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From frenzied action to comedy--A change of style that worked for Fukasaku
Kinji Fukasaku is much better known for his violent and daring films such as Battle Royale and the Yakuza Papers, which is possibly why the cover of this movie boasted "A comedy from the director of Battle Royale". it was a tough tag-line to resist when I saw it on the rack at the video store.
I think the cover should have said something along the lines of "a romantic comedy", or maybe just "romance", because it was much more a romance film than a comedy. Sadly, it's one of those movies that starts out pretty damn funny, but loses its edge. the first half is full of slapstick humor, but I guess they forgot to put it in there in the second half or something.
It began with a hilarious sequence of a samurai movie being filmed. From there, we follow one of its actors, seeing his pretentious and ignorant attitude. The next day he visits his friend Yasu, the movie's fall guy, and tells him that he got one of his on-and-off girlfriends pregnant. He begs Yasu to pretend it's his kid. Yasu and the girl get married and build a surprisingly stable relationship, and everything seems find, but another chance to be a "fall guy" comes up and Yasu is faced with a tough decision.
Some of the scenes between Yasu and Konatsu are kind of cheesy, but there's some good sad moments in there. This includes the best "tearing apart a room" scene I've seen. Yasu's behavior definitely goes a little overboard, but it's more funny than lame.
I'd recommend this to anyone who "gets" Japanese humor. if you can't stand it, this is the last movie you want to see. I found it a little tedious myself, but only because it was inconsistent.
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