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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A Throwback to American-made 40's-50's Musicals

Author: RJ (RJ_Trojan) from California, USA
19 July 2003

This Japanese production borrows much from the Gene Kelly-Donald O'Connor-Debbie Reynolds-era musicals of a couple of generations ago. The story centers around Yumi (played by the beautiful model and TV star Yuka), an unlucky-in-love department store worker who stumbles upon a rather inept genie (Naoto Takenaka, who starred in the noteworthy "Shall We Dance?" from 1996) who she enlists to help find her former boyfriend in Australia. The Yumi character is also noteworthy for the small musical teddy bear she constantly carries as a good-luck charm (a licensing bonanza waiting to happen here in the U.S.!).

Takenaka does his typical fine job of carrying the film's comedy and some of the musical numbers, but this film owes much of its charm to the young actress, Yuka. She began her career in Japan as a swimsuit model and has parlayed that rather mundane beginning into a career bordering on superstardom, largely on the weight of a screen presence that radiates kindness, and an almost indescribably beautiful smile. She carries her comic burden well, particularly in scenes where she expresses disgust and/or frustration at her genie's missteps. The movie's unabashedly sentimental--some might say "over the top"--but it's clear that director Shusuke crafted the film to be exactly that.

As the reviewer from Germany mentioned, it is conceivable that an English-speaking version of this movie could be made in the States or in Britain; the storyline's universal appeal and its characters seem to lend themselves to a project that would appeal to a broad audience, including children.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

What a wonderful musical!

9/10
Author: Killer-40 from Frankfurt, Germany
5 May 2003

A ghost in a vase is released by Japanese TV star and model Yuka - and a story full of good and sometimes surreallistic jokes and love songs begins which reminds you of the best times of Hollywood musicals in the 50s and 60s. This must be the starting point of a musical revival, and if some US producer watches the movie, he will surely secure its rights for a remake. By the way, the ghost has to help the girl to find and get back her boyfriend in Australia. This Aladin seems to have very limited abilities until he surprises us viewers with digitally supported wonders.

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A delightful musical comedy for all ages

9/10
Author: edgoji from Chicago, IL
29 July 2004

Koi ni Uetaba (When You Sing of Love) is a rare film that can be enjoyed by all ages. This is a throwback to the screwball comedies of the 40s and 50s, a kind of buddy movie featuring the misadventures of a decidedly odd couple. The film exudes the innocent charm that once pervaded films from eras past, and as such it failed to find an audience in its initial release. The cast is excellent, with Naoto Takenaka giving his usual energetic, madcap performance as a genie who wants to help a young girl, but who is forbidden from doing the one thing that she wishes for. Director Shusuke Kaneko, best known for his work in the realm of giant monsters, shows his versatility in making a film with wit and style (and adding a nice in-joke for monster fans). A rare gem.

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A Throwback to American-made 40's-50's Musicals

Author: RJ (RJ_Trojan) from California, USA
19 July 2003

This Japanese production borrows much from the Gene Kelly-Donald O'Connor-Debbie Reynolds-era musicals of a couple of generations ago. The story centers around Yumi (played by the beautiful model and TV star Yuka), an unlucky-in-love department store worker who stumbles upon a rather inept genie (Naoto Takenaka, who starred in the noteworthy "Shall We Dance?" from 1996) who she enlists to help find her former boyfriend in Australia. The Yumi character is also noteworthy for the small musical teddy bear she constantly carries as a good-luck charm (a licensing bonanza waiting to happen here in the U.S.!).

Takenaka does his typical fine job of carrying the film's comedy and some of the musical numbers, but this film owes much of its charm to the young actress, Yuka. She began her career in Japan as a swimsuit model and has parlayed that rather mundane beginning into a career bordering on superstardom, largely on the weight of a screen presence that radiates kindness, and an almost indescribably beautiful smile. She carries her comic burden well, particularly in scenes where she expresses disgust and/or frustration at her genie's missteps. The movie's unabashedly sentimental--some might say "over the top"--but it's clear that director Shusuke crafted the film to be exactly that.

As the reviewer from Germany mentioned, it is conceivable that an English-speaking version of this movie could be made in the States or in Britain; the storyline's universal appeal and its characters seem to lend themselves to a project that would appeal to a broad audience, including children.

Was the above review useful to you?

A Throwback to American-made 40's-50's Musicals

Author: RJ (RJ_Trojan) from California, USA
19 July 2003

This Japanese production borrows much from the Gene Kelly-Donald O'Connor-Debbie Reynolds-era musicals of a couple of generations ago. The story centers around Yumi (played by the beautiful model and TV star Yuka), an unlucky-in-love department store worker who stumbles upon a rather inept genie (Naoto Takenaka, who teamed with director Shusuke Kaneko on the noteworthy "Shall We Dance?") who she enlists to help find her former boyfriend in Australia. The Yumi character is also noteworthy for the small musical teddy bear she constantly carries as a good-luck charm (a licensing bonanza waiting to happen here in the U.S.!).

Takenaka does his typical fine job of carrying the film's comedy and some of the musical numbers, but this film owes much of its charm to the young actress, Yuka. She began her career in Japan as a swimsuit model and has parlayed that rather mundane beginning into a career bordering on superstardom, largely on the weight of a screen presence that radiates kindness, and an almost indescribably beautiful smile. She carries her comic burden well, particularly in scenes where she expresses disgust and/or frustration at her genie's missteps. The movie's unabashedly sentimental--some might say "over the top"--but it's clear that director Shusuke crafted the film to be exactly that.

As the reviewer from Germany mentioned, it is conceivable that an English-speaking version of this movie could be made in the States or in Britain; the storyline's universal appeal and its characters seem to lend themselves to a project that would appeal to a broad audience, including children.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Tongue in Cheek silliness - Good for a laugh and smile, maybe

3/10
Author: Chung Mo from NYC
15 January 2005

This immediately reminded me of Miike's "HAPPINESS OF THE KATAKURIS" which was produced the year before. The self-conscious musical numbers and the occasional use of puppets could have come from Miike's film except for the fact that Koi Ni Utaeba isn't the work of a determined weirdo.

The story is a bit of froth that could have come from the U.S. TV show "Love, American Style", and that's not a good thing. The actors had to carry the production or it would have floated away with it's in-substantialness. The whole film is bright, colorful and cheery, a marked contrast from director Kaneko's kaiju films.

As with "Happiness of the Katakuris" it seems that a familiarity with Japanese television and film musicals would help the viewer to enjoy this film. Also a good translation. The English title for this is "When You Sing of Love".

Fans of Kaneko's other work should steer clear of this unless you have Doris Day films on the shelf next to the Gamera trilogy..

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