW SASSY GIRL (PG)

100 minutes/Opens tomorrow/1/5 stars

The story: Gyeon Woo (Cha Tae Hyun) finds it hard to move on after he is dumped by his girlfriend. By chance, he bumps into his childhood sweetheart (Victoria Song), who may be the only chance for him to believe in romance again.

South Korean actor Cha Tae Hyun must be rather hard-up for money to take on this pointless sequel to his hit 2001 film, My Sassy Girl.

The original movie - which has become a cultural icon in South Korea and many other parts of East Asia and made a superstar out of its female lead Gianna Jun - was always going to be a tough act to follow.

But the new story is so weak that it cannot even work on its own as mindless entertainment.

Worst of all, it makes a mockery of the film whose coattails it is riding on: With Jun missing from the cast, the sequel relies on the flimsiest of excuses to explain her absence - she breaks up with him to become a Buddhist monk.

To fans of the original movie, which sincerely sold the idea of the destiny of true love, this is heresy that robs the earlier work of all significance and meaning.

It is tantamount to making a new Bridget Jones movie without Bridget Jones in it, or maybe even like a new Star Wars movie saying: "Luke Skywalker? Nah, he wasn't really the one."

With Jun no longer around, in comes China-born singer-turned- actress Victoria Song, who was clearly cast in this China-South Korea co-production to appeal to the Chinese market.

The bubbly star, a member of South Korean pop girl group f(x), tries all she can to recreate Jun's spunkiness, mimicking her pouts and semi-violent tendencies by slapping and kicking Cha around.

But her attempts just feel like a cheap imitation of Jun.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 11, 2016, with the headline 'Pointless sequel to iconic romantic comedy'. Print Edition | Subscribe