Flash Review: Miss Granny [Movie]

If you’ve known me for a while, you’d probably know that I generally don’t watch all that many k-movies.

I tend to prefer the dramas over the movies, probably coz so many of the k-movies that I’ve watched seem to either go super gritty & violent, derail, or take weird narrative turns towards the end (Raise your hand if you’ve never had a seemingly harmless k-movie suddenly go all dark, sad and deathy on you!).

Or sometimes, the writers don’t make the best use of their 90 or 120 minutes of available screentime, and the movie ends up feeling more like a highlight reel than a real story. And, well, it’s hard to feel invested in a highlight reel rather than a real story, y’know?

Which is why it makes me so happy to say, Miss Granny is NOT any of those.

I watched this movie on a flight and I loved it. Like, unreservedly, wholeheartedly Loved. It.

The Writing

The script is thoughtfully written, and the care really shows.

Little details that seem almost throwaway all eventually get resolved, which is impressive. Even more importantly, character arcs and backstories are lovingly conceived and consistently written with so much heart.

I love how the writer explores our perception of the aged, and provokes thought around this theme in such a playful and refreshing, yet also compassionate and poignant manner. The approach is never preachy; instead, the show employs its own tongue-in-cheek, exhilarating technique, of taking us on Oh Mal Soon’s journey (played by Na Moon Hee and Shim Eun Kyung).

In this way, the show inevitably invites us to consider – and empathize with and appreciate – how vibrant every old person has been in his or her youth, and how precious and real their dreams have been to them, even though they are now relegated to the fringes of society in their old age.

The movie’s tone and pacing is also expertly balanced, so that even though it serves up a variety of moods – from laugh-out-loud funny to heart-in-throat moving – it never feels uneven or jerky. Instead, it all flows with an impressive, natural, organic sort of ease.

Just, so well-written.

The Acting

Just as the writing is fabulously done, so is the delivery by the cast.

In particular, I am so, so impressed by Shim Eun Kyung, who embraces her character with gusto and not a shred of vanity.

As the younger Oh Mal Soon, Shim Eun Kyung seems to literally channel Na Moon Hee’s take on the character, down to her mannerisms, voice inflections and even the look in her eyes.

I really could believe that Shim Eun Kyung as Oh Doo Ri was literally the younger version of Na Moon Hee’s Oh Mal Soon.

Despite her youthful appearance, Shim Eun Kyung manages to portray an old soul really well.

Even when Mal Soon interacted with her son Hyun Chul (Sung Dong Il) while in her youthful body, I could totally believe that this was a meeting between a mother and her son, rather than an agasshi and an ahjusshi.

As expected, Sung Dong Il puts in a wonderful performance as the quietly troubled man caught between wanting to be filial to his mother, and needing to care for his wife and family.

His appearances were restrained compared to Dal Soon’s more spirited scenes, but Sung Dong Il’s portrayal was no less vivid and affecting. Loved him.

Jin Young and Park In Hwan are equal parts adorable and earnest as the boys crushing on Mal Soon, and I found them both a delight to watch.

Lee Jin Wook rounds out the love square that Mal Soon unwittingly finds herself in, and I do love the fact that Gran has not one but three men all moony-eyed over her, even as she continues in her sass-talking, crusty ways.

Goooo, Gran! 😉

The Music & Singing

Thanks to Mal Soon rediscovering her love for singing while in her youthful body, one of the things we get regularly in the movie is music, and Shim Eun Kyung singing to it.

And I hafta say, even among a sea of goodies, this stood out as one of my favorite things in the movie.

The music itself was varied; sometimes it was boppy, and sometimes it was plaintive. Whichever mood the music took, though, I found all the songs appealing in their own way.

I really enjoyed Shim Eun Kyung’s singing as well. I’m pretty sure a sound engineer’s magic was called upon to make the scenes really pop, but Shim Eun Kyung definitely deserves credit.

Not only does her voice sound quite lovely, but her showmanship is winsome and very endearing. Most important of all, her ability to emote while singing really causes each scene to land right where PD-nim wants it – the heart.

Such a lovely touch, to an already lovely movie.

PS: I freaking loved a certain little cameo at the end of the movie. The casting is spot-on, and the inclusion of the cameo itself, quite genius. Let’s just say that I giggled uncontrollably, even though I was on a plane. 😉


Funny, sweet and touchingly poignant. Worth watching again. And then again.




Just coz I can – and also, coz they’re so good – here are a couple of my favorite song performances from Shim Eun Kyung.

Haunting and poignant:

Intent and completely stirring:

30 thoughts on “Flash Review: Miss Granny [Movie]

  1. awong613

    I LOVED this! Charming, thoughtful and hilarious. I watched Miss Granny and My Ahjussi because of your exceptional reviews. Thank you kfangurl for your reviews. You are phenomenal. A++

  2. Kim

    Just watched it! Didn’t know any of actors nonetheless movie was very memorable and wholesome. I cried during the singing part where flashbacks of SEK’s younger days was shown. My father passed away early when my family was just starting a new life in Canada. Mom and I struggled financially until I finished uni. Thus I felt deep connection with SEK and son’s character which made me very emotional throughout the whole 120mins. I should call my mother tomorrow..

    1. kfangurl

      Aw, I hope you had a lovely conversation with your mom when you called, Kim! <3 This movie really is a gem, I have to agree. And the fact that it inspired you to call your mom is a testament to how special it is. <3

  3. Snow Flower

    One of my favorite Korean movies. Just had a rewatch recently, and the emotional impact is still there.

    1. kfangurl

      Oh yes, this one is quite special, I feel. <3 I can imagine this one bringing the feels with every rewatch, the message and performances are all just so strong.

  4. Peonyplumblossoms

    Oh, I know a kmovie that didn’t went all gory towards the end. The Princess and the matchmaker, also starring Shim Eun-kyung. In fact, it was boring and lacking plot and drive and everything from beginning to the end despite the unbelievably powerhouse cast. Utter waste of SEK’s talents.
    On this movie;
    I’m so happy to find that you think the same as what I think about the music in this gem of a movie!😃
    The flashback-to-the-youth parts in ‘White Butterfly’….,those were tearjerkers. Shim Eun-kyung acted heart-breakingly with a baby strapped to her back.
    I also loved that even the smallest parts of the movie were thoughtfully created. EVERYTHING was there for a reason, such as Kim Seul-gi noona taking the empty spot left by granny and being unexpectedly and equally good, “Audrey” being the on-spot inspiration for “Oh Doo-ri” (Haha), Elvis Presley being grandpa’s star-crush..because why not, if granny can have Audrey Hepburn??!
    On that topic, that surprise ending was TOTALLY came from the leftfield, I screeaamed “Ki…….(actor’s name)”, haha.
    The cherry on the top was Ki……… sassily replying to granny that he ate the peaches he’s allergic to because “It’s the love of a true man!”
    However, that romantic arc with PDnim WAS cringeworthy…but seems like it was intentional?
    And RIGHT when they revealed wounds and drawing out blood will reverse the magic, the ending became clear as the day to me, thus anticlimactic. However I guess they took care of the “predictable problem” by 👆ending!
    Another thing I loved was the realistically portrayed love-hate relationship between a mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law. Also Mr.Park’s daughter’s despair over daddy’s scandal with a young girl.
    You probably don’t remember what I’m ranting about,right? I’m 4 years late😁.
    BTW, I LOVE granny’s lace collared white Granny-blouse (your 2nd screencap). Totally my style, haha!

    1. kfangurl

      Lol. Yes, it’s been quite a while since I saw this movie, so you’re right, the details are hazy in my head. But it was really nice reading your thoughts on it! Brings the feels back to me, even though I can’t place some of the details off the top of my head. And YES, that cameo at the end was GOLD. I was so surprised, I might’ve screamed too, if I hadn’t been on a plane! 😂

      1. Peonyplumblossoms

        You seem to travel a lot?😯 Lucky you.👏
        I forgot to ask, have you watched Dorihwaga; sound of a flower?
        It’s a simple,balanced story with simple background and simple characters, yet it’s somewhat grand at the same time. (The TITLE itself is grand,if nothing else.) It too has the heartfelt, unspoilt traditional music. Gets a little sad at the end (Really sad if you think too much about it), however it’s not unbearable.
        And Suzy’s green acting is nothing to worry about here (at least to me) because I think the plot actually CALLS for some unpolished-ness. Too bad the Theme song is nowhere to be found in order to lure you with.😝

        And I’m going to dig a hole for myself if you’ve already watched this and don’t like it a one bit.😁

        P.S- Can you peek into my blog if you have time and tell me whether it looks better now? If you’ve enough time?

        1. kfangurl

          I travel for work, so it’s hardly as fun as traveling for leisure 😁 I haven’t seen The Sound of a Flower, actually, thanks for the recommendation 🙂 I generally haven’t enjoyed Suzy in a while, so I admit I’m a little hesitant. But you make it sound quite appealing, I must say 😉 I will keep it in mind for when the right mood strikes. 🙂

          I just tried to look for your blog with the url you gave me the last time (https://peonyplumblossoms.wordpress.com/), but WordPress says that it’s no longer available, and that the author has deleted the site? Have you moved it to a new url? 🤔

          1. Peonyplumblossoms

            O_O You kept the url I gave you? I’m SO honoured! I hated that url, it’s what I accidentally made, not the name of the actual blog, and it sounded CORNY. Only recently I figured out I can quite easily change the url, so now it’s amberpoolsindarkwoods.wordpress.com

            (Don’t tell me it sounds corni-er! 😝😁)

            #rookiebloggerblues 😅😂
            Tell me if you think something’s need to be improved?!?

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  7. Eddie

    kfangurl! Thanks for another wonderfully insight and thoroughly engaging review! There really are a lot of quality k-movies out there. Here are two that are on the top of my list: 1) Speedy Scandal (fun, interesting, funny, heart-warming) 2) Mr Kim’s Island (also called “Castaway on the Moon”) – a quirky, delightfully strange love story. Different from the usual movie fare and not everyone’s cup of tea but so gooood!

    1. kfangurl

      Thanks Eddie! I’m glad you enjoyed this review! Miss Granny is such a lovely movie, isn’t it? I watched it twice and loved it both times. <3 Also, thanks for the movie recommendations – I will keep an eye out for both of the titles you shared. 🙂

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  9. INTJ

    well … the sound engineers really did a good job … guess i’ll be thinking of raindrops when i’ll see my white butterfly on samjinnal. 🙂

    1. kfangurl

      Lol. It’s true that sound engineers play a key role in making people sound good. Even taking the sound engineers’ role into account, I thought Shim Eun Kyung sounded really good compared to some other actors who also dabble a bit in the singing. But I could be biased, I just loved this movie so much! 😉

  10. 1sunnylady

    One of the few Korean movies that I actually understood. I mean, some K-movies got me so lost and question my ability to understand what was going on. I really enjoyed it. It’s the kind of movie that makes you feel all fuzzy inside, which is nice once in a while.

    1. kfangurl

      YES. I’ve been bemused by quite a few k-movies, so I know what you mean, Sunny! Miss Granny is just one of those movies that feels good and makes sense, and is just all-around awesome. I’ve seen this twice now, and wouldn’t mind giving it another watch sometime. Shim Eun Kyung is FAB in this too! <3

  11. Joan

    OH! So glad to know that you love this movie, too! There’s not a lot of KFilms that I ‘ve watched. Most of them, the horror genre, LOL! But, I accidentally click on this movie’s trailer while I was browsing Youtube, and I was soo intrigued by the premise, so I searched for it and watched it.

    LOVE. IT.

    And, all the reasons that you stated are the same reason why I love and enjoyed watching it. I think I need to watch it again for the 3rd time, LOL!

    1. kfangurl

      Aw, YAY that you love this movie too, Joan!! 😀 What a happy thing, that YouTube led you to it! ^^ I seriously LUFF it. I loved it both times that I watched it, and I honestly wouldn’t mind giving it a 3rd sometime too, it’s that good. ❤

  12. Rebekah

    I am glad you did a flash review on this, since I was planning on watching the Chinese version because of Luhan, I wanted to know if the Korean one was any good.

    1. kfangurl

      Oh, I had no idea there was a C-version of this! I can’t speak for anything but the K-version, which I loved through and through. I hope this turned out to be helpful for ya, Rebekah! 🙂

  13. Lady G.

    Now I’ll definitely have to watch this movie. It’s been on my list since it came out. I don’t often watch Korean films for the same reasons you stated. But most of the ones I have seen have been good. I think the flash reviews is a perfect section for movies, even more than dramas. Hope to see more from you and try to write some myself.

    The last 2 songs in particular were so nice. She does have a mild good voice. The last song made me teary, seeing her life struggles as a widowed young mother. Aww.

    1. kfangurl

      Yes, you should totally watch this one, Lady G!! It’s one of the rare k-movies where I came away completely satisfied. It has an ending that feels fulfilling and uplifting; definitely something to reach for when I’d like a shot of warm fuzzies. 🙂

      Yay that you’re enjoying the flash reviews section – you’re totally right that these are quite a perfect fit for movies! I never thought movie reviews would be an actual thing on the blog, but that could change yet, with Flash Reviews being so quick to write!

      Y’know, the songs will feel even nicer as you watch the movie, since the context will be in place. The feels are strong in this one. I think I might’ve actually cried while watching some of those scenes that you saw in the MV!

  14. j.d.e.

    Oooh I’ve been wanting to watch this as I’ve heard SEK was phenomenal in it. I don’t believe all the flack she received as Nae-il and I scoured the net for her old performances. I saw the MV of the OST of Miss Granny and fell in love with her even more! Hoping to see this one soon. Glad you loved this and thank you for your review! – Jo/Crazyunnijo

    1. kfangurl

      Yes, SEK really is phenomenal in this movie – you should totally watch it, Jo! I have a feeling you’ll love it like I do. I watched it a second time before writing this review, and enjoyed it just as much the second time around. I haven’t seen Cantabile yet, but yes, I did hear some discontent around Nae Il. Will see for myself when I do get to checking out the show!

      I’d love to hear how you like this movie, when you get to watching it. It’s great for some holiday feel-good warm fuzzies, so you could consider it as potential holiday entertainment for you & maybe the fam too! 🙂

      1. j.d.e.

        Okay so I just watched it. Being the momma of a son, this movie brought me to tears early hahahaha. I was a blubbering mess during a pivotal moment near the end (i think you know what I’m referring to.). And Lawd that little bit at the end threw me totally off guard. I was laughing and squeeing and laughing so more. SEK was perfect for this. And the fashion! Oh how I loved the fashion!

        Love love LOVE! Thanks for the review! 🙂

        1. kfangurl

          I’m so, SO pleased that you managed to watch this one, Jo! I kinda knew that you’d like this one! It’s just so full of heart, no matter the tone it’s taking, isn’t it? In the funny bits, and also in the more poignant ones, this movie always had a firm handle of where its heart was, and that just pulled my heart in. I totally know that pivotal moment you’re talking about, and that made me cry too, even on my second watch. So well-written, so well-placed as a scene, and so well-delivered by both actors. Major props, seriously. And YES, that cameo is SO GOOD. I giggled out loud and leaned forward in my seat on the plane, and giggled some more, it was so perfect!

          And yes, the fashion was pretty great. I loved that her inspiration was Audrey Hepburn. Audrey Hepburn is such a classic style icon! 🙂


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