Saturday, February 8, 2014

Movie Review - "Miss Granny" Learns About Love and the Value of Family

Something really cool happened about a week ago! I got to write a movie review for the Korean pop culture website Soompi! This is the part of the post where you get to ooo and ahh. Go ahead, I'll give you a minute.

How this came about is at KCON last August, Becca, Autumn, and I went to the blogging/vlogging/social media panel. After the panel Autumn went up and spoke to the representative from Soompi and gave her one of the cards that she made for us.

Fast forward a few months and they sent us - or me rather since I have been abandoned - to let us know that they looked at the blog and we were not forgotten. A few more months later I was asked to review the movie Miss Granny that was going to be shown in some US theaters.

And there you have it, the story of how I am now slightly cooler than I was a week ago. So here's the review!

As people age, they tend to look back on their younger years with more fondness, thinking about what might have been and showing pride at what they have been able to accomplish. Getting older also brings the fear that as we age, we become a burden to those around us. This is exactly what 74 year old Oh Mal Soon (Na Moon Hee) worries about in the movie “Miss Granny.

When her daughter-in-law Ae Ja becomes sick, the family decides to send Mal Soon to a nursing home so Ae Ja can recover without the stress she feels from her mother-in-law. Feeling dejected, Mal Soon stumbles upon the Forever Young Portrait Studio. Little does she realize, when she exits the studio she really has become younger, by about 50 years!

After her panic attack has subsided – and really, can anyone blame her? – she does what any self respecting woman would do, go on a shopping spree! With her new young body, she can’t go around with ahjumma hair and ill-fitting clothes; it’s makeover time! She also changes her name to Oh Doo Ri (Shim Eun Kyung), after Audrey Hepburn.

Even though Mal Soon may have the body of a 20 year old, she still acts like a 74 year old, calling grown men “lad”, patting people on the bum, and telling a woman on the subway that her baby has diarrhea because she has watery breast milk. I’m sure you can imagine how well that went over. She also spends time at the café that she used to work at, which causes some confusion as to why there is a young woman in a café for seniors.

While there, Doo Ri gets onstage and begins to sing. As she is singing, she is noticed by a music station producer named Han Seung Woo (Lee Jin Wook) who falls in love with both her voice and her odd charm. She also manages to catch the attention of her grandson Ji Ha (B1A4‘s Jinyoung). Awkward. 

For all the BANA’s out there, this is Jinyoung’s acting debut and while he didn’t knock my socks off, it was certainly better than his confusing display of emotions in the “Baby I’m Sorry” music video. I was also a little (a lot) put off by the heavy metal hair and makeup he was rocking at the beginning of the movie. He is far too pretty to be pretending he is a member of KISS.

After hearing Doo Ri sing, Ji Ha asks her to be the new vocalist in his band and Seung Woo makes it his mission to find the mysterious girl that sang so well in the café. He finally finds her again on the subway as she speaks very loudly about the different kinds of breast milk and its effects on baby’s poo.

When they get off the train, instead of going up and talking to her like a normal person, he stalks her as she walks home. All is going well until she disappears after turning a corner. He didn’t actually lose her though, she was fully aware that she was being followed.

So, being a strong independent woman, she threatened him with the most dangerous thing that she was carrying: a fish.

As the story progresses Doo Ri’s secret is discovered by her neighbor, and the man who loves her, Mr. Park (Park In Hwan). They also are able to find a way that might reverse what has happened to her, but when Mr. Park asks if she wants to return back, she doesn’t have an answer. She must decide between the new life she is creating and the people that she loves as Doo Ri or her old life and family as Mal Soon.

While I wasn’t terribly surprised with anything that happened in the story and the ending had a few holes, it was really enjoyable. It was fun to watch an old woman get a second chance at youth and learn that family is the most important thing that we have.

~ Alora 

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