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Top Customer Reviews
I would definitely agree that this movie does have some truly wonderful comedy moments. However, that does not automatically mean that it is a 'Comedy.' And indeed, like many of my favourite Japanese and Korean movies, it is actually rather difficult to define.
The film's trailer on the DVD described it as a 'Heart-warming story of four adults who don't quite fit into adult society.' And in truth, I believe that this is the best way for anyone to put it into words.
First of all, there is the junior manager of a hospital's cleaning service; a genuinely good man, still single at thirty who always puts other people first. His own boss insists that he just wants people to like him, and in his self-conscious insecurity, he believes him. But no, in reality he is genuinely a good person, and many others recognise him for what he is.
Secondly, there is the first man's childhood friend who one woman describes as a 'Degenerate.' Even though he is also on the verge of turning thirty, he is obsessed with horror films and childish pranks, calling his practical jokes 'Research' because he longs to build "The Scariest Haunted House In The World." So is he just refusing to grow up, or is he genuinely pursuing his dream?
Next of course is Akari, the woman without whom this film could never have been made. How anyone could find her 'Hilarious' is beyond me, because I do feel genuine compassion for her.Read more ›
This is an utterly charming and whimsical movie which succeeds by means of a quirky plot concerning some really unusual, rather geeky characters, all of whom are played to perfection by the actors. The heart of the film (and source of the biggest laughs) is the character played by Yoshiyoshi Arakawa, a man reluctant to face up to the need to act his age and harbouring dreams of opening a haunted theme park. His friends are similarly nerdy and unrealistic and as the film progresses their paths cross with an attractive but painfully shy girl who is an artist.
Every participant in the movie is a small triumph of characterisation and acting, each with their own perfect little scenes and quirks and certainly different from the standard perception of Japanese people as salarymen or drones. This film is about youthful dreams and how we can compromise as we get older without selling our souls.
The best thing about this film is that you will genuinely feel better for having seen it. It is a truly funny and hugely optimistic view of what it is to be human. I think I'll be watching this one again and again.
I encountered this film from watching the similarly feeling Turtles are surprisingly fast swimmers. Both share a wonderful sense of Japanese-flavoured innocent humour, in what some may (harshly in my mind) consider mundane settings. Whilst clearly not having what some may consider the big, spoon-fed impact american films 'shout' out to you for example, they are no worse for it in my view. The joy you can feel from Gibli examples can be found here in the live action world to a fair degree, the characters in the films are quirkily flawed in an entertaining way that is refreshingly different to our Mr Beans, or other slapstick or blunt humoured examples we've been used to in the west. This and Turtles... are of the same ilk, so if you've enjoyed that, almost certainly you'll enjoy this.
Objectively, I can see perhaps why it's not everyone's cup of tea, certainly if you're attention-demanding this is unlikely to appeal. But a pleasantly enjoyable viewing that you can think deeper if the fancy takes you (there are some interesting messages), or simply observe this intriguing slice of Japan. Lol, you can always watch with this your new date, and you'll look the perfect catch despite any flaws!!
I recommend this film a lot, based around three characters, two of which are quite eccentric, Akari is a very (and I mean very) clumsy woman who is on the border of being useless, her actions may seem exaggerated but is highly hilarious. Teruo is also very funny, being obsessed with making his own horror movies and wanting to create the world best haunted house, his "research" is definitely the best moments for him in the movie, don't think I laughed so much for ages! (plus his father, another eccentric character adds more hilarity with his travels)
Hisanobu seems to be the normal one in the film and the most realistic, realising he is nearly 30 and wants to "grow up" to add a bit of moral to the story. It is quite difficult to review the film as giving away any plot would ruin the surprise and humour. But I guess you probably already get the idea it is a weird, wonderful story that leaves you feeling good to the end, I already look forward to watching it again soon!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I purchased this with no prior knowledge of the movie. After a little while watching it I noticed that it really grew into a great story. Read morePublished on 28 Nov. 2013 by Operation Latte Thunder
Another Japanese comedy, I can see how it may not be too easy to understand if you don't get Japanese humor and culture. In my opinion is worth watching it.Published on 6 Sept. 2013 by Amazon Customer
i love unusual films this well crafted story,involving,three people who are quite literally lost in the world come together in one of there dads book shop slowly they get purpose... Read morePublished on 30 Jun. 2013 by booze36
Oh dear, oh dear! I am a great fan of Japanese film at its best but this is rambling, incoherent and unfunny. You can see it stretching for laughs in a "aren't we quirky and fey? Read morePublished on 27 Feb. 2012 by froggydatjive
First of all let me say that despite the title of my review this is not a bad movie per-say, it's rather I felt let down upon viewing it after having heard and read good things... Read morePublished on 3 Aug. 2010 by Calum Poskitt-Marshall