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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Japan Offers Something More Than Just Gadgets and Ninja...
This is a unique film that shows a different side of Japan, in a way like the original Japanese version of Shall We Dance? [DVD], but what makes this film even more special is that this is a Hollywood movie about the cultural side of Japan!

Obviously I'm not going to spoil the film by revealing the plot, so I'd like to concentrate on other things. If you have...
Published on 14 Jun. 2009 by Marco Rossini

versus
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Souper ?
This movie is a Hollywood take on a classic Japanese movie called "Tampopo", originally the story of a lonely housewife on a quest for the perfect noodles for her restaurant. "Ramen Girl" mixes elements of "Tampopo" with "Lost in Translation" to make a pleasant, if bittersweet romantic-ish comedy.

The late Brittany Murphy was a good choice for the role she...
Published on 29 Dec. 2009 by Guru Saj


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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Japan Offers Something More Than Just Gadgets and Ninja..., 14 Jun. 2009
By 
Marco Rossini "Marco" (England, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Ramen Girl [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
This is a unique film that shows a different side of Japan, in a way like the original Japanese version of Shall We Dance? [DVD], but what makes this film even more special is that this is a Hollywood movie about the cultural side of Japan!

Obviously I'm not going to spoil the film by revealing the plot, so I'd like to concentrate on other things. If you have been to Japan and have experienced the ramen noodles, this film will make you smile all the way especially after the ramen restaurant appears. The experts know that this kind of slightly old and 'scummy' restaurants serve the best ramen! If you watched Tampopo [DVD], you must have seen how serious Japanese people are about ramen noodles, and that the whole thing about good ramen is discussed at a philosophical level!

My favourite part of this film is that the role of the Ramen Master is played by a brilliant brilliant actor, Toshiyuki Nishida. He is a VERY well-known and my favourite Japanese actor, but he hasn't been known outside Japan much, because this film is his first ever Hollywood movie appearance. His appearing in Hollywood scene was long overdue, but at last he has arrived!

Brittany Murphy is lovely, too, and through the process of learning how to make good ramen with her very tetchy Master (Nishida), she starts to see what is really important in her heart, and there is this wonderful moment of eye contact when these two stubborn guys who don't understand each other with language can exchange something in their hearts.

I'm glad that this kind of film that shows an ordinary life of a working class Japanese man has been introduced in this way, because as far as I know Japan has a lot more than just gadgets, bullet trains, karaoke, ninja or samurai. Hope you'll enjoy it!

Just one minor point I didn't appreciate much was the music that is played each time the ramen shop appears, because it's so Chinese! I think the idea is that this tune is used as a 'theme' of this shop, which is the central stage of the whole film, but in my view the music is slightly misleading!

FYI, you might recognise the Ramem Master, Toshiyuki Nishida, from his famous role as lovely 'Pigsy' in legendary Monkey! [DVD], which has had a large cult following in the UK (and in Japan too), and is still shown late at night sometimes.

Hope this helps! (I miss ramen now!)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars underrated!, 10 Mar. 2010
By 
M. Månsson "Siouxsie Sway" (Sweden) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Ramen Girl [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
This is actually a very funny, quirky, original and underrated movie! It is a rom-com, but not your regular one, but instead it shows us a different perspective on the genre. Brittany Murphy is amazing as Abby, the young woman who goes to Japan to be with her boyfriend - who dumps her in a matter of minutes when she gets there. After crying for a while she decides to go and eat at a restauant near her apartment building and decides she wants to work there and become a Ramen cook. Easier said than done, it turns out.
A very sweet film with some really funny moments. Well worth the money!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Movie to devour!, 1 April 2011
By 
Chloe S "Chick Lit Chloe" (Berkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Ramen Girl [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Abby has moved her life over to Tokyo to be with her boyfriend, but ends up stranded after he decides he doesn't want Abby tagging along with him anymore, and abandons her, leaving her in a strange country and unable to speak to language. Abby feels very alone, and wanders into a local Ramen shop where she meets the elderly owner who think she is completely barmy. After eating the Ramen, Abby is hooked and persuades the chef to teach her how to become a Ramen chef. Maezumi isn't sure he can teach an American girl one of Japan's best dishes, and is reluctant to give her a fair go. Abby wants to prove herself to him and works madly to show she can become a Ramen chef, but is it enough to win the blessing of the Master Chef so Abby can continue Maezumi's shop?

The film is completely set in Japan, and aside from Abby almost all of the characters are Japanese people. It has a real authenticity about it, it captures the less glitzy hi-tech side of Japan that we see on the news and online, and I really enjoyed the journey of this movie. Murphy is probably the only name that most people will realise but the actor who plays Chef Maezumi, Toshiyuki Nishida, is apparently quite well known in Japanese TV circles but he didn't really mean anything to me!

Murphy is brilliant to watch on-screen as Abby, and I think she gives an amazing performance. I've only previously seen her in more comedic roles, so to see her take on a more serious role was really good, and she was brilliant. Abby is a confused and lost soul, and Murphy puts across this in her expression and her manner, and she's very mesmerising. She isn't afraid to show a less glamourous side of herself in the film, and works so well with Nishida, despite the language barrier the pair's chemistry on-screen says a thousand words.

I was worried that the move might become a bit of a cliche towards the end with the obvious happening but I was really pleased to see that the writers and director didn't take this path with the movie. They also kept Murphy's character very realistic in that she doesn't learn all that much Japanese throughout the film and therefore the conversation between the characters of Abby and Maezumi are awkward and difficult, but it just adds to the charm of the movie and the growing relationship between the pair keeps you interested for the duration of the movie.

I was really charmed with this movie and really pleased that I was sent it to watch because it's not normally something I would have chosen to watch myself. Murphy gives a wonderful performance and shows off a fantastic talent that is a real loss to this world now she has died, and for fans of her movies, this is definitely one they should see. The Japanese cast also do a great job, and in particular I enjoyed watching the Ramen shop owners Reiko and Maezumi. It's a lovely look at a different side of Japan, and a film that I definitely recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Japan has a lot more than just gadgets and ninja..., 14 Jun. 2009
By 
Marco Rossini "Marco" (England, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This is a unique film that shows a different side of Japan, in a way like the original Japanese version of Shall We Dance? [DVD], but what makes this film even more special is that this is a Hollywood movie about the cultural side of Japan!

Obviously I'm not going to spoil the film by revealing the plot, so I'd like to concentrate on other things. If you have been to Japan and have experienced the ramen noodles, this film will make you smile all the way especially after the ramen restaurant appears. The experts know that this kind of slightly old and 'scummy' restaurants serve the best ramen! If you watched Tampopo [DVD], you must have seen how serious Japanese people are about ramen noodles, and that the whole thing about good ramen is discussed at a philosophical level!

My favourite part of this film is that the role of the Ramen Master is played by a brilliant brilliant actor, Toshiyuki Nishida. He is a VERY well-known and my favourite Japanese actor, but he hasn't been known outside Japan much, because this film is his first ever Hollywood movie appearance. His appearing in Hollywood scene was long overdue, but at last he has arrived!

Brittany Murphy is lovely, too, and through the process of learning how to make good ramen with her very tetchy Master (Nishida), she starts to see what is really important in her heart, and there is this wonderful moment of eye contact when these two stubborn guys who don't understand each other with language can exchange something in their hearts.

I'm glad that this kind of film that shows an ordinary life of a working class Japanese man has been introduced in this way, because as far as I know Japan has a lot more than just gadgets, bullet trains, karaoke, ninja or samurai. Hope you'll enjoy it!

Just one minor point I didn't appreciate much was the music that is played each time the ramen shop appears, because it's so Chinese! I think the idea is that this tune is used as a 'theme' of this shop, which is the central stage of the whole film, but in my view the music is slightly misleading!

FYI, you might recognise the Ramem Master, Toshiyuki Nishida, from his famous role as lovely 'Pigsy' in legendary Monkey! [DVD], which has had a large cult following in the UK (and in Japan too), and is still shown late at night sometimes.

Hope this helps! (I miss ramen now!)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ignore the dreadful cover, 7 July 2012
By 
tallmanbaby (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Ramen Girl [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
This is not my usual sort of film, I watched it by chance.

Brittany Murphy plays an American adrift in Japan, and the film was clearly set in the real Japan, with real Japanese actors and much of the dialogue in Japanese. As a result it is constantly intriguing, but not exactly pacey. If you are patient it unfolds in a satisfying manner, never quite heading off into cliche or predictability.

The real strength is Brittany, who does well with a character who should be irritating, but actually manages to win you over without ever becoming trite or saccharine.

Having said all this, out of our family I was the only person who really liked the film, although everyone else was happy enough to stick with it. Probably a bit too real for teenage girls, this is only ever likely to appeal to a fairly niche audience, but if it is you cup of ramen, then it is entertaining and well put together.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Soul Searching with Noodle Soup, 23 Oct. 2010
By 
GratuitousViolets "Ash" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Ramen Girl [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
My Thoughts:

I always find it a little hard these days to watch a Brittany Murphy film because of the tragic circumstances of her death at such a young age. It always seems to leave a bitter taste on all of her films - especially the comedies. This one however, made me momentarily forget all that she had been as with her acting ability she pulls you into a completely uncomfortable (yet funny) movie about a woman out of her depth in a country she has NO real understanding of, just proving that for one moment she can make you think of the character and not of the actress (and that's really one of the best talents an actor/actress can have).

The story is funny, but not hilarious. Touching, yet not overly emotional. Entertaining but most likely not memorable. It's a tale of two people who don't really know where they're going in life who find each other and find themselves at odds with each other through a lack of communication. Despite the subtitles (and this film is heavily subtitled, as almost all the characters except from perhaps four, are all Japanese speaking people), you share with the frustration of the main character that she doesn't really 'get' what's being said to her and is completely lost in this bizarre world she's chosen to become a part of. It's rare that you get to feel like you stepped in the character's shoes and feel the humiliation, the confusion and the loss with them, but with this you do.

One thing I have to commend this film on is it didn't go into complete predictability. The main character doesn't suddenly learn Japanese overnight and the character of her sensei doesn't somehow suddenly start speaking English. From start to finish, these two characters have NO idea of what's being said to each other at most points, it doesn't put a huge emphasis on the main character falling in love but merely "notes" it as a passing event rather than a main attraction. None of the characters particularly "grow" but rather "adapt" which is a refreshing change from the predictability of the modern comedy.

Four out five for effort, it could have used a few more laughs, but it got it's point through in the end.

The Plot:

Abby, an American woman with no particular life-goal gives up everything to join her boyfriend Ethan in Japan on a whim hoping for a life together. To her dismay, she finds herself almost immediately abandoned in an unfamiliar city when Ethan gets cold feet and dumps her. Stuck in a job she hates, suffering the heartbreak of being dumped and feeling a fair amount of self-loathing for having no particular avenue in life, she finds herself crying in a Ramen noodle shop near her home where she learns that food can soothe the wounded soul.

After consuming her first bowl (a hand out from the cranky Ramen chef Maezumi who wants her to leave his shop and stop blubbering), she soon feels that her path is Ramen, and that she wants to be taught how to cook the ancient food (a revered art) by Maezumi, who is a tyranical bad tempered drunkard. Her dreams of being a Ramen Chef seem to grow more and more distant every day as she struggles to understand her Japanese speaking boss who throws tantrums at her half-hearted work in his shop and holds off on teaching her anything remotely useful on the grounds of her having no 'spirit'.

Will Abby manage to prove to Maezumi that she can rise to the occasion and prove herself to be worthy of his teachings or will she fail and give up, like everything else she has done in her life? Can Abby ever be The Ramen Girl.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Suprising, I didn't know if I should laugh or cry!, 1 Oct. 2010
By 
Mr. K. Tailor "kunaal_tailor" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Ramen Girl [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
What an expected movie. Had no idea it even existed. It must have been a straight to DVD release. Brittany Murphy, is at her best in this movie, she travels to Japan and it has a Lost in Translation feel to it, except it's funnier, and you can't understand half of what is being said, as most of the movie is in Japanese, and that just makes it even funnier. As someone who has experience what Brittany experiences in the movie, as I moved to China. It was portrayed excellently and shows you the trials and tribulations of living abroad in Asia. It is excellent, and if you want something to cheer you up, then this is definitely worth watching. It is gripping and well though out all the way through. 5*****

RIP Brittany dunno what we will do without you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars but really she was outshone here (in a good way) by the simple beauty of the premise of ..., 9 Jan. 2015
I was drawn to this because I adore Brittany Murphy, but really she was outshone here (in a good way) by the simple beauty of the premise of the film, the philosophy behind creating Ramen not just to feed but to nourish the soul, & by the gently entertaining & equally moving characters that surrounded her. A film that was surprising & uplifting. Inner peace, understanding & compassion can be learned in ways that are unexpected. A strange but lovely movie. Definitely recommend.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A surprising find!, 9 Jan. 2012
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This review is from: The Ramen Girl [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
My husband found this by chance and we've watched it a couple of times. The cover makes the movie look like a rom com, but its not. Its about a girl who becomes an apprentice noodle chef in Japan.

Charming and engaging, I highly recommend this film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, 3 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: The Ramen Girl [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Not a great fan of the late Brittany Murphy but she was great in this film with the help from the great Toshiyuki Nishida(70s Monkey tv show). Its has everything for me food and filmed in a beautiful country.
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The Ramen Girl [DVD] [2008]
The Ramen Girl [DVD] [2008] by Robert Allan Ackerman (DVD - 2009)
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