Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

Movie review: The Ramen Girl

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

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Many of the most gifted people I know have a tendency to get obsessed by things. Some suffer from serial obsessions. (See, for an extreme example, The Orchid Thief.) Others are less extreme.

But none of us/them seems to be able to say WHY/HOW their thing came to obsess them.

Which brings us to The Ramen Girl, a fascinating movie about a young American woman who is abandoned in Japan by her boyfriend and becomes obsessed with cooking ramen noodles.

One of the wonderful things about this movie is that the Japanese actors in it speak Japanese (there are subtitles) and the American actors speak English and very often they simply don’t understand each other and we don’t HAVE to read the subtitles, so we can put ourselves in their shoes.

Another thing that is simply wonderful about the movie is that it allows us to kind of understand how magical ramen is to Abby, our stranded American heroine, who is obviously a bit flighty otherwise. We see her realize that eating excellent ramen makes people cry, and makes them laugh, makes them share their emotions in ways they would otherwise never do. We see that this is silly, but we know that, to Abby, this is compelling.

This movie reminded me of the movie Tampopo, in that it is about a woman obsessed with cooking heavenly ramen. However, this film includes less sexual content and instead focuses on the cultural differences and similarities between Americans and Japanese.

We watched this movie with our 14 yr. old. There were some scenes we might have skipped over if we’d been on our toes, including an unnecessary few seconds of Abby in bed with her boyfriend when the movie begins. Also, one of Abby’s American friends claims to work as a call girl (she says \”geisha\”), but it’s not clear that she actually does.

Not a fast-paced adventure, but an adventure none-the-less. Highly recommended for mature teens and grown-ups.

— Emily

If you found this review helpful and/or interesting, consider supporting our book habit: Buy this move: The Ramen Girl