Starring: Yûta Nakano, Jian Manshu, Lotus Wang
Director: Akihisa Yachida
Running Time: 92 mins
Mom Thinks I’m Crazy To Marry A Japanese Guy is a Japanese/Taiwanese film about a young Taiwanese woman who strikes up an internet relationship with a man in Japan, and while the two grow closer together, her mother continues to reject the idea of them ever marrying.
On the face of things, this movie is mostly a light-hearted, fluffy and silly affair, with a cute central romance complemented by a humorously exaggerated version of international tensions between Japan and those of Chinese descent. As a result, it’s a film that made me laugh and smile throughout, while it also impresses with the odd bit of genuinely heartwarming emotion, something that similarly fluffy movies are often all too happy to forget about.
One of the most pleasant parts of the whole movie comes in the form of the lead performance from Jian Manshu, as the Taiwanese woman who strikes up a relationship with a man from Japan over the internet. While the Japanese performer, Yûta Nakano, is never quite as endearing, Jian is absolutely delightful throughout, with a positive, happy and hugely pleasant performance that really helped me to grow to like her as a character, and sympathise with her as she finds herself making a difficult choice between her family and herself.
On top of that, the comedy here is pretty entertaining too. It’s not quite laugh-out-loud hilarious, nor is it anything particularly original, however its simple, light-hearted nature fits in well with the film’s fun-loving atmosphere, and as a result, it does enough to make you smile and laugh throughout, making for an enjoyable watch, even if it isn’t the world’s most memorably original.
I have to say, though, I feel that the one thing the film is missing on the lighter side of things is a more fun take on the regional rivalry that serves as the background for the mother rejecting an international marriage between Taiwan and Japan. Of course, it’s a topic that’s still a lot more sensitive than rivalries in other parts of the world, but I felt like this film was just on the verge of hitting a real sweet spot that could have both poked a bit of fun at the international tensions, all the while staying fairly uncontroversial.
With that said, while the film impresses with pleasant comedy, its heartwarming drama and emotion are one of the most surprising parts of the whole affair. Typically, a film like this that serves as a simple romantic comedy will push either the cheesy romance or the silly comedy hardest, however this movie does a good job to pick a good balance between real heartwarming drama and the lighter side of things.
So, as it makes you smile with its fluffy humour and atmosphere, there’s an element of the story that hits a bit deeper, as we see the blossoming of a rather unlikely relationship that keeps growing and growing despite a number of setbacks. It still sounds pretty cheesy, but director Akihisa Yachida does well to keep the story as grounded and un-melodramatic as possible, making it a perfectly enjoyable and genuinely heartfelt watch at times.
Overall, I have to say that I enjoyed this movie. While it’s not the world’s most original or deeply moving romantic film, it combines a light, fluffy atmosphere with pleasant humour, a delightful lead performance, and even a good bit of heartfelt drama, all of which makes for a thoroughly enjoyable and easy-going watch, which is why I’m giving it a 7.3.