6.3/10
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The Ramen Girl (2008)

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An American woman is stranded in Tokyo after breaking up with her boyfriend. Searching for direction in life, she trains to be a râmen chef under a tyrannical Japanese master.

Writer:

Becca Topol (screenplay)
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Stars: Brittany Murphy, Eriq La Salle, Bruce Davison
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brittany Murphy ... Abby
Toshiyuki Nishida Toshiyuki Nishida ... Maezumi
Soji Arai ... Toshi Iwamoto (as Sohee Park)
Kimiko Yo ... Reiko
Daniel Evans ... Charlie
Renji Ishibashi ... Udagawa
Gabriel Mann ... Ethan
Tammy Blanchard ... Gretchan
Daigo Tanji Daigo Tanji ... Taxi Driver
Thane Camus Thane Camus ... Wilson
Hako Ueno Hako Ueno ... Hanako
Masayuki Maekawa Masayuki Maekawa ... Vendor
Yûya Ogawa Yûya Ogawa ... College Student (as Yuya Ogawa)
Tomoyuki Kuramoto Tomoyuki Kuramoto ... College Student
Yuta Yuta ... Young Man at the Shrine
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

chef | master | japanese | stranded | ramen | See All (27) »

Taglines:

The Missing Ingredient Is Love. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

USA | Japan

Language:

Japanese | English

Release Date:

23 October 2008 (Russia) See more »

Also Known As:

Könnyes leves See more »

Filming Locations:

Jacksonville, Florida, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$32,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (European Film Market)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The shooting for the film was particularly difficult for Brittany Murphy, as she at times arrived hours late to set and expressed constant anxiety about her appearance and reputation. See more »

Goofs

Abby tells Maezumi that she's never finished anything important in her life, including college. However, she is shown working for a Japanese company in the first part of the film, which would not be possible since Japan does not issue work permits to foreigners who have only a high school diploma. See more »

Quotes

Maezumi: 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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations: Japan: Hokkaido (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Jingle Bells
(uncredited)
Written by James Pierpont
Performed by Kazuya Takahashi
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pleasant Surprise
3 May 2010 | by jplank1475See all my reviews

I knew nothing about this movie before watching it but within minutes I was hooked.

Brittany Murphy tugged at my heart's strings as she portrayed a girl who is left alone in Tokyo trying to find a purpose or reason to go on.

This movie does very well even though the Ramen Girl (Abby) doesn't understand what anyone is saying at first. You quickly pull for her to succeed in the battle of translation.

The Culture clash is entertaining and hilarious at times. The only downside I have (Don't worry, this isn't a spoiler) is just that I wished the ending would have been slightly different. Either way, I'm glad to have this pleasant surprise in movie collection.

If you have always wanted to visit Japan, or have any interest in Japanese culture, this will certainly tickle your fancy.

Hope you enjoy.


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