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My Little Bride

Here's a challenge for a stateside re-make: to fulfill her grandfather's deathbed wish, a 15-year-old high-schooler marries an older skirt-chaser, and the pair try to keep the marriage secret from everyone outside their families. Such is "My Little Bride," a first feature by former a.d. Kim Ho-jun that manages to segue from kooky comedy to charming, rather touching love story.

With:
With: Kim Rae-weon, Mun Geun-yeong, Kim Bo-gyeong, Ahn Seon-yeong, Kim In-mun.

Here’s a challenge for a stateside re-make: to fulfill her grandfather’s deathbed wish, a 15-year-old high-schooler marries an older skirt-chaser, and the pair try to keep the marriage secret from everyone outside their families. Such is “My Little Bride,” a first feature by former a.d. Kim Ho-jun, that’s so far racked up more than 3 million admissions (north of $15 million) in South Korea since April and manages to segue from kooky comedy to charming, rather touching love story.

Mun Geun-yeong (younger sibling in horror yarn “A Tale of Two Sisters”) is Bo-eum, who fancies a shy baseball jock at her school but reluctantly agrees to marry her “big brother,” childhood friend Sang-min (Kim Rae-weon). Sang-min isn’t too keen, as it’ll ruin his romantic life; and when he’s assigned as a teacher to Bo-eum’s school, he also finds a horny female colleague (Ahn Seon-yeong, very funny) coming on to him. Both the leads and the script cleverly dance around the plot’s sexual angles, and Mun shows a tough-cum-babyish appeal similar to Hong Kong’s Charlene Choi, who starred in 2002’s similar “My Wife Is 18.”

My Little Bride

South Korea

Production: A Korea Pictures release and presentation of a Culture Cap Media production. (International sales: Korea Pictures, Seoul.) Produced by Choi Sun-shik. Co-producer, Park Do-jun. Executive producer, Soma H.Z. Chung. Directed by Kim Ho-jun. Screenplay, Yu Sun-il.

Crew: Camera (color), Seo Jeong-min; editor, Park Sun-deok; music, Choi Sun-shik, Choi Man-shik; art director, Yun Do-hwan; costumes, Moh Hyeon-suk. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 17, 2004. Running time: 115 MIN.

With: With: Kim Rae-weon, Mun Geun-yeong, Kim Bo-gyeong, Ahn Seon-yeong, Kim In-mun.

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