Crappy Date is one of our seasonal Periodicals, temporarily standing in for Tuesday Terribles, created because of our love for Asian cinema and the fact that it’s February and March – the months of Valentine’s Day and White Day.
What we’ll do with Happy Date is recommend romantic films to NOT watch for your date. After all, we want to warn you what movies will make her not want to call you back.
Crappy Date will be slightly different from Tuesday Terribles, in that we will have fun with it and tell you why each film is a bad idea to watch for your date, and what you can expect out of making each selection.
So without further adieu, let’s get going! Have a Happy Valentine’s Day and White Day, everyone!
This week’s Crappy Date: My Sassy Girl 2
My Sassy Girl 2
Alternate Title: 我的野蛮女友2
My Sassy Girl 2
Original Title: Wo De Ye Man Nu You 2
Main Cast:Lynn Hung
Leon Jay Williams
- While the movie is dubbed “The Chinese version of My Sassy Girl“, the movie actually takes place in both China and Korea.
- The movie stars Hong Kong model Lynn Hung and Taiwanese model Abby Feng.
- Original My Sassy Girl writers Choi Seok Min and Kim Ho Sik also helped create the script.
- Eurasian and Singaporean actor Leon Jay Williams is the lead male actor.
- As one can imagine, the movie did not fare well at the box office, nor with its legion of fans of the original Korean ones.
Jianyu (Leon Jay Williams) goes into his favorite restaurant and waits for his long time girlfriend, FiFi. He plans to propose to her at their usual, special table. However, he finds a stranger, Shangzhen (Lynn Hung) sitting at his usual spot. After Jianyu unsuccessfully asks her to switch tables, he moves to another table and waits for his fiance-to-be.
Yet, the proposal never happens – Fifi never comes. Instead, she tells him that they need to talk via text. The next day, his girlfriend breaks up with him, saying that he is too predictable and always goes to the same places with her. He sees a new guy with her and realizes that she has been cheating on him.
Depressed, Jianyu goes to a shooting range with the intent of committing suicide. After misfiring on a rifle and badly missing the target – himself – he sees Shangzhen from the restaurant earlier, telling him not to kill himself.
She later tells him that she, too, was dumped by her soon-to-be fiance, Yang Guo (Bosco Wong), for another girl. Turns out her former love was a playboy and cheated behind her back too. But rather than forgetting about him, she has revenge on her mind. As Jianyu has nowhere to go, Shangzhen offers him a place at her home.
The only catch: he has to help her ruin the lives of Shangzhen’s ex-boyfriend and fiance.
With nothing to lose, he agrees, expecting to learn more about her. What Jianyu didn’t expect to learn is about sassiness, love, and life at the same time.
Any girl that’s seen the original Korean classic will instantly be thrilled to watch anything that comes remotely close to the 2001 hit. Sadly, the Chinese portrayal comes as close as hitting the moon with a slingshot and rock.
Before getting into the movie, we first have to talk about pre-expectations.
It sounds unfair to say this, but here goes: the movie felt destined for failure from the start. Right or not, fans will instantly compare this movie to the original. Since the Jun Ji-hyun film was instantly hailed as a must-see, the bar for the Chinese, Lynn Hung-led version had a nearly impossible bar to overcome. Anything not even close to perfection is doomed to be considered a failure.
With that being said, I will admit straight up that I will be doing some comparisons myself. It’s not to say “Hey, this should have been in the Chinese version, because the Korean version had it.” Rather, the Korean version just did so many things right.
For me, I wasn’t expecting this to be better than the original; films like that come once in a blue moon. Hell, if the film was even 50% of the original, I could have considered it a smashing success. But the only thing the film smashed was any hope for a solid, follow-up to the Korean cult classic anytime soon.
One of the biggest problems in the film is that the romance felt forced. In the film, there are actually two on-going relationships: the one with Shengzhen and Jianyi and the one with Shengzhen’s cousin, Yongzhen (Abby Feng) and Zhikai (He Jiong).
Rather than show a natural progression from broken-hearted to ready to mingle, it felt more like speed dating. This is especially the case with Shengzhen’s cousin, Yongzhen, and her beau Zhikai. Their relationship was so fast that if you blinked, you would have probably missed their first kiss, marriage, and honeymoon as well.
The two meet at at a Taekwondo studio, with Yongzhen being the teacher and Zhikai the student. One day, he confesses to her in the locker room. The very next day, they become a couple. The student-to-boyfriend “transition” took only ten minutes in the movie. Compare that to the Korean version, where the movie takes a good two hours to flesh out both characters and their background, and you feel a bit cheated yourself.
As for the main couple, Shengzhen and Yongzhen, there was no depth to their story. Yongzhen never wondered how Shengzhen ticked, why she was sassy, or her hopes and dreams. In the original, we learn that the girl was getting over her dead fiance and forced Gyun-woo (Cha Tae-hyun) to act like her former boyfriend. She wanted to become a movie writer and obsessed about time travel. Now compare that development to Yongzhen. He was basically Shengzhen’s slave, wasn’t curious about her at all, and just followed every command to a tee.
Shengzhen’s character development was just as hollow. In fact, it really just came down to one thing: revenge. Now, this angle wouldn’t have been so bad if it had a higher purpose other than getting back at someone. But her story line simply consisted of gags and embarrassing situations to ruin her ex-boyfriend. In fact, when the film’s credits finally rolls, you know as much about her as you did when the movie started.
The actors admittedly did a decent job in their roles. Lynn Hung worked with what she had – namely, a horrible script, but didn’t really show the sassiness until the second half of the movie. Leon Jay Williams and He Jiong were also good sports about being the butt of all the jokes during the movie. Bosco Wong was a bright spot, as the playboy, former boyfriend of Shengzhen. He played a cool and calm personality that wanted no part of her ex-girlfriend.
The real star of the film was Taiwanese model Abby Feng. She was quite adorable, bubbly and played up her brash attitude and temper problems throughout the film.
Watching this movie with your date may get some laughs and chuckles here and there, but they’ll probably will get mad too. But behind the gags and slapstick comedy, your date will soon realize the story was void of anything real and the characters were full of fluff.
On a final note, I’d like to take some positives from this movie, even if it does make for a Crappy Date. After all, I’d like to think I’m a positive guy. So for the fans of beautiful ladies, Lynn Hung and Abby Feng definitely live up to their model status, as seen below.
Watch this movie if…
… you want to see what a My Sassy Girl sequel is without good writing.