the ramen girl

It’s about freaking time! After waiting for a long long time, and after literally months of fruitless enquiries to media 8 entertainment (a hearty “I hope your ramen is limp” to media 8!), I’m happy to report that the Ramen Girl will be out in Japan on Jan 17. The Ramen Girl (trailer here) is a movie about an American girl (Brittany Murphy) who is abandoned by her boyfriend in Japan. She ends up hanging out at a local ramen shop and eventually decides that she needs to become a ramen chef. The movie promises to show us “that each ramen bowl must contain a universe of feeling and truly be a gift from the heart.” Yeah…… To be fair though, I’ve rewatched the trailer a few times, and watched the Japanese trailer (it’s exactly the same as the English one), and I have to say that I’m at least a little more excited than ever to watch this movie.

ramen grandmasterOf course, that’s assuming it doesn’t dissolve into pure east meets west schmaltzyness. Then again, the casting of Toshiyuki Nishida as the “tyrannical, temperamental Japanese master chef” and Tsutomu Yamazaki as the “grandmaster” makes me less ambivalent (tip: click on the imdb link for Yamazaki-san and scroll down until you see a ramen movie you recognize. Yep, that’s him!).

One thing I have to take exception to is some of people (you know who you are!) calling this a “remake” of Tampopo. Of course, since I haven’t seen the Ramen Girl yet, I’m not really in a position to judge, but neither have the people comparing this to Tampopo. How in the world does this trailer make you think it’s similar to Tampopo besides having ramen as a main theme? I mean, is the Transformers a remake of say Herbie the Love Bug simply because both movies feature talking cars? Tampopo is so much more than just some movie about someone learning to make ramen, and this sort of “lump them all together” thinking just bothers me. End rant.

No word on when or if the movie will be coming stateside, though I have a feeling that a straight-to-DVD release is as much as we can hope for. For those of you who aren’t looking forward to seeing if Brittany Murphy can give this kind of movie the acting chops it deserves, I leave you with another, possibly more entertaining Japanese movie to look forward to:

Thanks and tips of the ramen bowl go to:
Keizo and Cutie for the heads up about the movie release date.
Brittany Murphy Media for the picture.
And Coilhouse for the High Kick Girl lowdown.

15 thoughts on “finally, the Ramen Girl”

  1. Hi Edjusted,

    Nice! πŸ™‚ I heard about this a while back, but never saw the trailer. The movie might be good (or not). πŸ™‚ But it’s certainly fun to see Ramen become the central theme in a movie again.

    Hope your holidays went well!

  2. There’s only two similarities between this and Tampopo.

    1. It’s about Ramen.
    2. It has Tsutomu Yamazaki in it who was in Tampopo.

    The Director is obviously a fan of Tampopo.

  3. @Exile Kiss: yes, despite my misgivings about watching a Brittany Murphy, I wanna watch this for the ramen at least! I hope you’re having a great New Year so far!

    @Raku: I think you nailed it. That’s about the only similarities I see too.

    @Jauhari: I never noticed before, but I do see the resemblance. And thanks for the help on the css “float” problem, and the theme, of course!

    @Hao: you and me both!

  4. Somehow I find myself back here on the exact day that this movie is coming out, haha. Anyway, I still feel that this movie is a rip-off (you’re right in saying that “remake” is too strong a word) of the main storyline of Tampopo due to the fact that it’s about a woman who, after losing the man in her life, decides that she wants to make great ramen so that she can make people happy. She’s taught by a stern but inevitably kind old Japanese man who shows her the path to ramen enlightenment. The overall message may be different, sure, but the two movies are still similar enough to ruffle my feathers, especially with the recent wave of Asian movie remakes (Old Boy, DBZ, Cowboy Bebop, My Sassy Girl, etc). To be honest, I’m not as impassioned about the whole thing as I once was, but I figured I’d put in my two cents, anyway.

  5. @Erin: I agree and I think your plot summary nails it. Speaking of which, I just read today that Jackie Chan will be playing “Mr. Miyagi” in a new Karate Kid remake. So to paraphrase: (the karate kid) is taught by a stern but inevitably kind old Japanese man who shows him the path to ramen enlightenment. Hmm… Oh course, I’d still like to see the Ramen Girl. Karate Kid…not so much… πŸ˜‰

  6. Well, considering what happened with Memoirs of a Geisha, or movies Like Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift where Koreans take the roles of supposedly “Japanese” actors … =__=

  7. @Hoboy: I’m pretty sure it’s out…in Japan…but no idea how it’s doing or whether or not it’ll ever see the light of day here in the U.S. :\

  8. Just watched a copy of The Ramen Girl. The setup of the first act could use work, but then there’s a half-decent love story and some moving (and funny) scenes about ramen. Out on DVD on May 26, according to Amazon.

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