Middle-aged American movie star Bob Harris is in Tokyo to film a personal endorsement Suntory whiskey ad solely for the Japanese market. He is past his movie star prime, but his name and image still have enough cachet for him to have gotten this lucrative $2 million job. He has an unsatisfying home life where his wife Lydia follows him wherever he goes - in the form of messages and faxes - for him to deal with the minutiae of their everyday lives, while she stays at home to look after their kids. Staying at the same upscale hotel is fellow American, twenty-something recent Yale Philosophy graduate Charlotte, her husband John, an entertainment still photographer, who is on assignment in Japan. As such, she is largely left to her own devices in the city, especially when his job takes him out of Tokyo. Both Bob and Charlotte are feeling lost by their current situations, which are not helped by the cultural barriers they feel in Tokyo, those cultural barriers extending far beyond just not... Written by
After Bob and Charlotte come out of the arcade, their friend Charlie Brown calls them so they can get in a car. As they are getting in the car we see a man running down the street. In the next shot, he is gone. See more »
It's been a long time since a movie has made me hurt the way this one did. Perhaps "hurt" isn't the right word. "Ache" is more like it. I could so completely identify with both characters.
Bob is a middle-aged actor caught in a life which has lost its zest and purpose, doing what he "ought" to be doing (making money doing whiskey commercials) instead of doing what he WANTS to do (plays). And then a young, beautiful, intelligent woman enters his orbit. On that level alone, with its mute longing and sexual tension, I can identify with him.
And then there is Charlotte, a student of philosophy seeking herself, her soul lost and adrift. She doesn't know who she is, doesn't know what she wants. Her life is a quest for authenticity of self. And I identify with her because so much of my life I have been seeking the same thing.
This movie isn't for everyone. They will call it boring, lifeless, limp. There are people, I realize, who have never experienced that kind of longing, who had never sought meaning in their lives, and searched for their own lost souls. They live for the here and now, without giving a thought to the spiritual aspects of life.
A friend said introverts will love this movie, extraverts will hate it. I think that is a fair surface assessment. This movie is all about the inner lives of two people whose souls connect for a brief time in an alien city. It is a love affair not of bodies, but of minds and spirits.
Some this movie will make angry. Some this movie will make weep.
297 of 367 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?