Friday, September 11, 2009

White on Rice

Film Review by Kam Williams
Headline:  40 Year-Old Slacker Moves in with Sister in Japanese-American Comedy
                Recently-divorced Jimmy (Hiroshi Watanabe) has just moved from Japan to Salt Lake City, Utah to live with his sister (Nae) while looking for another wife. However, because Aiko’s married and doesn’t have a lot of extra space, he has to share a bunk bed in the basement with her 10 year-old son, Bob (Justin Kwong). And although childlike Jimmy gets along fine with his nephew, the same can’t be said for his relationship with his disapproving brother-in-law (Mio Takada).
Tak see his wife’s brother for what he is, an infantile slacker who refuses to grow up. For between his obsession with dinosaurs and rocks, it only makes sense that he hasn’t been able to hold on to a woman or a job. But determined to turn a new leaf in America, Jimmy turns to his sympathetic sibling for help, and she starts setting him up with a series of nightmarish blind dates.
The plot thickens when Jimmy falls in love at first sight with Ramona (Lynn Chen), a beautiful woman half his age. Trouble is she’s a niece he hasn’t seen her in years, and he is pleasantly surprised to see how she has blossomed into a ravishing beauty.
He decides to pursue her since she’s only a niece by marriage, and technically isn’t really blood related. Nonetheless, this rationalization only infuriates Tek who is becoming increasingly fed up with the feckless freeloader. 
Written and directed by Dave Boyle, White on Rice is a heartwarming comedy featuring humor ranging in tone from the silly to the sublime. A hilarious slice-of-life flick offering a unique take on Japanese-American adding up to one of the funniest films of the year thus far.                                                                                                          
Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG-13 for sexuality and violent images.
In Japanese and English with subtitles.
Running time: 85 minutes
Studio: Variance Films

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