Stephens, J, & Lee, S n.d., ‘Transcultural Adaptation of Feature Films: South Korea’s My Sassy Girl and its Remakes’, Adaptation-The Journal Of Literature On Screen Studies, 11, 1, pp. 75-95, Arts & Humanities Citation Index, EBSCOhost, viewed 24 August 2018.
In this article, Stephens and Lee discuss the topic of transcultural appropriation in feature films by using the example of the Korean film ‘That Bizzare Girl’ (although more commonly know as ‘My Sassy Girl’) and comparing it to each of its remakes and adaptations. Stephens and Lee compare the original film both to its Korean sequel and other transnational remakes. Stephens and Lee make the point that when the original ‘My Sassy Girl’ “was released locally in South Korea, the box office success of My Sassy Girl exceeded that of Titanic, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.” The reason this film resonated so much with the Korean audience was that it was a modern retelling of popular folktales the ‘Gyeonu and Jiknyeo’ and ‘Fool Ondal and Princess Pyeonggang.’ This is why the focus of Stephen and Lee’s article concerns the folktale context of ‘My Sassy Girl’ and how this was translated into other cultures. Whilst Stephen and Lee highly allude to the fact that the folktale content of ‘My Sassy Girl’ was translated better in other south-east Asian remakes than it was in Hollywood through many examples, this point is not explicitly made.
John Liu M, n.d, My Sassy Girl Lost in Hollywood’s Translation, Goldsea Asian American Perspectives, viewed 25 August 2018, http://goldsea.com/Text/index.php?id=3299
In this article, John Liu discusses the unsuccessful American remake of the Korean film ‘My Sassy Girl.’ John Liu discusses this topic whilst also bringing to light the issue of Westernisation. He makes this clear in his opening statement by saying; “There’s an idea that some of us subconsciously subscribe to that goes a little something like this: the rest of the world might have something mildly interesting going on here or there but the West is the center of the world and anything Westernized is automatically better.” By addressing the issue of Westernization within this film review John Liu is bringing to light the issue of not giving Eastern cinema, specifically Korean cinema the credit that it’s due. He is trying to break the double standard between Western and Eastern film where Hollywood can seemingly “put the best-looking actors with the best directors and screenwriters [and are] almost guaranteed international success!” John Liu deepens this argument by making specific references to the lack of care that Hollywood put into the Americanised remake. For example, the element of fantasy that Hollywood saturated the remake in, whereas the original was purposefully made to seem like a real story because it was based off a true story. Secondly, the female lead in the American remake was depicted as deranged rather than as sassy. John Liu further makes the point that in American culture, men typically wouldn’t continue dating a woman who causes so much physical, verbal and emotional abuse as this caharcter does without being sexually satisfied. Without keeping the significance, and motifs of the original film, and without then choosing to change some of these cultural themes to suit an American audience, the remake of My Sassy Girl essentially becomes just another poorly made romantic comedy.