Sunday, November 25, 2007

天国は待ってくれる/ Heaven Can Wait. Maybe...

(movie reviews)

I just got done complaining about how sappy the Japanese movie "Always" was. Now here's another Japanese movie that's even worse. But I can't complain about it this time, because I knew what I was getting into when I looked at the DVD case.

I rented this movie because I'm trying to watch more Japanese cinema, and because it was one of the few Japanese DVDs that had English subtitles. (Strange that. Even films that get an international release often don't have subtitles on their region 2 DVD versions. I know we foreigners inside of Japan are only a small percentage of the market, but why not aim for as wide an audience as possible).

Anyway, I knew right from the box it would be on the sappy side, and I was right.

This movie contains themes that are in a lot of Japanese dramas: childhood friendships and young loves that are brought together again by a death, with lots of hospital scenes interspersed with nostalgic reminiscing. In my limited experience with Japanese dramas, I've seen several variations on this theme so far.

In this case the story involves 3 childhood friends: Takeshi, Hiroki, and Kaoru. Kaoru has always been in love with Hiroki, but Hiroki bows out when Takeshi proposes to Kaoru. Then Takeshi is in a car accident and goes into a coma for 3 years. Eventually Hiroki proposes to Kaoru but just as they're announcing their engagement, guess who finally wakes up from his coma. But before you can say "cue the soft orchestral background music", it turns out Takeshi only has a month to live.

Under different circumstances, this film might have made my dreaded "worst movies I have ever seen" list. However I'm giving it a bit of leeway because:

1). It is a foreign film designed for an a domestic audience with different tastes than me and...

2) I knew I wasn't in the target audience for this film and I rented it anyway. This is a movie made to be watched at a high school girls slumber party with plenty of tissues and chocolate ice cream handy.

At any rate, I can definitely say it was a chore to sit through. At least I got some Japanese practice out of the whole thing.

Link of the Day
New Photos Raise Questions about Evidence in Mumia Abu-Jamal Case

1 comment:

inertbat said...

I try to stay away from all the sappy stuff. They're all the same. So far my favorite TV drama has been "Kurokawa no Techou"... about a bank worker who finds several secret accounts that people are using to avoid paying taxes, so she takes the money and runs.

Unfortunately though, most movies and TV dramas are made up of all that love and reminiscence stuff.