Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Ramen Girl (2008)

This was one of the last movies Brittany Murphy did before her death in Dec 2009. I had added this to my netflix and Brian saw it when we were picking out movies and thought it would be funny. Within the first 5 minutes he was ready to turn it off, but I insisted we keep it on.
The story follows a girl, Abby, who followed her boyfriend to Tokyo. He ends up moving away from her and not returning her calls. She is working in an office in a job she hates and after her boyfriend leaves stumbles into a Ramen shop crying. The couple that owns it thinks she is crazy and speaks little to no English. She keeps coming back and tries to help and decides she wants to learn the art of Ramen. The chef/owner of the shop decides to take her in, but is known as a 'tyrant'. No one thinks she will last, but when she does they grow to love her. Along the way she meets a Japanese/Korean man who she falls in love with, but eventually has to leave for business (similar to the first guy) only this time he really wants her to come. She can't leave her training and dedication to the shop and the owners she is growing to love, so she is forced to say good bye. You can tell how much she loves the boy, and how much he doesn't want to leave her, but business calls and that is what is expected of him. Abby is sad, but continues work in the ramen shop. The owner stresses spirit and takes her to visit his mother to see what she is lacking. It all comes back to her spirit and cooking with her heart and not her head. The owner puts all his cards on the table when he tells his competition that if she doesn't receive the Grand Master's blessing he will quit. When the Grand Master comes to taste the ramen, he says Abby's is good, but still needs more time. Everyone is crushed. The owner has a heart to heart with Abby about how if you have no successor in your work, your life is worthless. He tells of his son that didn't want to learn the ways of the ramen (who he hasn't spoke with in 5 years) and went off to France to learn to cook French food. He ends up asking Abby to be his successor. The old tyrant has a heart. Abby packs up and is about to leave, but must visit the festival first. She doesn't want to miss saying goodbye to the owner, who sends one of his lanterns with her as she is paraded around on a special float. There is a touching moment.
The movie ends with Abby having her own shop, probably somewhere in America, and the boy she fell in love with coming in and telling her he left his job for his real passion, music. The movie ends with a make out scene in her shop.

Ok, so the movie sounds cliche possibly? Be prepared for lots of subtitles and subtle humor. I fell in love with this movie and you should too!

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