“Somewhere along the way I just forgot what I wanted to do with my life… ” This is the story of Abby’s journey of self discovery after being dumped in Tokyo. It’s steeped in Japanese culture and delves into the somewhat mystical X-factor that separates mediocre cooks from genius artists. I love movies that center around the art of cooking although this one was more about the spirit of it rather than its technical aspects. Brittany Murphy is excellent as Abby and her performance reminded me quite strongly of Sarah Michelle Gellar. It hurts your heart to watch her struggle to understand what her Sensei is trying to teach her, a tough old man who doesn’t pull his punches and believes in the school of hard knocks. His manner is quite brutal but Abby is a woman on a mission, refusing to break. My only real complaint was all the pervasive cigarette smoking. Haven’t we as a society put that disgusting habit behind us yet? I don’t think anyone would say this was a masterpiece of cinema, but it does succeed in telling a good story imbued with the mystery and philosophy of Japan. For most of us, a bowl of soup is just a bowl of soup. But Maezumi shares with Abby just what it is that makes cooking ramen so special. “A bowl of ramen is a self-contained universe with life from the sea, the mountains, and the earth. All existing in perfect harmony. Harmony is essential. What holds it all together is the broth. The broth gives life to the ramen.” A celebration of culinary poetry and an exploration of the human spirit, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Now if you’ll excuse me, I feel the need to go cook something. – BETHANY
For more on The Ramen Girl, visit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0806165/?ref_=nv_sr_1
Don’t you just hate it when you move to Tokyo to be with a guy and he dumps you? While you’re wearing a towel? Ethan (Gabriel Mann) and Abby (Brittany Murphy).
Drown your sorrows in a bowl of ramen.
But it would help if you could actually speak a little Japanese so these nice people could tell you their restaurant is in fact, closed.
The ramen maestro himself, Toshiyuki Nishida as Maezumi.
Kimiko Yo as Reiko, Maezumi’s wife.
Maezumi tries to teach Abby, with mixed success.
Maezumi yelling – there’s a lot of this.
“If you just look at the ramen you’ll feel it.” – Maezumi
Abby’s life begins to change.
Sohee Park as Toshi Iwamoto and Abby.
Warning: this movie will make you very hungry for ramen. (image courtesy of http://www.feastmagazine.com)
The trailer for The Ramen Girl:
(image found at living-learning-eating.blogspot.com)
(image found at 123rf.com)
Photos courtesy of Media 8 Entertainment, Digital Site Corporation and Warner Bros. (unless otherwise noted)