Thursday, October 7, 2010

White on Rice DVD



DVD Review by Kam Williams


Headline: DVD Features Japanese Dysfunctional Family 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 sibling 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 leans on the shoulder of his sympathetic sister 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 in years, and he is pleasantly surprised to see how she has blossomed into a ravishing beauty.

Jimmy nonetheless decides to pursue Ramona since they’re only related by marriage, so she 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, dysfunctional family 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 culture.


Excellent (4 stars)

Rated PG-13 for sexuality and violent images.

In Japanese and English with subtitles.

Running time: 83 minutes

Studio: Indieblitz Releasing

DVD Extras: Feature length commentary by the director and star Hiroshi Watanabe, documentary about the Japanese premiere, a behind the scenes documentary featuring outtakes and interviews, deleted scenes, trailers, viral videos and more.

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