Monday, June 28, 2010

Movies 102: The Ramen Girl

Smart People
2008, Rated R (language, teen drug & alcohol use, some sexuality)
Prof. Lawrence Wetherhold (Dennis Quaid) is a widowed father who thoroughly wallows in his own self importance. Fortunately for the rest of the world, karma strikes back and the professor's world becomes a bit too unfamiliar for his taste when he both begins dating a former student (Sarah Jessica Parker) for the first time after his wife's death and suffers a head injury so that his outrageous brother (Thomas Haden Church) has to drive him around town and consequentially live with him.

I want to compare this movie with Juno for the development of the characters and relationships, the witty comments, and the indie feel of it all, but it's still just too awkward. Lawrence is a difficult character to warm up to, but once he's vulnerable he turns into someone people can sympathize with and by the ending, you feel like a proud mother. A movie for folks 16+. 3/5

The Ramen Girl
2008, Rated PG-13
Britney Murphey stars in this film as an adorable yet spoiled American girl named Abby who follows her boyfriend to Tokyo only to be dumped. Stuck in this foreign city, she takes refuge at a local noodle shop and wishes to become an apprentice to its chef, disgruntled for his own reasons. As he takes her on and challenges her will, the two share a bond that grows through their differences when they come to understand one another.

This is a charming story of growth and family, with the added bonus of a passion for food! There are a couple of tearjerker moments, so this is a great movie to see with your friends and family, age 11+. 4/5

Howl's Moving Castle
2004, Rated PG
Sophie is a girl who works in a hat shop with a seemingly eventless life. That is, until she is cursed by the Witch of the West and transformed into an elderly woman. Determined to be rid of this curse, she seeks the wizard Howl's assistance, but instead falls in love.

Probably one of the best movies of all time, nominated for an Academy award and directed by the incredible Hayao Miyazaki. If you're unfamiliar with his films, he directs animes that are family friendly, sweet, and inspirational--one of his most revered films being Spirited Away, winning an academy award in 2003, also a film on my personal top-five-movies-of-all-time list. 5/5

2006, Rated R (graphic nudity & sexuality, language)
Cashback is a sort of artistic fantasy flick about a college art student named Ben Willis who breaks up with his girlfriend and thinks about her way too much--enough to turn him into an insomniac. To pass the time spent never sleeping, he takes a night shift at a grocery store. The boredom is devastating, but he manages to come up with a way to make it more tolerable: he stops time entirely and draws portraits of women caught in a moment.

I love, love, love this film for its art, cleverness, unique story, and creativity. The characters are hilarious and believable, and there's a bit of suspense in this story about the hero's ability to stop time. Also, the ending is super duper. For folks 17+. 4.5/5

2009, Rated R (some sexuality and brief language)
A quirky indie comedy about a girl named Carys who can't cry ever since her sister died when she was young. In an effort to feel something, she attends funerals and bonds with the grieving families, but ends up getting caught in a lie and a relationship with the ex fiance of one of the deceased when even more complications arise!

This story was so cute I wanted to pinch its cheeks. Carys is so loveable, and her roommate cracks me up. The whole plot outside of the romance with the deceased woman's fiance is a little strange, I'm not sure I like it or not. The climax is a little drab and predictable, but the ending is sweet. I'd say this movie is for folks 14+. 3.5/5

Written by Abs


  1. Oh my goodness, I LOVE Howl's Moving Castle! Words cannot even describe. Love love love that movie to smithereens (: And I always am interested in adding more movies to my must-watch list, so I shall definitely keep these in mind.

  2. ouu smart people sounds good.. might give it a look

  3. This is such a great blog. I saw the movie "Cash Back" and knew that I would like it because Sean Biggerstaff is a phenomenal actor. As for "Smart People," I'm going to rent the movie asap because you've persuaded me into watching it.

  4. Great reviews. I'll have to add these to my list. You putting the appropriate age to view it just reminds me how young I am! haha.

  5. I really want to rent Cash Back this weekend :) Thanks for the reviews!!!