Starring: Shim Eun-kyung, Na Moon-hee, Park In-hwan
Director: Hwang Dong-hyuk
Running Time: 124 mins
Miss Granny is a South Korean film about an old woman who finds herself magically transformed back to being a 20 year old, and sets about living her life to the full once more.
While this film has all the hallmarks of a cute and easy-going romantic comedy, it all proves a little too much due to an overlong runtime, an excessively convoluted plot, and characters that, while they may have likable actors portraying them, don’t really have the depth or personalities to prove really riveting.
Let’s start off on the plus side, with the fact that, while undoubtedly imperfect, the cuter and cuddlier elements of Miss Granny are definitely the best. When it’s at its lightest and fluffiest, you can sit back and enjoy this movie, something that’s really helped by the fact that it’s such a colourful and bright film throughout.
With the appearance of a kaleidoscope mashed together with a children’s picture book, there’s never a dull moment (visually) when it comes to this film. Therefore, it significantly lightens the mood of the film as a whole despite its excessive runtime, and makes for a rather enjoyable and easy-going watch at times.
What’s more is that the light-hearted and easy-going atmosphere is rather important to take the film’s premise a little more seriously. The initial moment where we see the old woman become young again is utterly ridiculous, but it does fit in rather well with the silly fluffiness of it all, meaning that it actually proves a fairly enjoyable twist early on in the film.
Another plus of Miss Granny comes, rather unexpectedly, from its musical numbers. Normally, when a non-musical film throws in any melodic outbursts, it’s incredibly jarring and painfully cheesy to watch. In the case of this film, however, while the songs are still just as cheesy, there’s something about the bright, poppy nature of the music that again fits in with the film’s cuter vibes, and also gives the otherwise rather convoluted structure of the story a little bit of form.
However, as we know, a film can’t just piggyback of being nice and fluffy to make itself worth watching. Normally, when that’s all that there is to a film, it’s smiley and enjoyable for a bit, and then ultimately just becomes a little dull, but what makes Miss Granny even more of a problem is the fact that it’s just so long.
A simple, light movie like this really shouldn’t last any more than an hour and a half, but the fact that this pushes all the way past the two hour mark really makes watching it a bit of a drag, an almost identical problem that the Chinese remake suffered from too.
And of course, that issue is further exacerbated by a cast of what are rather dull, shallow characters. Although I can’t fault the happy-go-lucky performances that do make everything feel just as nice, the characters they play definitely don’t have the depth to keep you intrigued over the course of this two hour movie.
There’s the old woman reliving her youth, as well as trying to stay away from her family for fear of being a burden. Meanwhile, you have a few secondary characters that occasionally interact with her, but offer little more intrigue than stumbling blocks in her own hijinks throughout the story, meaning that the film really isn’t the most fascinating throughout.
Overall, I felt that Miss Granny was a bit of a mixed bag. At times, it’s a really lovely, happy and colourful movie that can make you smile and offer some light entertainment, but for the most part, it’s an overlong and excessively shallow affair that just doesn’t have the meat to keep you engaged for two whole hours, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.0.