Tuesday 26 October 2010

Movie review...?

No. not really. I have neither the intellect to be funny and informative at the same time, or the memory to go through the movie I watched the other night in any kind of witty detail, however I will give my thoughts on it, because it actually surprised me!

I watched ダーリンは外国人(My darling is a foreigner) the other night and I have to say, I went in with very low expectations. For a few reasons, 1) It's a Japanese mainstream movie, and they're all pretty much, well, crap. 2) It's a topic very close to me, after all I am someone's darling and I am in fact a foreigner. 3) I was so ready and willing to take the piss out of it.
I usually steer clear from Japanese movies, to me they all seem over-acted and Japanese humour and I just don't mix, not enough sarcasm for my liking, but seeing as though it was all about international marriage I thought I'd give it a crack.

Ryota and Ash both fell asleep at a ridiculously early hour so I had a whole 3 hours to myself to watch the movie in pure relaxation, no child wanting to watch wiggles, no husband de-waxing surfboards in the background or whatever the fuck he does with them. Just me and the cat curled up on the lounge. Maybe it was the fact that I haven't enjoyed a movie on my own and uninterrupted for so long that contributed to me actually liking it??

So as I started watching it getting ready to get pissed off, take it out of the machine and bitch about it to someone, I found, I was actually enjoying it!
The main character (Saori) reminds me so much of one of my friends (in looks) that it was all I could think about, and her darling (Tony) was actually a good portrayal of a typical gaijin guy in Japan- nerdy, a little bit weird, and dating a girl that is wayyyyy too hot for him. I'm so glad they didn't cast a hot gaijin, it just wouldn't have been real. I'm going to go as far as saying that the percentage of really good-looking, sweet, normal gaijin guys has got to be very very low. Not bashing all gaijin guys (well most actually) Some of them are top blokes that lack in the looks department, and some of them are absolute douche bags that aren't too bad on the eyes, but to find the perfect combo, well, I'm yet to witness it!

So basically it's the story about these two and the troubles they face with differences in culture/language/family blah blah blah. It was a bit boring in the beginning and of course it was Japanese so way too much over-acting was going on, but they did leave a few subtle elements that I liked. One example was a scene where they were in the movie theatre together and Tony kept laughing way before all the Japanese people, it wasn't explicitly explained but this is so true and has happened to me many times. The subtitles take longer to read and the joke just doesn't filter through as quickly when the movies are in English.

Another thing I liked was the small role of the douche friend of Tony's. He seems to be an unbelievable character, but in reality, there actually are fuckers in this country that go around speaking over-exaggerated English with a few Japanese words sprinkled in because they can't be arsed actually learning Japanese, expect Japanese people to speak English, and are just generally loud, obnoxious and annoying. These are the gaijin that I hate, they give us all a bad name. One line from him was: "Ohhh Japanese girls are sooo 'kantan'! (easy) and I swear to god I used to hear some moron spew something out of his mouth very similar on a regular basis when I was on the party scene in Osaka.

Another thing that meant it must have been an OK movie was the fact that I cried at the end, not that crying is so unusual for me, but I watched 'Hachi' the day before and while everyone around me was weeping I just didn't get that stirred up by it and felt like a cold corpse who's heart had been ripped out. Thank goodness I did cry at the end, or I might have been worried!

So ladies or gentleman in Japan, I'd give this movie 3 stars, I'll never watch it again, but it was worth a squiz.

Oops I almost forgot, there was one thing that annoyed me a little bit, scattered throughout the movie they kept cutting to real life interviews with mixed couples. Now I know this particular story was about a J-girl and a whitie guy, but every one of the interviews was this combo. (well they weren't all white, that would just have been racist!) I wanted to see some gaijin wives representing!

We're darlings too you know!


  1. Yeah, most of the aussie guys I know with japanese girls are real idiots and they dress like they've come from the 60's. I only really know one guy (still dresses from the 60"s) who is with a japanese girl that is normal. hah! On the other hand, what is the stereotype of women married to japanese guys like? They seem to be very different across the board...

  2. Glad you posted this, now I will definitely have to rent it. For such a vocal group, the "lady darlings" are certainly under-represented. As an aside, why is it that guys are all called "darling" here and girls are "honey"? The Japanese title of "the Breakup" that came out a couple years ago is "Darling vs. Honey". UGH.

  3. i feel pretty much the same way as you do about Japanese films.. there are only two of many that i've seen that i actually enjoyed (Kikujiro no Natsu, and Samurai Fiction [the best!] if you're interested), but if u say it was a decent watch i might give that one a watch eventually. :)

  4. I watched this the other night too! I have to say that I fell asleep very early on and was in and out of the entire movie. That`s not a big indication of the movie quality however as I fall asleep in all movies at home (let`s just say I`d rather sleep most of the time!)

    I can`t say I liked what I saw in this one but I did notice that all the real couples were Japanese women and foreigner boys and I couldn`t agree with you more that they needed the foreigner girls to be represented too!

  5. I havent seen the flick, but now I am curious! Will have to get it out. I had a chuckle to myself about your description of the typical gaijin guy in Japan. I once saw a cartoon where the nerd boards his plane in the USA and when he steps off the plane in Japan he walks off as a superhero! It just said it all! :)

  6. I've not seen it cos I thought it would be pants. Will give it a go now. I don't mind the overacting, it's the constant flashbacks that bug me. Do ppl not have the concentration span to remember something that happened onscreen 5 minutes ago?

  7. As a "lady darling" myself, I think one of the reasons I really enjoy your blog (and its community) is that it is one of the few places I can see gaijin girls with Japanese guys! (it's nice to know I'm not the only one not getting chocolates on valentines!!)

  8. noohgirl you mean Charisma Man!


    Amy, you should go to an AFWJ convention, nearly a hundred 'lady darlings' in one room!

    I might go watch the movie now too.

    (haha! I got silycou as my verification word!)

  9. the only movies i've seen with gaijin girls and japanese guys are ramen girl and tokyo pop. neither of them are what i would call 'good' movies, but i like them anyway. tokyo pop is a bitch to find, though.

  10. I've been waiting for this movie. I've got the comic book, bought in a fit of trying to learn to read and hating the textbooks. Thanks for the reminder. Looks like Friday night at Tsutaya.

  11. Regarding your last sentence:

    Technically speaking, only guys are ダーリング {dāringu} (Darling). Girls are ハニー {hanī} (Honey). Don't ask me why. Probably some stupid book said taught them that, and people picked it up.

    Both words were big as foreign loanwords in the late eighties, but these days they're considered either passé or retro cute, depending on your perspective and usage.

    Back on topic, yes, I agree, more AMWF balance would be nice to see in the media. I too, even as a dude, was pleasantly surprised.

    If you liked the male Caucasian actor in "My Darling is a Foreigner," (Jonathan Sherr) you may like him in this set-in-Japan web mini-series: