Good Stripes – Movie Review

This movie was shown as part of the Japanese Film Festival.

It’s been a long time since I watch a Japanese movie, the last being Departures, which I enjoyed thoroughly. I have since turned to Korean and Thai movies – the romcom and feel good movies are in fact better than Hollywood in terms of script and comedy. So I thought I would give this Japanese romance movie a try as well.

It’s indeed a trying effort to sit through the two hour-show, filled mostly with awkward silence, nods and lack of chemistry between the leads. Perhaps I am too used to the bubbly female leads or the hunks who graced other romance comedies. Here, she is wooden and stiff, and he goofy but without the Huge Grant sort of charms. But I was willing to give Midori and Mao a chance. Sadly the spark between them just refused to even glow. There is no love talk, hugs or any show of affections between the two.

Midori and Mao break up as he leaves for a three-month work trip to India. In his absence, she discovers that she is pregnant and when they visit his divorced gynecologist mother upon his return, it’s too late for her to abort. They then decide to get married and she moves in with him. With the wedding looming, they try to reconnect with their family. She is not on good terms with hers, and his father left him when he was in seven grade. Through this union, they are reunited with their family as well.

It’s difficult to see how they are attracted to each other in the first place. Perhaps the sex that resulted in the pregnancy was animalistic, as was how he described the sex fling he had with a classmate which he explained when he failed to complete the act.(I was wondering why the tame movie was M18, and this sex scene probably explains why.)

There are long takes of silence in between conversations, and nodding heads speak of polite understanding, and I admire the restraint which goes to suppress the emotions involved, often unseen in Korean dramas. How culturally different the two societies are.

And that’s why I watch movies from different countries, for they show how similar, yet different we are, even when it comes to the common subject of love and romance.




About vickychong

Just an ordinary woman.
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