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David Michael Latt
Eriq La Salle,
A former child star buys her grandmother's house to rescue it from ruin but her hope for serenity is soon eclipsed by haunting dreams of her famous grandmother, who died of a supposed overdose in the house more than 30 years ago.
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
Strange thing about this movie is that it has a lot of things wrong with it, but it is still a good movie, because it has a lot of "charm". Not the kind of charm in a movie that is overly contrived, but an actual sincere charm - which is hard to find. Most credit goes to Brittany Murphy for the charm, because she is such a naturally, sweet girl that she just delivers that quality to the whole film. The first problem I would love to address is the Cover of the DVD/Poster/Ad, because it is really awful. It has a "reverse stereotype" of Brittany Murphy in a Kimono with hands clasped. This would be okay for a film that one would think is about a soft-porn, submissive female on Cinemax, but it is not - it's more in the line of Karate Kid, and Shall we Dance. The People who watch expecting to see some White girl in Japan in hot, sexy escapades will be disappointed, and the People who usually watch more cultural, art films would avoid it thinking it's just soft-porn, so this "Cover" just disappoints everyone. The Marketing Dept. should learn from the people who market Fast & the Furious, because those movies sucks big, but always pulls in the audience because people know what to expect.
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