Starring: Song Sam-dong, Jeong Eun-woo, Lee Su-jung
Director: Jung Cho-shin
Running Time: 100 mins
Miss Change is a South Korean film about a shy man who unexpectedly comes across a lost woman after a night out. After bringing her home to give her shelter, he suddenly switches bodies with her, meaning he has to find a way to get back to normal, however he learns confidence during the time he spends as a woman.
With a silly premise that only the body swap genre can provide, Miss Change is often an enjoyable and light-hearted fantasy comedy, particularly thanks to a ridiculous and farcical opening act that never takes itself too seriously. While its sense of humour does remain throughout, the film’s latter half is distinctly more dull than its opening phases, eventually getting drawn into boring and predictable character drama that undoes the good, if not idiotic, work of the beginning part of the movie.
Let’s start off with the better half of this movie, the far more farcical and fantasy-oriented opening portion. While the film doesn’t handle the ridiculousness of its body swap premise as well as it could do, it complements that preposterous concept with a light-hearted and silly sense of humour that makes everything fairly enjoyable to watch, never forcing you to take things too seriously.
As a result, while it may not always be comedy gold, the opening act of the movie has some fun moments, whether it be well-written comedy or the sheer preposterous nature of the premise at hand, and how the characters deal with it in the most cartoonish ways possible.
And that’s where another plus comes in, the characters and actors are actually pretty entertaining throughout here. I can’t quite speak for the brilliance of the screenplay in creating riveting characters that stand out in the memory, however the lead trio of Song Sam-dong, Jeong Eun-woo and Lee Su-jung all do a great job with fun and light-hearted performances, even when they’re playing characters of the opposite gender inside their own bodies.
In that, the film starts off in great fashion, and although it may not be all that much to rave about, Miss Change takes its silly body swap story and runs with it, getting its characters into all sorts of ridiculous hijinks and allowing the comedy to come about naturally as a result, something that makes it a delightfully pleasant and enjoyable watch.
However, the film takes a bit of a turn about halfway through, as it switches from being a simple body swap comedy to a more melodramatic character-oriented comedy-drama. There’s still a good bit of humour right up to the end, but the film’s real fun-loving nature is lost as we move away from watching a man get into all sorts of mishaps while stuck in a woman’s body, to a story that follows the formula of any generic romantic movie you’ve ever seen.
In that, the movie loses its farcical and easy-going appeal, and with characters that aren’t all that interesting, it’s really hard to become wrapped up in the emotional story it tries to craft in the latter stages, further worsened by the disappointment that the more enjoyable stuff from the opening act has been so abruptly dropped halfway through.
As a result, the movie drags to somewhat of a dull finish, and with that ends up as a rather underwhelming and ultimately disappointing watch. It starts well, with good humour and a perfectly light-hearted vibe from the beginning, but then loses its way as it tries to take itself a little too seriously, dropping the real fun factor of the earlier stages, and that’s why I’m giving Miss Change a 6.9 overall.