But no, it will not be biased towards the movie I am reviewing (even if Song Hye Kyo is on it), but towards the series where it was based on.
My Girl And I
I don’t know if I am fortunate or unfortunate to have seen both drama and movie versions of the Japanese classic Sekaino Chuushin De, Ai Wo Sakebu (Crying Out Love At The Centre of the World) before I saw the Korean re-make, Parang Jooibo (literally means Blue Alert, but was given the English title My Girl and I). I first saw the movie and it was just ok (the theme song was great ). Then I saw the drama and it was awesome. Now I saw the Korean version, and sad to say, it suffered in comparison to the first two I saw.
My Girl And I took more elements from the drama than the movie. The high-school-friends-bonding element is there, which was dealt more in the drama. But the problem with My Girl and I is, they tried to cram 11 episodes of Sekaino in the less-than-two-hours running time that the side-stories became disjointed and pointless. Saku (the main male character in Sekaino)’s grandpa’s story was actually a pivotal part as it molded Saku’s views about love and coping with losing your love one. In My Girl and I, you can completely take out the grandpa’s story and it won’t affect the movie as a whole. The love angle between Su-Ho (Cha Tae Hyun)’s sister and the judo player was nothing more than comic relief (though it was effective to some point).
But the main issue I have with My Girl and I is that it wasn’t effective in presenting the Su-Ho character. In Sekaino (especially in the drama version), you can completely understand why Saku was not able to forget his first love and why he wasn’t able to cope with the loss even after a few years had passed. And when he got closure, you, as a spectator, also felt his release. In this movie, I had a lot of ‘huh?’ moments. So his closure was accidentally discovering what she wrote in her diary and seeing those seeds that she had planted (as written in her diary) had bloomed? Er… okay…
But in all fairness, this movie is not a total dud. If you haven’t seen any version of Sekaino, I think you wouldn’t feel as lacking as I did. I also have to commend the lead actors for a splendid job. Cha Tae Hyun, as always, is an effective comedian. His dramatic skills are not to be ignored, either. I think there’s something about comedians that once you see them crying, you’d end up crying, too. And of course, the very lovely Song Hye Kyo. Gosh, she looks absolutely breathtaking here. My only gripe about her looks is that her face looks like an 18-year-old, but her body isn’t (I guess we can blame her 34Cs? hehe). Of course, her acting is still as good as always.
The visuals are also superb, particularly the beach and underwater scenes (I’m not just saying that coz it was filmed in my country. hehe). The colors were marvelously captured.
I should also mention that I now know why a certain someone was close to chomping off his nails while watching this movie.
All in all, if only for the main stars’ acting chops and the excellent cinematography, I’d still recommend this movie. Don’t expect too much from it, though, especially if you have seen the dorama.