Yanagimachi's first feature film is about a young man who makes a map of a neighborhood in which he delivers newspapers. He keeps a dossier on each family, recording their habits and rating how much he dislikes them.
Kinameri is a moderately successful television journalist itching for a big scoop. So when a corrupt local businessman barricades himself in his house, of course he's going to be excited with things picking up.
I thought this film was quite silly yet rather sad. I hope that the "Yen" family does not exist too often in real life. I thought it was sad that the obsession with small change was more important to the family than the happiness of the son. And then to allow their 9 year old daughter to talk dirty to some pervert with a "lolita complex" was too much. But I suppose it was only a comedy.
I was also quite annoyed with the subtitles. Having fuzzy white text on a light background makes it very hard to read. I was watching the film on video, so I had the opportunity to rewind and freeze frame, but I should not have to do this. A good example of what subtitles should look like are those created by SBS in Australia on their foreign language programs which are a strongly contrasting yellow. They are much easier to read.
Overall I was not all that impressed by the film and gave it 4/10. I was hoping for more. I watched "Sada Abe" just before "Yen Family" so perhaps too high a standard had been set with which Yen could not compete.
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