Top 25 Korean Films - No. 24

My Sassy Girl (Dir. Kwak Jae-yong, 2001)

A list of best Korean films simply wouldn’t be complete without a romantic comedy and as far as those go, the King (Queen?) may well be My Sassy Girl. A sensational hit that launched Jeon Ji-hyun into the stratosphere, Kwak Jae-yong’s film features the perfect balance of all the elements the popular subgenre has become known for. Full of laughs, wacky genre twists, pathos and sweet romance, My Sassy Girl rightly charmed its way around the world 13 years ago.

By romcom standards the film is quite long (with the director’s cut clocking in at 137 minutes), but what sells it, beyond its fun vignettes and well-paced scripting, is the terrific chemistry of its stars Jeon and funnyman Cha Tae-hyun. Starting with an iconic and utterly unforgettable meet-cute, the feisty Jeon berates her potential suitor time and again, but of course his persistence eventually weans its way under her skin. Though far less polished than future outings, My Sassy Girl is for many the one they'll never forget.

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Year   2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - All Time (Top 25)

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  1. You're a brave man for committing to a list like this, Pierce, so well done for doing so. I've only seen 13 of these, and nothing from earlier than 2001, so thanks for all the recommendations too. I really need to plunder the archive's YouTube channel asap. Were it my list I think I'd have favoured NOWHERE TO HIDE over DUELIST and OLDBOY over THIRST, and definitely made room for some Kim Ki-duk - THE ISLE and 3-IRON most likely - and one more from Kim Ji-woon. Would definitely have Ryu Seung-wan's CRYING FIST in there too, but that's what makes this list yours. Nice job!

  2. no oldboy in a list of 25 ??? too much to handle

    1. Oldboy and 3 Iron were amongst the first Korean films I saw. They have stayed in my mind ever since.

      It is a shame that Oldboy isn't included. Hoping that 3 Iron is here

  3. I agree with the one's I've seen, but honestly can't believe that Welcome To Dongmakgol is not in your top 5. The cinematography is beautiful, as is the storyline. It's mixed with every human emotion that we feel, and it's truly a masterpiece. I'm confident in saying that it's my favourite movie of all time, including any movie I've seen in any language.