Midnight Diner 2 (2016) Poster

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Heartwarming
Gordon-1111 December 2016
This film tells the story of a small diner in Tokyo, which is only open from midnight to seven in the morning. It attracts a group of regular customers from many walks of life, and people get to see snippets of the customers' lives.

There are three main stories in the film, one about a woman who wears funeral attire to relieve stress, one about a man who has to learn the trade of soba noodles as he will inherit his family noodle shop, and an elderly lady who goes to Tokyo after receiving a phone call about his son. The stories are authentic enough and hence I think many people can relate to them. We can also see how people help each other out, even though they are strangers to each other. It's a heartwarming film.
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Fail-proof formula
harry_tk_yung12 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Those who have watched the first movie-version "Midnight diner" or, better still, the TV series and/or manga, may hopefully give an acceding nod to my summary line. The ingredients include the iconic diner operator with a wise-man persona, a parade of one-dimensional and yet interesting support characters (manga-consistent), easy-to-follow plots revealed to the audience by the owner's VO, familiar and touching human stories, minimalist narration style, languid background music and, last but not least, a special dish as the catalyst. There are three independent stories in this second big-screen offering.

With fried pork strip as the motif dish, the first one is a love story or, more precisely, a searching-for-love story. The protagonist is a successful, professional book editor (mainly novels), attractive looking too, who often becomes frustrated at work and romance. Her self-administered prescription is wearing black, funeral attire and pampering herself with the said pork dish at the Midnight Diner. I'll skip the plot development and ask pardon for revealing that there is a happy ending.

The second story features a dual between soba and udon. The main plot line revolves around the bitter-sweet relationship between a widow and her son, a considerate young man who helps his mother run the family soba shop after losing his father at the tender age of eight. Mother and son often patronize Midnight Diner, separately, with the son invariably ordering udon. This is the familiar, universal theme of when should parents let go. In this story, things come to a head when the son drops a bombshell by announcing his wish to marry a woman 15 years older. While the first story is light comedy, this one is a mix of comedy and poignancy. It also has a happy ending.

The third story, arguably, has a happy ending of sorts. The theme is remorse and absolution. An old woman from out-of-town got stranded when conned of her money, and receives help from patrons of Midnight Diner. As the story unfolds, we find out that years ago she had abandoned her husband and young son to elope with another man. Now windowed and remorseful, she is trying to find her estranged son. The motif, catalyst dish is pork chop in soup.

Regardless of your life experience, it is likely that one of these characters and stories will touch you.
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6/10
A bit boring. The first one was better.
mister_bateman29 July 2020
I enjoyed the first one, but I found this one a bit boring. It's just as nice and wholesome (except for the two cross-dressing weirdos which also appeared in part one, what's up with those) but the characters and stories weren't as intriguing or relatable to me. Some of it felt a little bit too trivial. But that's a personal preference. Someone else might like it a lot.
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3/10
Lazy and banal
mcousi1112 May 2017
If you like 'heartwarming' films, you may like this. Otherwise, not. It hardly deserves the name film being three unrelated stories stuck together with no link other than the eponymous diner. The stories touch on important themes but always dive back into banality. This is lazy film-making for an audience that wants to think there is a little place in Shinjuku you can call home. Another conservative Abemovie
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