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Drugstore Girl (2003)
"Doraggusotoa gâru" (original title)

 |  Comedy  |  7 February 2004 (Japan)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 132 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 3 critic

About a young student who works in a convenience store, and five middle-aged men who develop crushes on her. The film is set in a rural town and features lacrosse sport prominently.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Rena Tanaka ...
Keiko Obayashi
Akira Emoto ...
Nabeshima
Yûji Miyake ...
Numata
Masatô Ibu ...
Yamada
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yoshiyoshi Arakawa ...
Shinji
Noriko Eguchi
Shinoi Eisuke
Yumiko Fujita ...
Tomie
...
Hiawatha Player
Yoshiko Mita ...
Drugstore President
Naomasa Musaka ...
Sainen
...
Drugstore staff
Toshie Negishi ...
Yamada's wife
Naoki Sugiura ...
Dr. Takenouchi
Yu Tokui ...
Geronimo
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Storyline

Chemistry student Keiko Obayashi catches her boyfriend in the bathtub with another woman, so she leaves Tokyo by train and ends up in Masao. There, she finds a job at a recently opened pharmacy. Five older men from other local stores are worried about the new pharmacy threatening their business, and plan to bring down the new establishment. That is, until they meet and fall in love with Keiko. The men become increasingly interested in her and discover that she plays lacrosse for a university. The men practice in secret, hoping to impress Keiko with their lacrosse skills and earn a date with her. She sees them practicing one day and agrees to coach them, and calls their team "Geronimo". A team from America eventually flies in to Masao for a match. Geronimo is the hero (scoring the team's one and only point), and although terribly defeated, the characters come to terms with themselves and their actions. Written by Gabrielle K.

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Comedy

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7 February 2004 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Doraggusutoa gâru  »

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User Reviews

 
A refreshing glimpse at Rena's funny side
21 July 2006 | by (Hastings & Main, Vancouver BC) – See all my reviews

Motoki Katsuhide's "Drugstore Girl" is a light, cute, and often pathetic comedic story of a beautiful young pharmacology student who turns a group of middle-aged men into raving, lecherous gits whilst starting a new life in a new town. Obayashi Keiko (Tanaka Rena) finds her live-in boyfriend cheating on her and subsequently bolts her apartment in Shinjuku, boarding the JR and basically disembarking at a random station. She ends up in the town of Masao on the outskirts of Tokyo-to and there she begins a new life (except for the fact that she has her pharmacology classes back in the city). Whimsically letting things fall into place, she lands a job at "Hustle Drug", a new Wal-Mart sort of super store which threatens to put the local mom & pop merchants out of business. A group of middle-aged men - consisting of three of the local merchants (druggist, baker and kombini owner), a monk and Keaton-esquire homeless man - initially plan to sabotage the grand opening of Hustle Drug, but one sight of the lovely Obayashi and the old boys quickly forget about their economic agenda. When their leader Nabeshima (Emoto Akira) discovers that Obayashi plays lacrosse, the old boys set out to learn this strange new sport, complete with fishing nets and protective gear made from cardboard boxes and bamboo. Their intent, of course, is to use this as an excuse to win her favour, but she cleverly (or obliviously) decides to train them in the sport, which popularizes it immediately throughout Masao and revives the stagnant bamboo handicraft industry by turning the local craftsmen into distinctly Japanese crosse makers (no lightweight Fiberglas or Polyamide laminates here). From there, the story becomes less about the drugstore and more about the newly-formed old boys lacrosse side, and the climactic match against a side made up of (presumably) American Indian players. A bit brief and somewhat underdeveloped in parts, the story capitalises on the recurring Japanese cinematic theme of the hopeless newbie underdog taking on the big guys by means of their undying competitive spirit and instant devotion to a sport that they have only recently discovered. It works for the most part, and the movie is a delight, particularly the opening scene when Obayashi catches her boyfriend Hitoshi cheating on her. Tanaka Rena ("Tokyo Marigold", "Gangu Shuriya", "Hatsukoi") is surprisingly animated in this comedic role, and Emoto Akira ("Shall We Dance?", "Unagi", "Waterboys") is annoying yet funny as the middle-aged bosouzoku-turned-druggist. The rest of the old boys are even more annoying if not downright stupid, but Tanaka Rena's splendid performance more than makes up for it.


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