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David Michael Latt
Eriq La Salle,
Abby, four years out of college, an aimless child of privilege, comes to Tokyo to be with her boyfriend, who promptly leaves for Osaka. She wants to stay in Tokyo in hopes he'll come back to her, but she's miserable: she speaks little Japanese and has a dull job as a law-firm gopher. She stumbles into the neighborhood ramen shop operated by the aging master chef Maezumi and his wife Reiko. His soup cheers Abby, so she decides to apprentice herself to him. He's uninterested, she's insistent, so he shouts at her and gives her all the cleaning to do. Weeks go by; she's persistent. Will he ever actually teach her to cook? And if he does, will she bring the requisite spirit to the job? Written by
In several scenes people are seen taking their shoes off before entering a house. This is a Japanese custom where the inside of the house is considered 'clean' and the outside 'un-clean'. The shoes are considered part of the outside and are 'un-clean'. It is very disrespectful to wear shoes inside someone else's home. See more »
A bowl of ramen is a self-contained universe with life from the sea, the mountains, and the earth. All existing in perfect harmony. Harmony is essential. What holds it all together is the broth. The broth gives life to the ramen.
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As one who has lived in Japan and has eaten REAL Ramen, I enjoyed this movie just from that perspective. However, I was touched on other levels as well.
There is a depth to this movie that sadly many viewers simply will not be able to comprehend. This is a movie that goes beyond the technicality or "head thinking" aspect of a craft and addresses the heart or "spirit" of doing something.
This is clearly a movie about redemption. It is a movie about relationships. And, it is a movie about cross-cultural understanding and communication.
Ramen Girl touched my heart, and I hope it will touch yours as well.
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