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University of Laughs (2004)
"Warai no daigaku" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  30 October 2004 (Japan)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 563 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 6 critic

In pre-war Japan, a government censor tries to make the writer for a theater troupe alter his comedic script. As they work with and against each other, the script ends up developing in unexpected ways.

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Title: University of Laughs (2004)

University of Laughs (2004) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Mutsuo Sakisaka
Gorô Inagaki ...
Hajime Tsubaki
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tae Kimura
Masao Komatsu ...
Kanta Aozora
Masaya Takahashi ...
Police Officer in the Corridor
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Storyline

In pre-war Japan, a government censor tries to make the writer for a theater troupe alter his comedic script. As they work with and against each other, the script ends up developing in unexpected ways.

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Comedy | Drama

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30 October 2004 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Warai no daigaku  »

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Based on the stage play of the same name by the same writer. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A complex and superbly funny film
8 June 2005 | by (Birmingham, England) – See all my reviews

Cinema doesn't get much better than this. Adapted from the successful 1996 play by Koki Mitani, Warai no Daigaku (University of Laughs) directed by Mamoru Hoshi was an audience hit at its premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival. It's not hard to see why.

Set in pre-WW2 Japan, the story focuses on a young playwright's attempt to get his comedy script approved by a deeply humourless government censor. As the two men work with and against each other, the script changes and evolves - with unexpected results.

The film is essentially a two-hander (the director has done little to disguise that this was initially a stage play) and the two leads are brilliantly played by Koji Yakusho (Shall We Dansu?) as the censor and Goro Inagaki as the jittery writer.

It is said that there is a fine line between comedy and tragedy. This film treads that line with a light step. The result is a near perfect film that is funny yet also poignant, touching and genuinely moving. Let's hope Hollywood doesn't decide to remake it.


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