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Quick Takes #1

April 13, 2011

Violent girls could be a fun start for a romantic comedy, were Love Fight (2008) either romantic or funny. Vision-free studio employee Izuru Narushima’s film fails at both. The opening is decent, with crybaby Kento Hayashi caught in love triangle between roundhouse kicker Kii Kitano and the adorable Shoko Fujimura. It somewhat works until the film does an A-grade dive to B-grade drama. Even the older generation with boxing champ Takao Ohsawa and his long lost love interest are brought in for extra tears. Fujimura goes for complete waste – why she gets ignored by the protagonist throughout the film is a mystery – and the storyline goes for every TV-drama cliché in the book. Making matters worse, the misery no less than 126 minutes in length.

Somewhat more successful attempt at romantic comedy is provide by Yuriko’s Aroma (2010). A middle aged woman falls for a high school boy – in the scent of his sweat to be exact. Clumsy in places, the film still manages a fair amount of things in quite different fashion than most genre efforts. Originality and humor take it pretty far. Director / screenwriter Kota Yoshida handles his vehicle until eventually crashing into a pool of standard drama cliché. Good cast, Noriko Eguchi especially (who played similar part in Moon and Cherry) fairs well whenever the storyline allows fresh air, that is, during the first half of the 73 minute movie. Visually the film is relatively nice. The warm color palette used gives the impression of movie-long sunset.

Cream Lemon: Mata no hi no Ami (2006) is the 4th film in the manga-adaptation series dealing with forbidden love between brother and sister. Unfortunately Mata no hi no Ami does not live up to its beautiful trailer. Like Nobuhiro Yamashita’s terrific opening installment it not much of a pink film, although perhaps advertised as one. The problem is that the characters and storyline are both relatively dull. Director Shinya Nishimura aims at darker drama but merely comes out with dislikable characters. There are some nice images, though, as well as stylish theme music, and Yuria Hidaka. The amazingly cute AV star (is that a contradiction? I think it is!) is blessed with a face that makes look like an 11 year old in the official artwork – thankfully more like 17 in the film. In fact, she was 23 at the time of making. Her face is nice to look at, but it’s quite obvious why she hasn’t been hailed as character actress.

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2 comments

  1. Too bad to hear that about LOVE FIGHT. 😦 ’cause that has always been a title I’ve kinda been looking forward to. I liked the trailer a lot; looked very promising to me.


  2. I was hoping for a fun and harmless mainstream romance – something a bit similar to My Sassy Girl. But if you ask me, Love Fight really does everything wrong. It’s not catchy, it drowns in drama towards the end, and it just restricts itself way too much. There’s no fresh air to it.

    In romantic comedies you should really choose one of the two paths – either realism, or sweet fantasy. Love Fight is stuck right in the middle. For its entire duration, it really doesn’t go anywhere.

    I’ve seen a couple of people liking it, though. IMDb will probably give you a differing opinion or two.



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