The passionate romance between an Irish-American man and a Japanese-American woman is threatened when the Pearl Harbor attacks happen and the woman is forced into a prison camp because of her ethnicity.
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Portraying one of the shadier details of American history, this is the story of Jack McGurn, who comes to Los Angeles in 1936. He gets a job at a movie theatre in Little Tokyo and falls in love with the boss's daughter, Lily Kawamura. When her father finds out, he is fired and forbidden ever to see her again. But together they escape to Seattle. When the war breaks out, the authorities decide that the Japanese immigrants must live in camps like war prisoners.Written by
not bad melodrama, good performances, decent substance
Of all places, I remember seeing this film in an English class in senior year of High School (something to do with civil rights, not really to do with the quality of writing per-say), to give all the sides to the problems of equality in the American experience. Come See the Paradise does chronicle a crucial blunder during the second world war- the kind of lesson to be learned from it that does need to be learned in regards to the present- though I could imagine a better film being made at some point on the subject. This is the big chunk of it, anyway, the one that would get spoken of if passed along to someone as a one-line note. But there's also a romantic plot to it, relating the experience so that it's personal and not just an abstract form of a nightmarish reality.
Dennis Quaid and Tamlyn Tomita play the romantic interest of the picture, Quaid playing a regular Joe who comes to work at a movie theater in Little Tokyo, meets the boss's daughter played by Tomita, and soon they fall for each other quite deeply. But as it's forbidden by the girl's father, they still try and sneak away anyway to have their love. Then come the internment camps, the camps created as a homegrown quasi concentration camp for the Japanese, where in Lily is once again with her family, away from her great love. It isn't exactly the most sunny of entertainments, and Alan Parker's writing is nowhere near the level of finesse and maturity his direction has, but there could be a lot worse as far as bludgeoning-over-the-head movie-making. I can also see, from my recollection, that it is understandably one of the least seen of Parker's films.
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