Miss Granny (2014)
Director: Hwang Dong-hyuk
Screenplay: Shin Dong-ik, Dong Hee-sun, Hong Yun-jung, Hwang Dong-hyuk
Cast: Shim Eun-kyeong, Na Moon-hee, Jin Young, Park In-hwan
I wasn’t really very interested in the premise but when I found out the main actress was also in Sunny (a past Fantasia favourite) I decided to give it a shot. The story is, as you can easily predict, about a grandmother who magically turns into her 20 year old self after taking a funeral portrait at the ominously named Forever Young Photo Studio. Her 20 year old self takes up singing and even strikes up a potential romance but because of her sudden transformation she avoids her family who think she’s possibly been kidnapped.
The types of laughs you can expect are pretty obvious as well. Seeing a young person dress, talk and act like a grandmother works pretty effectively for comedy. The ideas for jokes are almost endless but it also hinges on the acting and without a doubt the actress totally sells it. There are some jabs a Kpop but nothing original. The more dramatic and emotional moments are much less effective and often bog down the movie. It’s also hard to say whether any of the characters really learned anything at all. The scenes are just so predictable, which is the main weakness of this film. We can pretty much see the climax and resolution way before it happens. On the plus side, the singing scenes do work on an emotional level and the movie ends with a nice callback. There’s also a cameo at the end that had the fangirls screaming so I can only assume that guy at the end is some popular young idol entertainer that I’ve never seen.
This is worth a watch with the Fantasia audience but probably much less entertaining watching it alone. I guess it depends on the person and expectations; there are a decent number of laughs but overall I didn’t find the jokes to be as creative as they could’ve been given the premise. However, I must applaud Shim Eun-kyeong’s performance because she definitely holds the whole film together.