Film Review: “Miss Granny” Becomes “20 Once Again”

Miss Granny” is back except this time she is Chinese! This film did extremely well in South Korea, selling about 8.65 million tickets, so of course other people are going to want to jump on that success as well. And seriously, what is not to like about this movie? There is reverse aging, music, and cute idol boys. The idol boy this time is former EXO member Luhan who takes the roll of the grandson previously played by B1A4‘s Jinyoung.

This movie is not very different from the Korean version. It follows Shen Meng Jun (GUEI Grace), a pushy 70 year old woman whose constant nagging and nit picking causes her daughter-in-law, Yang Qin, to collapse and end up in the hospital. The only way for Yang Qin to recover is to relax and not to be put under any stress which means grandma needs to go.

As Meng Jun goes for a walk one evening, she happens upon an old photography studio that she has never seen before. It is filled with old cameras and photos and she asks for her picture to be taken so her family can have at least one pretty photo of her to use when she dies. The photographer asks her to picture herself at the peak of her beauty and as she holds to that memory, he takes the picture and our story begins.

20 Once Again Yang Zi Shan and Grace Guei

Meng Jun leaves the studio and it isn’t until seeing her refection in a bus window, she finds that she has somehow become 50 years younger! She runs back to the studio for answers only to find that there is no studio, nor has there ever been one. After she comes to terms with her new face, she gives herself a make over and renames herself Meng Li Jun (YANG Zi Shan).

Even though she looks 20, she still attends her mahjong games with the other elders in the area which causes some confusion. Taking a break from her game, she gets up on stage to sing a song and catches the eye of music producer Tan Zi Ming (CHEN Bo Lin) who is desperate for interesting new talent and her grandson Xiang Qian Jin (Luhan) who needs a new lead singer for his band.

20 Once Again Lu Han

Li Jun accepts Qian Jin’s request to join his band and she changes them from a group of wannabe rockers with no real direction to a fun 60s inspired band that gains the interest of Zi Ming. He gives them a chance to play at a show and Meng Jun’s forgotten dream of becoming a singer comes closer to being a reality.

Tonally, this movie is softer and has an artsier feel than its Korean counterpart whose movie was louder and more slapstick. Even with these differences, the story and theme of the movies are the same and I think that if you liked “Miss Granny” you will also like “20 Once Again” and the new take on the story.

20 Once Again is playing is select US and Canadian theaters starting on January 16

Check out the trailer:

F4Plus1: about 75% unadulterated love of K-pop and dramas and 25% making fun of it, because what is life without a little judgment? Within reason of course, let’s not lose our heads.

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