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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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:

In food as in life, sometimes 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

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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

There is a restaurant in El Cajon, California called "The Ramen Girl," and it pays tribute to the film and actress Brittany Murphy with their menu item "Tribute," which is their version of "Abby's Goddess Ramen" featuring their House Broth with Shio, Bamboo Shoots, Bell Peppers, Roasted Tomatoes, Corn, Cilantro and Black Garlic Oil. Update: As of March 2018, they no longer offer the item. 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

Abby: Somewhere along the way I just forgot what I wanted to do with my life...
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Connections

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

Soundtracks

Drive
Written by Kate Holmes, Sarah Blackwood and Martin Glover
Performed by Client
Courtesy of Loser Friendly Records
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User Reviews

More than just a romantic comedy
29 December 2009 | by Gordon-11See all my reviews

This film is about an American girl who uses a Ramen shop as her haven after being dumped by her boyfriend. There, she experiences and learns more than she unexpected to.

"The Ramen Girl" is actually enjoyable to watch. I particularly like the way that it treats Japanese culture with respect. This can be seen by not Americanising the Japanese characters, using plenty of Japanese language in the film and also using actors who actually speaks fluent Japanese. Hearing a Japanese ramen chef explaining the spirit of ramen is quite inspirational, as one could see so much dedication and respect for something seemingly insignificant. "The Ramen Girl" is more than just a romantic comedy or a "Lost in Translation" rip off. It is a good way to introduce Japanese culture, values and traditions to other cultures. I enjoyed "The Ramen Girl" a lot, and I hope it reaches a wider audience.


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