Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Just watched: My Darling is a Foreigner

Actually, "just watched" isn't quite right. I watched it ages ago, but only just decided to write about it.

This film from 2010 stars Inoue Mao and Jonathan Sherr in a comedy-drama about the highs and lows of international relationships. In this case, an American man and a Japanese woman. The film itself is okay. Lightweight and entertaining, and as someone who's been in an "international relationship" myself (English/Italian) there were a couple of things I could relate to. Especially the part where he tries to help by doing the housework, unaware that there are rules for almost everything.

What also interested me was the portrayal of the English character. Before I saw this film I read someone on the internet complain about how anti-English the film was. This person said that is man was a dislikeable, sex-mad man who thought all Japanese women were pushovers. I admit, the first image to come into my mind was of an upper class cad who impresses ladies with tales of meeting the royals and the Beckhams.

When I saw it I was surprised that it was a fairly accurate representation of Englishmen: confident and pushy and he thinks that because he's always thinking about sex, then everyone else is too. I've met this kind of man so often, that this film should be praised for avoiding the usual stereotypes about us Brits. And Nihonjin no Shiranai Nohingo also had an Englishman who was a bit of a sexual predator (although they got his fashion sense all wrong) so perhaps this is quite a widespread image in Japan. Next time I go, I'll have to ask.

But as for the film: like I said, it's okay. I'm a bit sad that Jonathan Sherr hasn't done anything else since this film, since he seems to be one of the few people who can act in English and Japanese. And he and Inoue do make a lovely couple, and you quickly start empathising with them and hoping that things will work out for the best.

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