TF Film Review: ダーリンは外国人(My Darling Is A Foreigner)

This is a Japanese film which came out on DVD last month and my girlfriend pounced on the chance to rent out a copy. I was quite nervous about watching it as its about a foreign guy going out with a Japanese girl and showing how their two worlds collide. ‘My Darling…’ is a Japanese comedy film, based on the manga series ‘Is he turning Japanese?’ and centres around the relationship of Saori and her American boyfriend Tony who is not only fluent in Japanese but is also deeply interested in Japanese culture. Of course, like many of us foreigners living in Japan, he doesn’t always understand certain parts of this culture. Without giving away too many spoilers the movie focuses on where their relationship is heading and the disapproval of Saori’s father to his daughter marrying a foreigner. Needless to say that it echoes of similarities between my girlfriend and I as well as many other international relationships in this country.

To be honest ‘My Darling…’ is fairly rubbish but nevertheless it entertained me for its 100 minute duration. There are a few subtleties in there which I can relate to but I imagine would be missed by the Japanese who watch this. Main character Tony is fluent in Japanese but when he asks for directions he faces the comeback “Sorry, I don’t speak English” which is a little bewildering seeing as he asked the guy in his language. This happens to me sometimes and the Japanese often seem to panic when you speak them and they don’t even listen to you and think you’re speaking English!

A scene in a cinema where Tony laughs a couple of seconds before the Japanese audience was something I have experienced before which is due to them laughing once they’ve read the subtitles rather than actually hearing the line.

Overall, I guess this film was only of interest due to the vague similarity to my own situation and given that the majority of westerners in Japan are teachers I was a little disappointed that it didn’t follow that route so closely but maybe that would be an even worse movie to see!

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