The movie that probably started many people’s South Korean movie journey!
After being dumped by her boyfriend just before their 100 day anniversary, Ha-Young, meets a college guy named Hyung-Joon when she accidentally kicks a can that hits him in the face and causes him to scratch his Lexus. He demands she pay him $3000 on the spot. She escapes from him, leaving her wallet behind.
Hyung-Joon stalks her, demanding money to pay for his car. Since she is a poor high school student Hyung-Joon writes up a “Enslavement Agreement” for Ha-Young in order to pay for the damage to his car. Ha-Young is thrown into a nightmarish slave life for 100 days, cleaning his house, running his errands, doing his homework and cleaning his car.
By accident, she finds out that the damage to Hyung-Joon’s car only costs $10! She then takes her revenge. However, before she knows it Hyung-Joon shows up at her house as her new tutor! He once again takes advantage of her, but soon Ha-Young finds herself falling head over heels for Hyung-Joon. But what happens when he drops out of her life just when she needs him most?
Native and/or alternative titles: 내사랑 싸가지; Naesarang ssagaji
Countries: South Korea
Genre: Comedy, Romance, School
Director: Shin Dong Yeob
Writer: Shin Dong Yeob
Cast: Ha Ji Won, Kim Jae Won, Lee Eung Kyung, Kim Chang Wan, Kim Min Kyung, Kim Yong Gun, Hong Ji Young, Han Sung Shik, Jin Tae Hyun, Yong Seon Hee, Han Min, Yoo Yeo Jin, Im Hyeok Pil
When Ha Young’s boyfriend dumps her on their 100-day anniversary, out of anger she kicks a can which ends up hitting Hyung Joon while he was driving his car. Conclusion? He ends up scratching his million dollar car and demands Ha Young pay for it. She refuses and runs away only to drop her wallet at the scene. Hyung Joon shadows Ha Young everywhere demanding her to pay up for the damage she caused to his car. She finally gives in and signs an enslavement agreement with Hyung Joon because she doesn’t have the money to pay him. Now, she is his slave and has to do everything from housekeeping services to babysitting to his homework. Later, are being tortured by Hyung Joon’s petty requests and orders she finds out that he exaggerated the price of the damage and it was, in fact, a measly $10 rather than $30000 which he had told her. So she quit being his slave only to find out that he enters her life again, only this time as her tutor. He continues bossing her around, this time as her teacher and slowly but surely both of them start falling for each other. But, one day, he suddenly disappears from her life only to come back much later when she gets admission into the college of her choice.
This is a movie which, despite being more than a decade old, best serves the purpose of an introduction to the land of K-dramas. I don’t really understand why but most people who get into the Korean wave for the first time tend to love this movie. I guess it can be because of the fact that a Korean Rom-Com is quite different and unique from the mainstream rom-com so it gets people excited (especially girls). This movie is beyond doubt an extremely popular movie and I definitely enjoyed watching it but I would not consider it a great or memorable movie.
The story was the standard and overdone where poor good girl meets filthy rich bad boy and both eventually fall in love with each other. But, even though it was an age-old cliché it definitely left me ROFL-ing throughout the movie. It is hilarious and super cute to watch and a brilliant mood-lifter. Yet, what I felt was missing was the chemistry between the leads. For me, there was definitely something amiss between the two and I don’t think Kim Jae Won got his best on the screen. Although Ha Ji Won was brilliant as always.
Besides the disappointing acting, I also felt that the plot was at times hurried and missing links every now-and-then. What made up for this is the music and Ha Ji Won of course. But, despite all this, this movie is great when you are in a slump or questioning whether true love exists or not. I wouldn’t suggest it now as much as I would have recommended it when I first saw it back in 2007.
The cinematography is obviously poor quality if you compare it to the present age but I think for its time back in 2005 it isn’t too bad either. Though it is simply your been there, done that clichéd story with no special attempt at creative filming. Therefore the movie does not particularly stand out to me. It is mostly the star-power fuelling this movie, then and now. But none-the-less, this movie definitely has an old-school charm and does feature as one of the classic movies of Korean movie industry.
The pacing of the story was quite awkward. The first part was entertaining and tummy-achingly funny but then something went wrong. It seemed as of the director and writers decided to simply chuck the script and go with the flow. The flow did not quite work out for them. There are several loopholes in this movie and in many places it feels as if certain parts were skipped over or fast-forwarded so the story did not make much sense. One moment the leads hate each other and the next there are being a lovey-dovey couple with hardly anything in-between to connect these two scenes.
One of my favourite parts were when Ha Young (played by Ha Ji Won) worked off her debts as Hyung Joon’s (played by Kim Jae Won) slave and her comical expressions. Her sailor moon impression was probably the best part of the entire movie. Regardless, her acting throughout was very consistent and entertaining. She even showed the transition from an awkward childish girl to a mature woman wonderfully. I think this movie could really have hit the awesome mark if the male lead’s acting was a tad bit better (actually a whole lot better). Like I mentioned before, in my eyes, the chemistry was practically zero. Ha Ji Won carried the entire movie on her talented shoulders. (P.S. Her uniform was so good! I wish my school had such nice uniforms as well!)
The problem with me and Hyung Joon or Kim Jae Won was that I could not relate to his character. In fact, I felt that Kim Jae Won himself could not relate to his character nor did he completely embrace it. From the beginning till the very end I felt a disconnect with Hyung Joon. I could not feel any chemistry when he was a bad boy neither when he turned over a new leaf to become a good guy for Ha Young. Most of his expressions felt awkward and completely out-of-place to me. In other words, it was a mess.
There are far better romantic comedies in the Korean movie arena (especially as it is practically the patented genre of Korean movies) so this movie does not really stand out much nor has any particular attractions.
Is this good for a one time watch when you have nothing to do and simply wish to while away your boredom? Yes.
Is this movie worth almost 2 hours of my life? Not really (Unless you are a die-hard fan of Ha Ji Won or even Kim Jae Won for that matter.)
So, in the end, it is entirely up to you to decide.
- Story: 3
- Acting/cast: 6
- Music/Sound: 6
- Overall: 5
Have you seen ‘100 Days with Mr. Arrogant’? If yes, what do you think about this movie? If not, does it sound interesting to you? Comment below!