Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Go Go Sister (Korea 2007)

Go Go Sister (언니가 간다) is an unoriginal comedy that manages to do nothing remotely interesting, and worse yet...makes time travel seem boring! I'm sorry to say that I have nothing exciting to report folks. For those who bore easily, proceed with caution.

Na Jung-ju's (So-young Ko) first love growing up, Jo Hani (Jung-min Kim), grows up to be a pop-star sensation all across Korea. In high school, he burned her pretty bad during a performance at the school's big talent show, where he was going to announce the name of the woman he loves during his final song. Jung-ju was crushed when her name wasn't the one he called out. Now that they're adults, Jo Hani has moved on, but Jung-ju still hasn't gotten over him and how he did her wrong so many years ago. Oh Tae-hoon (Beom-su Lee) is the nerdy, but loveable guy that was always in love with Jung-ju when they were in high school, but never got his chance because of Jo Hani. Oh Tae-hoon comes back into Jung-ju's life by accident, would love nothing more than to get his shot with his first love. His chances might be better than ever now that he's made quite a name for himself and went on to become the CEO of a multi-million dollar company. Jin Seon-mi (Ji-young Ok) is Jung-ju's friend and co-worker, who also happens to have a snobby, materialistic side that shows itself at the most inappropriate times. By coincidence, Jo Hani meets Jung-ju at her job, and he no longer recognizes the girl he once dated back in high school. The chance encounter with Jo Hani, as well as a nightmare of a dinner-date with Tae-hoon, was more than enough to ruin Jung-ju's day. However, the most depressing part is yet to come as she arrives home only to realize that it's also the anniversary of her mother's passing. After falling asleep feeling miserable, she wakes up and notices a strange message on her laptop. It asks her if she would like to go back in time, to before everything started going wrong in her day. Jung-ju experiments with the laptops new feature and notices that she can also jump to various other important moments throughout her life thus far. With her new ability, Jung-ju goes back to 1994 when she first met young Jo Hani (Jung-mun Lee) in high school, and tries to convince her younger self (An Jo) that Jo Hani is not the kind of guy she should be with. She tells her high school self that they're cousins and her name is Alice. The goal is to get young Jung-ju together with young Tae-hoon (Geon Yu), because Tae-hoon has always been in love with her and would never do anything to hurt her.

Young Tae-hoon, thanks to Alice, is more determined than ever to win over young Jung-ju's heart. The trouble is, Alice/Jung-ju starts to realize that changing the past isn't as simple a task as she thought it would be, and maybe things turned out the way they did for a reason.

Does any of this sound familiar? The main thing going through my head was, "hasn't this woman ever seen Back to the Future?". I'm going to go off on a nerd tangent here, because everyone who's ever thought about this scenario knows that you can never change the past no matter how tempting it may be. If you do, it either results in chaos for the future, or it just doesn't work at all. For the most part, in Go Go Sister, it's more of the latter. Whenever Jung-ju tries to change something, the situation ends up the same no matter what. Aside from the stupidity, or I should say naivety, of our protagonist, this story has been done to death. As we all know, in cases such as these, it's necessary to look for anything minutely original or interesting to deviate from the worn-out formula. The most annoying part of the story was how they introduced time travel to Jung-ju. Through a laptop? It was completely out-of-nowhere. So did anything worthy of mentioning happen? No, not really. So-young Ko gave a "cute" performance as Jung-ju, and the child actors were all on-point, but watching Beom-su Lee as Tae-hoon really made his performance in My Wife is a Gangster 3 seem stellar by comparison. It's also necessary for me to mention that Go Go Sister is a lot like the American film, 13 Going on 30 with Jennifer Garner, but minus the humor and the charm. I know one is a girl wishing to be 30, and the other is a 30 year old wishing to change her teenage years, but the similarities are there.

In fact, that's how I'll end this review, by recommending you watch 13 Going on 30 if you're even tempted to watch Go Go Sister. I know it's not Asian cinema, but it's almost the same movie and I promise you it's far more entertaining. (Lee)

Grade: F


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